Toshiba to Launch Ultra-High-Speed SD Card Series

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-08-24 Print this article Print

The second-largest supplier of flash memory says it will raise the performance bar this fall with ultra-fast cards for high-definition audio and video.

Toshiba revealed on Aug. 24 that it will launch two new series of secure digital, or SD, flash memory cards this fall that offer super-fast data transfer rates and read-write performance. The so-called Toshiba "high-speed series" will offer a maximum data transfer rate of 5MB per second, while the "ultra-high-speed series" will push transfer rates to as high as 20MB per second—double the rate of any other Toshiba-brand SD card. Both series will be rolled out first in Japan in October, then globally in November, a Toshiba spokesperson said.
Flash memory products are used for general solid-state storage, image file storage and audio for solid-state disk drives, digital cameras, audio appliances, set-top boxes and industrial storage.
Expect to see flash-based laptops, or "flashtops," in 2007. Click here to read more. Last May, the SD Card Association—comprising several hundred companies globally that govern technical and specification standards for SD Memory Card applications—introduced the SD Speed Class, defining three minimum data transfer rates for next-generation SD cards:
  • Class 2 supports a minimum data transfer rate of 2MB per second;
  • Class 4 supports 4MB per second; and
  • Class 6 supports 6MB per second.
Toshiba is the first vendor to announce the launch of Class 6 products. The high-speed series Speed Class 4 SD Cards and ultra-high-speed series Speed Class 6 SD Cards will both be made available in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB capacities. The SD Speed Class will be clearly stated on the card and its packaging, allowing users to select the card that makers specify for use with their digital products. Applications will include video recording with high-performance digital cameras, the spokesperson said. Toshiba expects Speed Class to become an integral part of all SD card specifications. Classifying standards for transfer rates will also ensure that SD Card specs continue to evolve to meet new market demands, such as high-speed capacity storage in support of digital video, the spokesperson said. Toshiba said it intends to gradually transition its previous SD Card production to the new cards. "The speed class is important to maximize performance for demanding applications and help the consumer choose the right card for their camera or camcorder," said Brian Kumagai, business development manager for NAND Flash for Irvine, Calif.-based Toshiba America Electronic Components. TAECs parent company, Toshiba Corp., is headquartered in Tokyo. The new SD memory card series will be exhibited at IFA 2006, the worlds largest consumer electronics trade fair, which will be held in Berlin Sept. 1-5. The original SD memory card was jointly developed in 1999 by Toshiba, SanDisk and Matsushita Electric Industrial (best known for its Panasonic brand-name products). SD memory cards have been widely adopted worldwide. Toshiba has shipped more than 200 million memory cards and is currently the worlds second-largest supplier of NAND Flash memory, behind Samsung. The Toshiba SD Memory Card product line includes standard SD memory cards, as well as miniSD, microSD and SDHC cards. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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