SD memory card standard to hit 300MB/s transfer speeds

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Posts: 3,073   +97
The Secure Digital (SD) memory card standard is reportedly slated for a major revamp next year, one that will boost max data transfer speeds from the current 104MB/s to a whopping 300MB/s. To accomplish this, version 4.0 SD cards will see the data transfer scheme change from parallel to serial, using low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS), and gain a new dedicated pin for high-speed data transfers.

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Posts: 37   +0
We shall see. If it's true, then 300MB/s off of an SD card is insane. But I guess it's necessary considering we have cameras and things that make video and photos at 1080p HD. A better transfer rate should help people that need to upload those kinds of things to their PC. Very cool!


Posts: 527   +8
Great to see this coming. Although at current flash memory speeds they would need to have some sort of raid controller (like the SSDs do) to get that kind of speed.


Posts: 3,836   +1,186
If they can or not reach the maximum 300mbps still would be a lot more than actual cards can transfer, at least the standard ones.

I actually own a couple of this that are really far from that speed and it's a drag to wait for them to transfer!


Posts: 78   +2
This seems great, only I doubt whether some cards will reach 300 MB/s, and whether it'll be backwards compatible(more than 9 card pins)


Posts: 153   +0
Nice if the cards are backward compatible. I don't plan on changing my digital camera soon, but if I buy a new SD card, I might as well be prepared for when I do buy a new camera that supports it.


Posts: 1,564   +623
I'm with Kibaruk on this, existing SD transfer rates can go from somewhat decent on the expensive high speed cards to downright glacial on the cheapo cards. I would be surprised if any card on the market today is actually capping out at the current SD transfer speed spec of 104 Mbytes/sec. I rather doubt any of the new generation would hit the cap for a while.

Makes you wonder if just the alternative serializing protocol alone will actually speed up the transfer rates. And will this apply to things like mini or microSD cards, which are becoming more and more common in the wireless realm and in small electronic gadgets.


Posts: 4,234   +2,984
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They are just making sure that when SD's which can manage those kinds of speeds are going to appear they have everything ready. Maybe we'll see them on the market in 2 years time.


Posts: 94   +1
That's nice but too bad it will not be compatible with old hardware.
Maybe that should think about changing it's name even.


Posts: 74   +5
The next generation will always be faster and the current generation will get cheaper when the next generation comes out and that is when I buy it. My last video card was not the latest/greatest video card but a year ago it was and now it was in my budget.

I think that is why I look forward new products for things to get cheapers. You can spend $500 on a video card a year later it is less than half that.


Posts: 10,603   +459
Isn't the reason for using CF cards in higher end DSLR cameras because of the speed? So these fast SD cards could replace them. CF cards seem like they are from about 15 years ago (maybe they are), they even have the same pinout as IDE drives...


Posts: 223   +0
So if the current theoretical limit is 104 then that means that the new standard will actually operate at the current limit at normal transfer rates XD


Posts: 1,215   +177
Is this anything like the SATA 6 Gbps (3rd generation, 3.0) specifications that allow for 6 Gigabit connection speeds, but we're having a hard time finding a drive that can use 25% of that bandwidth?


Posts: 108   +1
Sounds really interesting, especially if they'll manage to keep the prices low. It seems the era of "spinning stuff-powered storage" is getting to an end. After all SSDs will become really affordable in about a year, SDs are getting faster... now, if I could only see decent eye implants becoming available for those who need them, that would be great!

I know there's no obvious connection between the topic of this article and bionic eyes, but to me, there is - I really hope to be able to get some new eyes within 10-15 years, because they are my weak point, and things aren't getting better as time goes by...


Posts: 1,703   +172
I wonder what the max transfer speed of a top range camera is? A lot less than 300MB/s I bet. I guess these cards would only be useful once the cameras/hard drives are capable of those sort of speeds


Posts: 103   +0
It doesn't hurt to have extra headroom, but I don't think I've seen any SD cards that are faster than 30MB/s.


Posts: 11   +0
The world of the storage hardware is making great strides!
The era of the grinding hard drives will definitively evolve, sooner or later...
The performance of these supports are becoming striking!
If this hardware was not beyond my means, first of all I'd have used it to host a swap-file dedicated drive. Not only for the OS, but apps. too.
Then, as Boot / OS / Apps drive.
Because memory cards adapters are growing too. eSATA-to SD, SATA-II to SD, to multiple memory cards in RAID configurations too...
Now with the new Sata III technology, a relatively cheap SATA-III (or eSATA-III) to multiple SD (2 or 4) as RAID (0, 1, 0+1,...) could let us have a very small and light "bomb" in our hands!
Noiseless, very fast, small... and maybe a very cool enclosure will give extreme sensations.
We'll see... hoping for a price drop soon... This stuff is still expensive... At the moment, in this market, the only thing that seems very slow in evolving is the price...


Posts: 840   +7
Pretty cool if we actually see performance numbers like that in everyday use. I'm all for bigger and faster storage media.
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