The SD Association has announced the SD 8.0 specification for SD Express memory cards. The new specification hits almost 4 gigabytes per second (GB/s) data transfer rate (3938 megabytes per second). The standard continues using the NVMe Express protocol but uses a dual-lane PCIe 4.0 interface.
According to the association, the new specification will help move large files created during heavy workflows including but not limited to “data-intense wireless or wired communication, super-slow-motion video, RAW continuous burst mode, 8K video capture & playback, and 360-degree images or videos.”
The new SD 8.0 specification offers two transfer speed options – PCIe 3.0 x2 / PCIe 4.0 x1 and PCIe 4.0 x2. The former offers up to ~2GB/s while the latter touches the glorious 4GB/s mark. SD Association makes it clear that SD Express cards with PCIe 4.0 x2 architecture will come with the same form factor as SD 7.0 specification cards with two rows of pins. Meanwhile, SD Express cards offering dual PCIe lanes (PCIe 3.0 x2 or PCIe 4.0 x2) will feature three rows of pins.
SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC memory cards will support the new SD Express specification. That said, it will take some time for us to see SD Express cards with SD 8.0 specification in action. There’s a further delay for gadgets to support cards coming with this new specification as well.
Announcing the new SD 8.0 specification, Hiroyuki Sakamoto, SDA president, said “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.”