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The SD Association has just announced a new SD 8.0 specification for SD Express memory cards, that will allow the cards to transfer data at a rate of nearly four gigabytes per second – which is four times faster than the original spec. This new specification continues to use the NVMe Express protocol, whilst also taking advantage of the popular PCI Express 4.0 specification, both of which are commonly found in SSD drives. The faster transfer rate could prove to be useful as new technologies, like 8K video, create even larger files, which sequentially require faster throughput if you want to transfer data quickly – a boon for professional photographers.

The new specification brings new storage opportunities across many device categories, says the SD Association. It will ultimately be helpful for pro photographers wanting to shoot at very high resolutions or needing to capture numerous photos in burst mode. Alongside this, the SD Association also anticipates the new spec to help with 8K and 360-degree video, as well as speed-hungry apps running on mobile devices and ever-evolving gaming consoles. 

8.0 Specification 

According to the SD Association, the 8.0 specification specifically allows for transfer speeds of up to 3,938 megabytes per second. This signifies a major jump from the maximum transfer speeds of 985 megabytes found in cards built to the SD 7.0 and SD7.1 specs. The new SD Express card spec will be available on SDHC, SDXC, and up to SDUC, meaning you could theoretically buy a 128TB SDUC card in the future. 

“By dramatically increasing the speeds for SD Express we’re giving device manufacturers and system developers more storage choices. SD 8.0 may open even more opportunities for extra high-performance solutions using removable memory cards,” said Hiroyuki Sakamoto, president of the SD Association.

Pin layouts of SD Express memory cards using single or dual lane technology:

SD Express Dual Lane Technology

Photo: SD Association

When will it be available?

Unfortunately, you will have to be patient before you can get your hands on this new spec. Although it was announced yesterday, it doesn’t mean you can pick up a new card with the new specification just yet, as industry experts say these things take time for manufacturers to create cards and readers which can handle the extra speed. Keep an eye on MyMemory as we will be announcing when the next version of SD Express becomes available. 

Head to our website now to find the best SD Cards to support your devices. 
Anya Beuzeval

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