The group responsible for the SD memory card specification is working on a revision which would nearly triple the speed of SD cards.
The SD Card Association is looking to complete the specification by the first quarter of 2011, according to a CNET interview with with a representative at the IFA 2010 trade show in Berlin. The new SD 4.0 interface standard will up speeds to 300MB/s over the current 104MB/s maximum.
The speed boost relates to the maximum rated transfer speed of the SD interface itself but there's no guarantee that cards will be available immediately to offer these speeds since transfer limations of Flash memory still apply. However this area has continued to advance during the lifetime of the SD card standard so that an upgraded interface is now deemed necessary.
A representative mooted a possible new name for the standard of UHS-II, or Ultra High-Speed bus II. The new cards would be backwards compatible with older devices but naturally provide the speed boost to newer equipment which is SD 4.0 compatible.
At IFA 2010 Toshiba had unveiled the fastest SD cards yet with read speeds a hair's breadth from the maximum interface speed of the current standard. Transfer rates are important for high bandwidth applications such as HD video but increasingly devices are using them as primary storage devices for operating systems such as smartphones.
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