SAN RAMON, Calif. — This week, the SD Association, a global group of companies that sets industry-leading memory card standards, announced Ultra High Speed (UHS) Speed Class 3 (U3), a new high-performance option and symbol to record 4K2K television and video. The new standard will operate on SDXC UHS-1 and UHS-11 as well as SDHC UHS-1 and UHS-11 memory cards and devices. It defines a 30 MB/s minimum write speed that supports digital single lens reflex (D-SLR), digital single lens mirrorless (D-SLM), camcorders, and video cameras.
Table: Speed Class and Form Factors for SD Cards (courtesy SD Association).
The UHS-I and UHS-II symbols indicate bus interface for data transfer (see Table). UHS Speed Class symbols, such as U1 and U3, indicate minimum write speeds for real-time video recording. For instance, U1 denotes a 10 MB/s minimum write speed, and U3 denotes 30 MB/s minimum write speed.
4K video has horizontal resolution of 4,000 pixels and is known as ultra high definition TV (UHDTV) and/or is used in digital cinematography. 2K video is also known as HDTV and has 1080 pixels vertical resolution. So why now? How big a market is 4K2K video? Kevin Schader, director of communications for the SD Association, reports that they are seeing more TV manufacturers offering 4K UHDTV.
Schader says, "Consumers with these state-of-the-art televisions will want to record and play video at the same quality level. In some countries, consumers are able to record video broadcasts onto SD memory cards, plus, we expect to see a push towards more video cameras, smart phones and other devices that will want to offer this new 4K video capability."
The UHS Speed Class 3 standard was just released to association members this month. Typically, new products start hitting the market within a year of the specification introduction. The association expects the new cards to have the same benefits in terms of portability and service life of previous cards. Prior to releasing the spec, Schader says the association performed “extensive testing” to ensure this, and tested the minimum recording speed to confirm the quality of video recording and playback.
More resources at the SD Association's website and its FAQ page for consumers.
— Janine Love , UBM Tech