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SD Express Delivers New Gigabyte Speeds for SD Memory Cards

All SD Express Card Images highres

As camera technology improves, the media that we use to record and transfer the data also follows suit.

The SD Association announced the SD 8.0 Specification for SD Express memory cards receives even faster transfer speeds by using the popular PCI Express® (PCIe®) 4.0 specification delivering a maximum of nearly 4 gigabytes per second (GB/s) data transfer rate.

These full-sized cards continue to use the NVMe Express™ (NVMe™) upper layer protocol enabling advanced memory access mechanism. As always SD Express memory cards using SD 8.0 specification maintain backward compatibility.

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The new specification will mean up to 128TB (exFAT) of storage on a single card using blazing-fast PCIe Gen. 4×2 NVMe based storage.

“SD Express’ use of even faster PCIe and NVMe architectures to deliver faster transfer speeds creates more opportunities for devices to use SD memory cards,” said Mats Larsson, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource. “This combination of trusted and well-known technologies makes it easier for future product designs to leverage the benefits of removable storage in new ways.”

SD Express gigabyte speeds bring new storage opportunities for devices with demanding performance levels, across a variety of industries. The cards can move large amounts of data generated by data-intense wireless or wired communication, super-slow motion video, RAW continuous burst mode and 8K video capture and playback, 360 degree cameras/videos, speed hungry applications running on cards and mobile computing devices, ever evolving gaming systems, multi-channel IoT devices and automotive to name a few. SD Express will be offered on SDHC, SDXC and SDUC memory cards.

SD Express uses the well-known PCIe 4.0 specification and the latest NVMe specification (up to version 1.4) defined by PCI-SIG and NVM Express, respectively.

SD 8.0 specification provides two transfer speed options for SD Express memory cards. The two transfer speeds are accomplished by supporting either PCIe 3.0 x2 or PCIe 4.0 x1 architectures with up to ~2GB/s and with PCIe 4.0 x2 technology with up to 4GB/s. SD Express cards offering PCIe 4.0 x1 architecture use the same form factor as defined for SD 7.0 specification cards with a second row of pins to deliver transfer speeds up to 2 GB/s. SD Express cards supporting dual PCIe lanes (PCIe 3.0 x2 or PCIe 4.0 x2 technologies) have three rows of pins.

SD Express Pin Layout for Single or Dual Lane Technology

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