The SD Association, the industry group behind the Secure Digital memory card format, has introduced a version of the technology that can squeeze up to two terabytes of data into a postage-stamp-sized card.
The SDXC (eXtended Capacity) specification was announced on Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The flash-based specification, which the SD Association detail fully in the first quarter of this year, is being touted by the industry group as ideal for mobile phones, cameras and other portable devices through which users might want to play or record large amounts of media.
"With SDXC, consumers can quickly download higher-quality content to their phones, including games, video and music," James Taylor, the SD Association's president, said in a statement. "The SD interface already has proven itself valuable in mobile phones. Now, SDXC memory card capabilities will spur further handset sophistication and boost consumer content demand."
A 2TB SDXC card would be able to contain as many as 100 high-definition movies, or around 4,000 photos in the professional RAW format. The current maximum capacity for an SDHC (High Capacity) card is 32GB.
According to the SD Association, SDXC cards will this year reach read/write speeds of up to 104MBps, with future speeds possible reaching 300MBps. The association said in its statement that these maximum speeds would be attainable even in a fully-loaded 2TB SDXC card. The current maximum speed for SDHC cards is 30MBps.
The new specification uses Microsoft's exFAT file system, which was designed to let flash media work with a variety of device types. However, while legacy SD or SDHC cards will be readable and writable in an SDXC slot, users will not be able to use an SDXC card in a legacy SD or SDHC slot.