The SD Association is celebrating ten years this year and it used Europe's largest consumer electronics show – IFA – to announce a new, dual-row pin memory card design with data transfer speeds of up to 300 megabytes per second for SDXC and SDHC devices and memory cards. It is fully backwards compatible, allowing equipped devices full use of any SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards and will be part of the forthcoming SD 4.0 specification, expected in early 2011.

The jump in data transfer speed will come courtesy of a new, dual-row pin memory design that sees the new high speed interface signals assigned on the second row of pins of select SDXC and SDHC memory cards. Not only does this provide a speed boost, it also allows compatible devices to be fully backwards compatible with existing SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. The dual-row pin design will be available in both full-size and micro form factors.

At IFA, the SD Association also provided a shorter term look into the future. In June, it announced that a new Ultra High Speed (UHS) symbol would start appearing on SDXC and SDHC products that support data transfer speeds of up to 104 MB per second (quadrupling the existing maximum possible speed of 25 MB per second), while new UHS Speed Class symbols would be used to designate SD memory cards and products designed to support real-time video recording. At IFA, the Association displayed a few products featuring these new UHS-I and UHS Speed Class high-speed capabilities, which should start appearing in stores soon.

With the 4.0 specification not due until early next year, we’ll have to wait a little longer for the 300 MB/second cards and products that support them.

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