DPNow news comment: Although long expected and actually mentioned during the Panasonic DMC-L1 DSLR launch at PMA last month, Panasonic has issued official confirmation of the development of a second-generation SD High Capacity (SDHC) card that breaks the current 2GB SD card capacity limit. The bad news is that few existing SD card slot equipped products will be SDHC compatible.
Panasonic's SDRS100 SD camcorder is one of a very few current products that will be able to work with SDHC cards when they become available but only after a firmware upgrade.
Back in 1999, when Toshiba, Panasonic and SanDisk collectively launched the Secure Digital (SD) card standard, we were agog at the idea of 128MB capacity cards that culd be so small and many people were sceptical that the proposed SD roadmap could ever reach its theoretical 2GB horizon, but here we are now knocking on the door of 4GB and over capacities and we're told the new SDHC standard will extend to 32GB!
The hiccup in all this is the realisation that SD, as we know it, is limited to 2GB. Larger capacity SDHC cards won't work with the vast majority of existing SD-compatible products and even the few that will work with SDHC cards will require some kind of firmware upgrade. However, SDHC slots wil take older SD cards.
Release Issued by Panasonic:
Panasonic is Developing 4 GB SDHC Memory Card - Based on New SD Memory Card Specification Matsushita
Panasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is best known, today announced that it is developing a 4 GB SDHC [SD High-Capacity] Memory Card based on the new SD Specifications Version 2.00. The new specifications were established to meet the growing demand for HD (High Definition] video and high-resolution image recording used in many SD enabled Labeldeslgriis devices. The 4 GB SDHC Memory Card is scheduled for global subject to change. release in the summer of 2006.
Since its introduction in the year 2000, the SD Memory Card has been accepted by a wide range of digital devices, backed by its four main advantages - compact size, high data storage capacity, fast data transfer speed and advanced copyright protection features. The demand for higher-capacity SD Memory Cards still continues to grow due to the widespread use of high-resolution digital cameras and semiconductor audio and video players. Reacting to remarkable growth in the market for such devices, the SD Card Association released SD Specifications Version 2.00 for the capacity beyond 2 GB.
With the new specifications, now it became possible to develop SDHC Memory Card with capacities up to 32 GB. In addition, the new Specifications Version 2.00 specified to guarantee the minimum sustained data transfer speeds by establishing card performance classes [Class 2: 2 MBIs; Class 4: 4 MBIs; Class 6: 6 MBIsl for recording the streaming MPEG data. The previous versions of the specification did not provide such common standards for sustained data transfer speeds to be shared by all manufacturers. The new approach allows users to select card performance based on the needs of particular applications such as HD video and other MPEG applications with high data storage capacities. The new specifications continue to offer highly reliable copyright protection function, one of the SD Memory Card's most distinguishing features making it an ideal solution for digital content distribution.
Panasonic remains committed to playing a leading role in the development of both SD enabled devices and SD Memory Card. Panasonic is planning to increase the storage capacities of its SDHC Memory Card as host devices complying with the new specification come to the market.
Panasonic SD Memory Cards
Since introducing the industry's first SD Memory Card in year 2000 [with Physical Layer Specification Ver. 1.001, Panasonic has driven growth in the industry by continuously expanding the SD Memory Card product lineup. The lineup includes the industry's first 256 MB and 512 MB SD Memory Cards in 2002, and the PRO HlGH SPEED series of SD Memory Cards with a maximum data transfer speed of up to 20 MB/s in 2004 (based on Physical Layer Specification Ver. 1 . I 01.
In addition to the PRO HlGH SPEED series I512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GBI, the SUPER HlGH SPEED series SD Memory Card (256 MBI delivers a maximum data transfer speed of up to 10 MB/s. The HlGH SPEED series of SD Memory Cards delivers a maximum data transfer speed of up to 2 MB/s (128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MBI and of up to 5 MB/s [I GB, 2 GBI. Also the miniSDTMc ards range from 128 MB to 1 GB. The company's extensive product Line reflects its commitment to meeting consumer needs.
Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita ELectric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of US$81.44 billion for the year ended March 31, 2005. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York INYSE:MCI, Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at: www.panasonic.net.