The crowded SDHC market just got a little more cramped with the introduction of three new SD card series by Sony, all of which the company touts for their environmentally-friendly eco packaging. In addition, each new card comes with a memo space for handwritten titles and other notes, Sony says.
Sitting at the top of the heap is Sony's new Expert Series. These Class 10 SDHC cards come in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities and offer up to 22MB/s transfers.
Down below is the Value-added Experience Series rated at Class 4. These boast up to 15MB/s and are available in 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities.
Finally, there's the Entry-level Essential Series, also a Class 4 card, but only available in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB capacities. Other than the added capacity options, all that separates the Value-added Experience from the Entry-level Essential is that Sony offers its File Rescue HD software as a free download to owners of the former (as well as owners of the Expert Series).
The new cards will ship in January, 2011, for an as-yet undetermined price.
Market research firm Nielsen put together some interesting, if not slightly disparaging, figures on the state of high definition programming. Here's the deal. The majority of U.S. households -- 56 percent -- own an HD television, which is "one of the most quickly adopted consumer entertainment technologies of the past 20 years." But even though the hardware is in place, standard definition programming still rules.
"Only 13 percent of total day viewing on cable and 19 percent of viewing on broadcast television is 'true HD' viewing, which requires an HD television and HD tuner that are tuned to an HD channel," Nielsen said. "In other words, despite the billions of dollars that Americans have spent buying high definition TVs, more than 80 percent of television viewing is still a standard definition experience."
Nielsen identifies a few different reasons for the disparity. First, some 44 percent of homes either don't own an HD set or subscribe to HD service. Secondly, most homes have at least one non-HD TV, of which about one-third of programming is viewed. And finally, that swank HD set in your living room still views non-HD programming about 20 percent of the time.
Peering into its crystal ball, Nielsen says HD viewing will continue to increase as kids and teens get HD sets in their rooms and as cable and satellite providers switch HD channels for SD where available.
Samsung is reportedly prepping memory cards based on the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) standard for launch in the first half of 2011. According to Digitimes, the Korean electronics major is working closely with fellow members of the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, including Nokia and Texas Instruments, on standardization efforts for the next-generation spec expected to supplant current flash memory card formats. The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association is scheduled to publish the UFS specification before the end of this year. The first crop of UFS cards will boast data transfer rates of up to 300Mbps.
SD memory cards are the format of choice for mobile devices, but as megapixels continue to rise and HD video recording becomes the norm, flash memory speeds will become an increasingly important bottleneck. SDHC cards are cutting it for now, but according to CNET the SD Card association isn’t resting on its laurels and is hard at work on the next generation of flash designs.
Modern high-speed SD cards have data-transfer buses with a maximum theoretical speed of about 104MB per second, but in reality most cards are yielding speeds much slower than this. The new standard called SD 4.0 will increase the theoretical maximum speed to 300MB per second, and the association believes this will give them the headroom they need to build faster cards. The higher speeds are accomplished by adding an additional set of pins to the bottom face of the card, but the dimensions and backwards compatibility will be maintained.
The specification is expected to be completed by Q1 2011 meaning we could see products with the new standard by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
Sans Digital has just launched its EliteSTOR ES424X6+B, a 4U 24-bay JBOD storage rackmount with 6Gbps SAS and SATA hard drive support.
"6G storage is the latest invocation of the storage technology that improves the performance instantly," said Stanley Chan, Director of Business Development of Sans Digital. "The ES424X6+B proves itself as the most viable choice between value and performance with the 6G performance for only $3899."
Up to 5 enclosures can be daisy-chained together for a total of 240TB of storage. Other notable features include:
Performance can reach over 1700MB/s read and 1500MB/s write speeds (tested with LSI9280-8E)
Standard redundant power supply
All hardware included (mini-SAS cable, cooling fan, tray modules, and built-in mounting rail)
Support for a wide range or RAID adapters
Sans Digital is now taking pre-orders and said units will begin shipping in June.
We've seen some third-party USB makers toy with adding movies to USB sticks -- PNY being the first by adding Ghostbusters to a 2GB USB thumb drive -- and now Disney is looking to do the same thing, only with microSD cards.
According to news site TGDaily, Panasonic and Disney have inked a deal to distribute Disney movies on microSD cards, the first of which will be the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy this November. Looking longer term, Disney plans to release future titles on DVD and microSD at the same time.
Buyers will be able to view the movies on car navigation systems, mobile phones, and other portable media players with a microSD card slot, as well as some existing Panasonic TV sets that come with card readers already built in.
There are a couple of caveats, however. First, the card/movie bundles will only be available in Japan, at least initially. And secondly, the $53 price tag and included copy protection may scare off some potential customers.
You’ve got a digital camera, you’ve got a cell phone, and along with these you’ve probably got a few SD cards laying around that you just don’t use anymore. It looks like someone at LaCie had the very same issue, and decided to turn them into an extremely easy to use flash drive.
The LaCie DataShare is compatible with all SD and MicroSD cards currently on the market (SD/SDHC/Class 1 to 6), and comes with two separate sides, that let you discern your private data from your public data.
If this looks like something you could make use out of, be sure to check it out on LaCie’s site here, where it’s currently on sale for $9.99.
Toshiba had last year chosen its Qosmio range of notebooks to lift the curtain on its SpursEngine chip, which is a co-processor based on the Cell Broadband Engine found in the PS3. SpursEngine-powered Qosmios are capable of some impressive graphical feats like real-time graphics processing and video upscaling (SD to HD).
Toshiba’s new Qosmio laptops, which bear the might of its quad-core SpursEngine chip, will arrive in Japanese stores on Friday with the promise of enhancing internet video. Two previous iterations of the Qosmio used the immense power of the SpursEngine at their disposal to upscale DVD video, but left streaming video untouched.
The SD Association recently announced a new card spec called SDXC (short for extended capacity) that will be able to support up to 2TB of memory with read/write speeds of 104MB/second.
If what they say is true, then that means that one of these SD cards will be able to store 100 high-def movies, 60 hours of HD recording or 17,000 high-resolution photos on a portable device.
Keeping in mind that this is still simply a spec, not an actual product, it’s feasible that we’ll see products based off of this as early as next year. And with memory of this capacity in such a small package, it’s possible that this could help the industry as a whole.
If you're a Compact Flash user, life's not been fair to you lately. You've seen CF stalwarts like Nikon and Canon turn their backs on this longtime favorite in favor of the new kid on the block, SDHC, in their newest DSLRs. Buy a new camera, and you make your collection of CF cards obsolete. Meanwhile, you've watched SDHC and its kid brother, SD, dominate the deals in your favorite big-box electronics superstores' weekly tabloids. And, just to add a cherry on the top of your cake of frustration, you've been thinking about how cool it would be to use wireless file transfer with Eye-Fi cards, but Eye-Fi is also in the tank for SD. Oh, and did I mention that "Compact" Flash is now the bulkiest flash memory format?
For all these reasons, Synchrotech's introduction of the CFMulti CompactFlash Type II to Eye-Fi + Multi-Card Adapter has come at a very good time. While CF adapters for SD cards have been around for awhile, the CFMulti also supports newer flavors such as SDHC and MMC+ as well as SD and any old MultiMediaCards (MMC) you have floating around. Plus, it's the first adapter to support Eye-Fi cards, albeit with a reduction in range. See the CFMulti and Eye-Fi FAQ for details and a list of tested cameras.
For more thoughts on the advantages of adding CFMulti to your gadget bag, and your chance to comment, join us after the jump.