Next Generation SDxc Details

sdxc Next Generation SDxc  Details

I spend some time to day at a CES sideshow with a rep from the SD Association. These are the guys who iron out the details of this particular type of memory card to ensure compatibility across many different brands and manufactures. SD format makes up 77% of the memory card market, so if you are looking for the most compatible and now definitely the most technologically advance, SD should always be your choice. Sony comes in a distant second with 12% of the share, followed by Compact Flash (6%), MMC (3%), and xDP (2%).

sdxc graph Next Generation SDxc  Details

Due to limitations on transfer speeds and file systems SD has gone though a few upgrades. The first know as simply SD maxed out at 2GB. SDHC allowed for larger memory access of 32GB. Now SDxc maxes out at a whopping 2TB which should hopefully hold us over for a few years. This new standard uses exFAT file system or sometimes called FAT64. In addition to larger capacities SDxc will allow for higher theoretical speeds of up to 300mbps as opposed to 104mbps of SDHC.

The good news is that SDxc will have the same SD and microSD format- they have dropped miniSD for this new SDxc standard. New devices supporting SDxc will be backwards compatible with all your SD and SDHC cards. The bad news is that unlike the transition from SD to SDHC, which sometimes only required a firmware update, requires supporting chipsets. So don’t expect to simply firmware upgrade your current player for this new format.

The SD Association has been working closely with manufactures so will start to see new devices trickle out in 2009 and more of a heavier roll out in 2010. These capacities will start at 32GB and up, but there is no telling when the theoretical 2TB limit will be hit.

So what does this mean for MP3 players? You current hardware will be left in the dark, but I would suspect SanDisk to be the first to move on this new format. I would not be surprised if their next gen of players supported SDxc.

33 Comments

Tario70 on January 8, 2009 5:09 AM

When I read this info on another site I immediately thought about how this could seriously reduce the cost of PMP’s & DAP’s.With these cards starting at 32GB, why even pay extra to have a SSD or Flash Drive in your Device. Leave some memory in there for Firmware & make the device support these things for some serious space. Without an internal drive to pay for, that should take the price down quite a few notches.That’s just my 2 cents.

MarvintheMartian on January 8, 2009 5:30 AM

I hope this means the 16GB microsdhc drops in price by summer…I’d love to move up from a 12 to 20GB Fuze. Could this also mean mega-Clips too?

DomDe on January 8, 2009 6:28 AM

@Tario70: With the D2 using SD cards as a storage space is power consuming. Let’s hope this new SD format will not consume as much power as the older ones.

advcomp2019 on January 8, 2009 7:57 AM

DomDe, as far as I know, SD and SDHC cards do not use much power. On my players, I only see about a 5 to 10 minute difference with my players. I do not know what player you was talking about myself.

samueljesusfreak on January 8, 2009 11:20 AM

2TB… just.. wow. SD really knows what they’re doing. Can you imagine the next line of Cowon players with a 2TB card inside? Soon, with this kind of storage, FLAC could become the norm! :)

Tonedeaf on January 8, 2009 11:23 AM

The Cowon d2 goes from a whopping 52 hours without SDHC to a less-whopping 40 with one. Your player with an alleged 5-10 minute drop in battery life probably uses microSD, the D2 uses full sized SD, which probably uses much more power.

MFG on January 8, 2009 11:26 AM

Well, in that case we would just forget about hard drive based players, and players with built-in storage.Imagine a beautiful device such as Cowon S9 or Samsung players with nothing but a SDxc slot. Then you say, “oh well, I could use my old 128GB card for my media player!”Just hold. Like all “new capacity” media, it will be daaaaamn expensive at first.I’m still waiting for 32GB SDHC price to drop. Been a long time and prices are still above $200.

Tonedeaf on January 8, 2009 11:27 AM

Oh, and samueljesusfreak, the next line of cowon players will NOT have 2TB of anything. My guess is a mininmum of 2-3 years to get anywhere near 2TB. Then again, it was a few years between d2 and s9. Maybe the mythical x7 will have 2 TB of flash. Sweet!

samueljesusfreak on January 8, 2009 11:32 AM

Tonedeaf,sorry, meant future line. the ‘x7′ could have internally 2TB and then a card for the external 2TB! Ha!But watch they can’t get rid of the 4000 file/folder limit! Haha! That would be the ultimate failure.

jjrosaria on January 8, 2009 1:55 PM

wow 2TB mp3 player… that would hold me for a long time..But also the posibilities.. Portable laptops anyone?? with 2 terabytes of storage on a smal device Like that??? imagine the possibities…

Mike on January 8, 2009 2:39 PM

And yet despite this, we still only have a few 32gb flash drive DAPs. Isn’t it about time for 64 and 128gb flash players? People will pay for that, and the price will be less than the iPod high capacity players when they first came out …Come on, manfs., get with it!

epithetless on January 8, 2009 3:19 PM

Perhaps a dumb question, but: Will this new exFAT/FAT64 file system be compatible with the likes of Windows XP and OS X (as FAT32 is now)?

Relyt on January 8, 2009 3:19 PM

Great news! However, I will have to agree with the people who say that flash DAPs should get higher capacities as well. The full 2TB capacity in a SDXC card will probably be released a while from now. Just look at SDHC’s 32GB. 32GB cards are just rolling out now, with extremely high price tags (at least 200$ at minimum), and are not mass-produced.ALSO: Pocketables has some quick looks at the iriver products at CES not posted here yet. See: http://www.pocketables.net/2009/01/ces-2009-iriver.html

epithetless on January 8, 2009 3:33 PM

To answer my own question, Wikipedia has this to say: Though exFAT support is not officially available for previous versions of Microsoft Windows, “According to user experiments, exFAT formatted drives can be fully used also on Windows XP/2003 systems, by coping two files (uexfat.dll and exfat.sys) from an existing installation into the correspond folder of Windows XP/2003.” Instructions here: http://changetheworldwithyourpassion.blogspot.com/2008/11/enable-exfat-in-windows-xp2003.html.Macs likely won’t support it, unless a third party provider releases a software solution (as Paragon has done with NTFS support).

Tario on January 8, 2009 4:59 PM

Well it looks like the they’re already jumping on the bandwagon & jumping big.http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/08/panasonic-hoping-to-launch-64gb-sdxc-card/Panasonic starting with a 64GB card! That’s exactly what I want to see!As far as power consumption goes, hopefully that can be worked out, still it brings a whole new level of expandability to future players & that can’t be a bad thing.

SansaRulez83 on January 8, 2009 5:23 PM

This is pretty excellent but I don’t need to carry all the porn in the world around on my PMP! :P I think it’s hilarious that XD is doing so terribly bad! Take that Fuji and Olympus! Unh! :) Unfortunately, beyond capacity I don’t think that introducing a 64 GB SDXC card is necessarily going to prompt 32GB SDHC developers to lower their prices. Because they require different kinds of technology to run they’re relatively exclusive formats. Saying that it would drive the price down is like saying that memory sticks at that capacity would help drive SD down in price. It’s more of an indirect influence than the one we’ve been seeing with 8, 16 and 32 GB SDHC.OH and GRAHM! Bring me back one por favor…. :)

Robert on January 8, 2009 10:26 PM

“To answer my own question, Wikipedia has this to say: Though exFAT support is not officially available for previous versions of Microsoft Windows, “According to user experiments, exFAT formatted drives can be fully used also on Windows XP/2003 systems, by coping two files (uexfat.dll and exfat.sys) from an existing installation into the correspond folder of Windows XP/2003.” Instructions here: http://changetheworldwithyourpassion.blogspot.com/2008/11/enable-exfat-in-windows-xp2003.html.Macs likely won’t support it, unless a third party provider releases a software solution (as Paragon has done with NTFS support).”Incidentaly the two people that created wikipedia went to my school :)

LuisB on January 9, 2009 11:21 AM

Please note they are only releasing a specification standard, not a new memory chip. This is, SOME DAY there will be 2 TB memory cards, but it’s unlikely that it will directly boost chip manufacturing technologies. We will have 64 GB internal memory DAPs this year and 128 GB in 2010, with SDXC supporting players starting to arise for this year’s christmas. SCXC will not be popular for couple of years, though: just look how long it took for SDHC to become widely accepted.

boo_on_you on January 9, 2009 11:26 PM

I don’t know where you people are at that are saying that the 32GB SDHC cards are over $200, but I’m sitting here looking on Newegg, and I see ALL 3 of their 32GB SDHC cards under $200, and even 1 for $100.Compact Flash is even cheaper.

terrence1019 on January 10, 2009 1:25 AM

It is only inevitable that this new format will become the norm in the next 2-3 years.Soon, cellphones will be supporting this format. I could already see Nokia adding this mammoth capacity to their series line.I wonder if this might lead to the decline of DAPs?

James Forelo on January 10, 2009 4:58 AM

Thank you SanDisk, DEATH TO HDD

Drive-In-Freak on January 10, 2009 9:44 AM

It’s gonna be so nice to be able to finally have enough storage to use uncompressed audio in a flash based player.It may even bring CD sales back up. When PMPs have enough room for real CD quality audio MP3s and the like will be kinda pointless.Maybe this will even start a new (at long last) higher quality format than the outdated CD/WAV standard. It’s about time we had some better quality audio..I hope this will head us in that direction.

LeeNippsound on January 10, 2009 2:04 PM

amen to that brother!!

darok3k on January 10, 2009 4:02 PM

kinda scary dont you think for a SD card to hold that much memory?!

katie on January 12, 2009 4:41 AM

The good news is that SDxc will have the same SD and microSD format- they have dropped miniSD for this new SDxc standard. New devices supporting SDxc will be backwards compatible with all your SD and SDHC cards. The bad news is that unlike the transition from SD to SDHC, which sometimes only required a firmware update, requires supporting chipsets.

Mattman243 on January 12, 2009 1:37 PM

This is awesome news! I can’t wait for these things to become popular(and come down in price).A statement was made by Panasonic mentioned that the new 64GB sdxc card will be able to hold more information than a 50GB duel-layer Blue-Ray disk!This got me thinking, could SDxc become the new standard for all media? We already have slotmusic which could take over CDs, why can’t these SDxc cards become the main movie format?

BActon on January 13, 2009 3:08 AM

Owner of an iRiver with a 40 Gb HD for 4 years, I have been waiting for a long time to find a replacement with at least the same capacity (mine if full).iPods not being an option, HDD video players (like Archoses) being too bulky and Zunes not being available in Europe, this left me waiting for the capacity of flash memory to increase. It looks like the wait is about to be over.

Tams on January 23, 2009 11:57 AM

With amounts of storage so large, maybe internal memory could be lowered, hence reducing the physical size it takes up. As batteries don’t seem to be increasing in capacity quickly, this freed up space could be taken up by a larger battery, which would surely easily be able to cope with the power requirements of the cards. Also, maybe this will force Apple to start putting memory card slots into their products!

J on January 25, 2009 11:41 PM

soon as it tops 160gb, i’m ditching the hdd in my netbook.

stolennomenclature on February 5, 2009 8:30 PM

Don’t suppose this will go down well with mp3 player manufacturers. Very few of them support plug in cards now, and those that do have internal flash. Without internal flash, player prices will crash and so will profit margins. It will also tend to slow the upgrade gravy train, because people wont upgrade to a new player with more storage. Only the manufacturers who make money from flash (like Sandisk) are going to like this.

james braselton on April 2, 2009 3:49 PM

HI THERE WILL NO SD CARDS WONT WORK IN THE PSP REMEMBER ITS FOR NINTENDO WII AND THE NEW NINTENDO DSI IN FACT AFFTER THEY GO THROUGH THE SDXC CARDS AT 2 TB TERABYTES THEN THE NEXT THING IS A BLACK HOLE SD CARD WITH NO DATA LIMIT INFINT DATA

Geoff on May 14, 2009 2:13 PM

Your chart is off, if you’re counting SD variants as one chunk, MMC is an SD variant, it’s SD stripped of the “secure” part.

Lozo on December 29, 2009 1:00 PM

i dont understand why it seems so many of you think the 2tb is coming out so soon..the 32gb micro isnt even released yet and the 64gb sdxc from panasonic is still being worked on…they wont work on sdxc right away because they still wanna milk the sdhc’s as much as possible before having to redesign a whole different product line of devices that are sdxc compliant. even if they release a 64gb in 2010 and a 128gb in 2011 and so on and so forth…dont expect the 2tb limit til at least 2015….AND by then who knows how far ssd’s will have gone. we’ll already be using USB3 and sata3….it seems too many people forget how fast the whole computer world evolves..im only 22 and i remember when dual 5.25 drives were overkill…these sdxc’s will grow consistently with everything else..we’re just stuck waiting

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