Slots that support SDXC flash storage reaching devices

Canon includes SDXC slots in PowerShot A-series cameras, Toshiba to put slots in set-top boxes.

Slots that support faster SDXC flash storage cards are reaching consumer electronics devices, which could boost the performance of devices like camcorders and digital cameras, multiple companies said on Tuesday.

Canon on Tuesday announced PowerShot A-series cameras that will include SDXC slots, and Toshiba said that it would put SDXC slots in upcoming devices like set-top boxes in a few months. The announcements came ahead at the Consumer Electronics Show being held in Las Vegas.

SD cards are removable media that can be slotted into devices to store images, video or other data. SD cards are commonly used in cameras, smartphones, camcorders, navigation systems, gaming consoles and laptops. The miniSD and microSD formats based on existing SDHC specifications are the most common removable memory found in such devices.

SDXC promises to provide a faster bus speed than its predecessor in devices with slots that support it. When the technology is fully developed, devices will transfer data from an SDXC slot to the media at 104MB per second, quadrupling current speeds, said Kazunori Nakano, chief specialist at Toshiba's technology marketing group.

Canon said the newer SDXC slots will allow the PowerShot cameras to draw information from SD media more quickly, which should make it faster and easier to record images and videos. The improved performance should expand to other consumer electronics like mobile phones, Nakano said.

But the technology is still under development, said Nakano, who is also marketing co-chairman at the SD Card Association, the association that released the SDXC memory specifications. In tests, Toshiba is seeing SDXC read and write speeds of around 65MB per second, Nakano said.

The shipment of SDXC media will follow the slot implementations, Nakano said. Initial SDXC media will come with storage capacities of 64GB in the MiniSD and the smaller MicroSD formats, which could then rocket to 2TB as the technology develops. He couldn't say when SD media would ship.

Dummy SD cards were displayed by SD Card Association at CES in many different form factors, from the size of a postage stamp to the regular size of MiniSD cards. SDXC slots will be backward compatible with older forms of SD media.

More than 1,000 companies are members of the SD Card Association, with companies like Toshiba and Panasonic being the major backers. Last year Toshiba talked about putting SDXC slots in TVs, which would allow users to play movies directly from SD media. The company envisioned users going to movie-vending machines from where they can buy movies on SD cards.

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