Panasonic Jumps on the SDHC Bandwagon

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Earlier this year, the SD Card Association (SDA) took the wraps a new, high-capacity SD Memory Card format, to be called SDHC. Now Panasonic has announced plans to introduce a 4 GB card using this new format.

Although physically this card will be virtually identical to current SD cards, but Panasonic warns that it will be usable only in devices that support the SDHC format. It will not be usable in other, non-SDHC devices. Conventional SD cards, however, can be used in all SDHC devices.

Panasonic says its 4 GB SDHC card will be available in August, but it declined to reveal the price.

Why a New Format?

The primary goal of the new SDHC Memory Card format is to expand SD card capacity beyond 2 GB.

Although there are already 4 GB SD cards on the market, in order to reach these capacities they have to be formatted with FAT32, which is not part of the SD specification. Therefore many consumer electronic devices can not read these cards, as they support only FAT16.

The new SDHC specification will also guarantee a minimum SD Speed Class Rating, which for video products is equivalent to MPEG-2 video.

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