Lexar, known for its flash memory products, just announced that it is actively working on a new SD Express card, a new format that’s three times faster than current UHS-II cards. It’s also developing a microSD equivalent for smaller devices.
The cards will use the PCI Express 4.0 specification, which is capable of lightning-fast transfer rates approaching four gigabytes per second. The new standard has a maximum theoretical read speed up to 985MB per second. The SD Express cards will have an impressive 512GB capacity, while the microSD Express cards will have a 256GB limit.
With faster speeds and plenty of storage space, the cards are perfect for mirrorless cameras and anyone wanting to shoot continuous raw bursts, 4K or 8K video, and 360-degree footage. The faster standard will better support more demanding usage and won’t bog down users with buffering limitations.
Though we won’t see the new cards until 2022, they’ll already be in competition with the next-gen CFexpress cards (developed by the Compact Flash organization). These are currently in use by higher-end photographers and cameras. However, SD cards of all iterations have a more widespread distribution across other types of devices—like smartphones and laptops—and peripherals.
The new SD Express cards are likely to be quite expensive, though. That might encourage users to stick to just using multiple standard and less costly (albeit slower) SD cards in the meantime.