June 13, 2011

UHS-I SD cards give 3x transfer speed

Sonnet Technologies and Panasonic have introduced higher-speed SD card technology conforming to the new UHS-I standard, that promises to greatly reduce file transfer times from camera to post.

Today, a class 10 SDHC card can record and transfer files at up-to 30MBps, but this is set to at least triple with UHS-I, which allows speeds in excess of 90MBps – although as ever, real-world performance may be hampered by the overheads of USB protocols or other sluggishness….

Panasonic's new SDHC UHS-I memory cards are designed for professional use, combining high speed with reliability and durability. The cards incorporate a controller to protect data from sudden power failure, a refresh function to extend the archival life by more than ten times, and smart data writing to minimize the risk of defects caused by intensive writing.

They are also equipped with something called Proof 5 to withstand severe conditions (water repellent, shock, magnet and X-ray resistant, and capable of working in temperatures between -25ºC to 85ºC). The new 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions will be available from the distributor, Holdan, from the end of June.

Panasonic will also release a USB 3.0 Reader/Writer for SD cards, to make the most of the high-speed data transfer performance of the UHS-I compliant cards. The catchily-named BN-SDCMAB has two card slots, for full size SD and microSD cards. It will also be available end of June 2011.

Sonnet Technologies will also support UHS-1. Its new SDXC UHS-I Pro Reader/Writer is an ExpressCard/34 unity, which fits into any MacBook Pro or Windows notebook computer that has an ExpressCard/34 slot.

Using the 2.5Gbps (more than 300MBps) PCI Express interface should allow it get maximum performance from the card. The adapter is available from Holdan.

"Whether crews are using one or multiple cameras, a fast turn-around from production to post is essential. UHS-I will make a real difference - the speed increases are very impressive indeed," said Jill Keane, product specialist with Holdan.

Related post: Lexar USB 3 CF + SD card reader

By David Fox

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