Toshiba is planning to launch a new series of SD memory cards that boast the world's fastest data write speed. It's an innovation that should make professional photographers and graphic designers (and eventually all consumers) smile.
The latest editions to Toshiba's line-up of Exceria memory cards, the Exceria Pro 1 and Exceria 1, will make their debut in major markets in October. Japan will see the first roll out.
While digital cameras have made huge strides in image quality and versatility, users have long wanted to see improvements in data transfer rates and write times, so they can take bursts of photographs in quick succession. The demand keeps growing as high performance digital single-lens reflex cameras and mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras move into the mainstream.
Room to Grow
Exceria cards will be available in two series: The Exceria Pro series will offer photographers a data write speed of 240MB per second. That is indeed the world's fastest. The Exceria series will write at 120MB per second. Both SSD cards pave the way for digital camera users to shoot still images continuously at high speed.
The cards are the first in the Exceria line-up to integrate a newly developed controller compliant with UHS-II, the ultra high-speed serial bus interface defined in SD Memory Card Standard Ver. 4.10. And they achieve significantly higher data transfer speeds than earlier UHS-I compliant cards.
This gives Toshiba room to meet growing demands as further advances in higher resolution image recording start fueling demand for transfers of data-rich images at high speed.
Pushing the Envelope
We asked Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, for his thoughts on what appears to be a breakthrough on the SSD front. He told us although camera manufacturers have found workarounds to the need for rapid fire shooting, a faster SSD card better fills the bill.
"If you are taking photographs of an athlete in motion, it's been difficult to take more than one picture every quarter second. In the case of an athletic performance, the moment can be over in half a second" King said. "This Toshiba card should help photographers take more pictures more quickly."
Of course, the breakthrough comes at a premium. King expects the new Toshiba cards to sell for a "significant" premium over standard cards, anywhere from five to 10 times as much. With that in mind, it's likely that the professional market will be the first to adopt the SSD cards.
"This technology will find its way down into point-and-shoot cameras over time," King said. "This is the kind of dynamic we've seen in IT many times before. The leading edge vendor pushes the envelope significantly and over time their technology becomes a standard rather than the exception."