No 1 GB SD Cards Until Fall

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Panasonic said in October that it planned to release a 1 GB SD card in Fall of 2003. At the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) International Trade Show that just wrapped up in Las Vegas, many were hoping that Panasonic would move up the release date for these or another company would announce a gigabyte SD card that would be available earlier, but it wasn’t to be.

This has to be worrying to the members of the SD Card Association as the format is starting to slip behind its competition. At the PMA show this year, Lexar announced 2 GB and 4 GB CompactFlash cards and Sony announced a 1 GB Memory Stick PRO.

If some company has plans to announce an SD card larger than 512 MB then it hasn’t told the SD Association about it. A press release from the SDA specifically mentions that the first 1 GB SD card will be out this fall. Panasonic says it plans to release a 2 GB SD card in 2004 and eventually work its way up to 16 GB cards.

The good news about the upcoming Panasonic card is it will be able to transfer data at up to 20 MB per second. The Lexar 2 GB and 4 GB CompactFlash cards are capable of a minimum sustained read and write speed of 4.8 MB per second.

While many Pocket PC users can use CompactFlash memory cards, not all PPC models have both CompactFlash and SD slots, like the popular iPAQ h1910. Also, many use other peripherals in the CompactFlash slot, like Wi-Fi cards. Also, many models from Palm have only SD slots.

In 2002, SD had 20% of the retail market, according to NPD. IDC predicts that demand for SD will be more than twice that of any other format by 2006.

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