Toshiba to sell world's fastest SD cards this year

The electronics manufacturer said it will offer a 32GB SD card that allows data writes at up to 240MB/s and reads at up 260MB/s.

By Jay Alabaster, IDG News Service |  Hardware

Toshiba will soon launch the world's fastest SD cards, which will offer write speeds of up to 240MB/s.

The Japanese electronics giant said Tuesday that its new Exceria Pro memory card will be aimed at power users such as photographers and have the speed to allow high-resolution photos to be snapped and saved continuously. The cards will have read speeds of up to 260MB/s and will come in 16GB and 32GB sizes.

The company aims to have the cards on the market from October. It didn't release prices, but Japanese media reports said the 64GB version will cost around ¥25,000 (US$250) domestically, with the smaller-sized card priced at around ¥15,000.

Flash storage makers like Toshiba are eager to differentiate themselves from the competition as NAND flash prices fall steadily over time. SD flash cards with 64GB of memory that support slower standards now sell for as little as ¥3,500 online.

Toshiba said its latest memory is the first to use a controller that is compliant with the UHS-II (Ultra High Speed) specification, which theoretically offers speeds up to 312 MB/s. The specification was first announced by the SD Association in January 2011, at the annual CES Electronics show in Las Vegas.

Toshiba is the world's second-largest maker of NAND flash behind Korean Samsung in terms of revenue. In the first quarter of this year, Samsung had a 37 percent market share and Toshiba a 29 percent share of the total NAND flash market, which was about US$5.2 billion.

The company also said it will launch a pair of SD memory cards based on the same specification but slower and with more storage. Those will offer write speeds of up to 120 MB/s and read speeds up to 260MB/s, in 32GB and 64GB versions. The larger size will sell for about ¥35,000.

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