Don't ever knock the SD Association for lagging behind. A scant seven months after the aforesaid entity revealed the UHS-I specifications, in flies the predicted successor at CES. UHS-II is a newfangled bus-interface system that promises high-def recording speeds of up to 312 megabytes per second, enabling pro shooters and videographers to actually consider an SDHC or SDXC-based camera rather than relying solely on CompactFlash or SSD. The protocol will be an integral part of the SD 4.00 specification that's going out to members later in the quarter, and naturally, it'll only be useful to SDXC and SDHC cards. We're looking at a 3x increase in transfer rates, and these same upticks will be gracing UHS-II microSDXC and microSDHC cards, too. Best of all, UHS-II cards will be fully backwards compatible with older devices and readers, as the speed increase simply relies on a new row of pins on a familiar form factor. In related news, a new eBook SD application has been announced, though the details surrounding it are murky at best. So far as we can tell, eBook SD cards will have their content pretty well contained, giving publishers the ability to rest easy while still getting content out to the myriad products that can understand SD. Peek the full release after the break.
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SD ASSOCIATION TRIPLES SPEEDS WITH UHS-II AND INTRODUCES NEW eBOOK SPECIFICATION

New pin design ratchets bus speeds up to 312 MB/s, eBook spec opens books, graphic novels to secure portability

LAS VEGAS – CES Booth South Hall 4 # 36226 – Jan. 5, 2011 – SD gives consumers data transfer speeds that exceed even the most demanding high-def recording needs today with an important leap in SD bus-interface speeds up to 312 Megabytes per second with its new UHS-II bus-interface specification. These extraordinary transfer speeds give manufacturers the flexibility to develop new features and markets for mobile phones and other consumer electronics strengthened by the world-leading memory card standard. The SD Association also announced today eBook, an application specification that gives eBook publishers access to billions of SD-equipped mobile phones and other portable devices.

"UHS-II increases SD performance and value and delivers immediate impact on manufacturer innovation and consumer creativity," said Norm Frentz, chairman of the SD Association. "We've tripled bus-interface speeds from last year's UHS-I development, and we plan to double UHS-II speeds in the future."

UHS-II: Available exclusively on SDXC and SDHC products
Fast and reliable, the new SD 4.00 specification available to members this quarter turns SD memory cards into high-performing storage systems and consumers' video and still cameras into professional-level equipment. Tripled bus-interface speeds give manufacturers more flexible design options, including low voltage and low power consumption, for large and small SD devices without compromising data transfer rates. Consumers will be able to increase the power and possibility of their mobile phone at home and work, recording high-definition video directly onto their UHS-II memory card and backing up data. Well-known SD benefits are heightened with UHS bus interface, providing faster continuous shooting speed for digital still cameras and higher resolution movie recordings in video cameras, including 3D HD. Since it is fully backwards compatible, devices supporting UHS bus interface will accept the billions of existing SD memory cards in the market today.

New high-speed interface signals are assigned on the second row of pins on UHS-II SDXC and SDHC memory cards. This new speed option will be available in full-size SDHC and SDXC memory cards and microSDHC and microSDXC form factors and does not change the physical size or shape of the cards.

Both UHS-I and UHS-II make the massive storage specified for SDHC and SDXC manageable and even more portable. Ultra High Speed was announced in June 2010 and UHS-I delivers top bus-interface speeds of 104 Megabytes per second. UHS bus interfaces are backwards compatible and are exclusive to SDXC and SDHC products. All UHS-equipped memory cards achieve greatest performance when paired with corresponding UHS devices. Both SDXC UHS-I and SDHC UHS-I products are already in retail outlets around the world.
eBook: Expanding functionality of mobile devices
"Our new eBook application brings the digital book niche to the global masses. It opens broad consumer access to eBook content and turns billions of existing SD mobile phones and devices into eReaders," Frentz said. "SD continues to evolve its capabilities to support voracious consumer demand for portable movies, television broadcasts, high-definition home videos and now full-color books."

The eBook application increases the value of SD-slotted mobile phones and other display devices. Publishers and readers alike will benefit from full-color, illustration-intensive books like graphic novels available as pre-loaded and portable content. The application lets consumers create an expandable digital library and view content on other SD devices. It also opens new and secure opportunities for content publishers who are currently limited by downloaded content restricted for use only on specific devices. SD application specifications are designed so SD memory cards can be used in all SD devices.

The Association has two videos showing optimized uses for the variety of SD memory cards available today at www.sdcard.org/videos. It also offers an online resource, www.sdcard.org/cardchoice, for users to explore the variety of SD memory cards types for new and existing devices.

SD Association
The SD Association is a global ecosystem of more than 1,000 technology companies charged with setting interoperable SD standards. The association encourages the development of consumer electronic, wireless communication, digital imaging and networking products that utilize market-leading SD technology. The SD standard is the number one choice for consumers and has earned more than 80 percent of the memory card market with its reliable interoperability and its easy-to-use format. Today, mobile phones, Blu-ray players, HDTVs, audio players, automotive multimedia systems, handheld PCs, digital cameras and digital video cameras feature SD interoperability. For more information about SDA or to join, please visit the association's web site, www.sdcard.org.

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SD Association triples SDHC and SDXC speeds with UHS-II standard, adds secure eBook specification