Latest iteration of SD Express touts four times the speed of the original

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While SD cards may not be the first thing you think about when it comes to content creation, for budding photographers and videographers they can often make all the difference when it comes to storage. This is why content creators’ interest should be piqued by the latest iteration of SD Express card.

This is the SD 8.0 specification, with the SD Association revealing the new standard earlier this week.

There’s actually quite a bit at work here, but the most crucial element is the fact that the new SD Express card can deliver transfer speeds four times faster than the original specification did. More specifically up to 3 940MB/s, which gets fairly close to what an SSD can muster.

As the SD Association explains, this new card specification still works off of the NVMe Express protocol, with the key difference being an architecture that utilises a twin PCIe 4.0 lane setup to yield even greater bandwidth.

“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,” explains 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,” he adds.

What this means for content creators is that images can be taken at higher resolutions, such as RAW images in burst modes for example, as well as 8K video recording and 360-degree/VR video.

As for when you’ll be able to get your hands on the new SD Express card, no further detail has been provided. This offering is still in the specification stage, and manufacturers will need to design card readers capable of supporting the speeds on offer here.

When they do hit the market though, there could potentially be SD cards as large as 128TB thanks to this new architecture and its ability to support massive storage capacities.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.