Matsushita Announces Bigger, Faster SD Cards

Matsushita has announced that it will soon be releasing 256 MB and 512 MB secure digital (SD) memory cards. The 256 MB version is expected to hit the market on December 21 while the 512 MB one is scheduled to be available on January 21, 2002. It is not yet clear whether Matsushita is planning to release them in Japan first and in the rest of the world later or if they plan a world-wide launch. Prices for either of these cards have not yet be announced.

These new cards boast a transfer speed up to five times faster than current cards. While current SD cards can transfer data at 2 MB/second, the new ones are capable of 10 MB/second for both read and write.

According to Matsushita, the largest one of these can hold up over 11 hours of MP3 files. Of course, this depends on the quality at which they were saved.

Beginning in October, the company plans to begin producing 700 thousand of these a month.

Matsushita and its American subsidiary Panasonic are engaged in a war with the rival Sony over flash memory. They are competing over who can make the largest capacities and both have cut their prices recently.

While Sony's Memory Sticks currently have a slight edge over Panasonic SD cards in price, Sony has not yet announced 256 MB or 512 MB Memory Sticks.

Not surprisingly, as larger cards get announced, smaller cards get phased out. Panasonic no longer lists 8 MB SD cards for sale on its site.

Thanks to Eugene Thoo for the tip. -Ed

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mikecane @ 10/1/2001 8:56:10 AM #
I wonder if Sony will announce fatter MSticks?

Matsu will benefit not just from Palm sales, but PPC sales too.

Hmmm... now where are all the SD peripherals?

RE: Wow
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 11:40:14 AM #
I think the current crop of memory sticks are fat enough. We don't need them any fatter. :-)


I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 8:57:36 AM #
Wow. The most gargantuan references for the Palm OS like the Merck Manual (2.5 megs) and ePocrates (1.5 megs) would fit on this card hundreds of times!

RE: Geez
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 9:14:52 AM #
This is sweet. Hopefully they don't cost more than the Palm you own though. Does anyone know if the Palm can access them at full speed?

RE: Geez
PFloyd @ 10/1/2001 10:52:52 AM #
There's some very specific information at I can't find it right now but it's there somewhere. There're very specific device requirements for supporting the higher speeds. I've never seen on Palm's web whether M50x's have those specifics or not. My hope is some hardware developer will chime in on this. (Sandisk does say in general that SD devices should be much faster than MMC in devices that support both.)

RE: Geez
Altema @ 10/1/2001 10:57:07 AM #
As far as apps are concerned, you could load an archive of every Palm app out there to the card and still have space left over. I'm not sure if a Palm would utilize the full speed with their current CPU speed, but I know they have no trouble using the extra speed of the current SD versus MMC. My wife's 16Mb card has about 5Mb free, and my 64Mb card has 22Mb free. I had an MMC card for a few minutes, but took it back without leaving the parking lot after running some speed tests. Concerning the space; we can always use the left over space for video :-) you would be able to fit just under 2 hours on a 256Mb card. That would be if the audio was uncompressed and the video set to very high quality using TealMovie, which seems to be one of the best at streaming directly from the card. I'd have to run some tests on the lower quality encoding. Better use USB when syncing though!

RE: Geez
GKreamer @ 10/1/2001 4:32:03 PM #
I think that this is great. I have a 65MB SD Card and I have to be selective in my databases because I am running out of space. I use TomeRaider and MSMount to peruse 12MB encyclopedia files, and other reference works. In addition, I have 12 different translations of the Holy Bible on my SD Card, using Palm BibleReader. Now, if only prices would come down more...

RE: Geez
GKreamer @ 10/1/2001 4:36:58 PM #
oops, I meant 64MB SD Card...

Copying from SD to SD

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 9:18:18 AM #
How do you transfer data from 1 SD card to another?

RE: Copying from SD to SD
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 9:39:15 AM #
you would use a cardreader and your pc/mac copying to and from your harddrive.

RE: Copying from SD to SD
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 2:51:32 PM #
Any other ways, since I don't have a card reader, and really don't want to buy one.

Yes put one under each of your bed pillows before you go to
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 8:44:41 PM #
bed at night. In the morning when you wake, the one on the left will be copied onto the one on the right.

Just what we need

sub_tex @ 10/1/2001 9:39:43 AM #
This is good news. The more that the fight between SD and MS goes on, the more we're likely to see better products as they try to outshine each other.

Faster speeds, more memory...

We've already seen price cuts. This is all good in my book.

faster speeds in the smaller sizes?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 10:01:13 AM #
I would be hard pressed to fill 256mb let alone 512 but the faster transfer speed appeals to me very much.

Anyone know if they make a 64 or 128 that sports this faster transfer rate?

Also, how does this compare to the Intel stuff we just read about. They have to do tricky things to get the speeds up faster, does the panasonic do this as well?
That aslo begs the question, if I got one of these new cards, would I see the difference in speed on my palm? Could my palm take advantage of this extra transfer speed?

RE: faster speeds in the smaller sizes?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 10:37:51 AM #
You know, I would have said the same thing about a 64MB card just 6 months ago. Now I've got a nearly full 64MB card and a full 16MB card (what was I thinking?).

When some Palm programs are pushing 500k, and you can get 14mb references (e.g., the IMDB in TomeRaider), it starts to fill up.

Right now, I can't imagine needing a 512 mb card, either, but I also remember thinking that an 80mb hard drive was outrageous.

RE: faster speeds in the smaller sizes?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 10:42:50 AM #
My first Hard Disk was 10Mb and I paid almost $500 for it. That was back in 1987 I think. Now you can buy a 40Gb for less than $150.

I can't wait for the 4Gb SD cards, then we can watch DVD quality movies on our Palms or dare I say it...PocketPC's.

Game Cube?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 10:43:47 AM #
I know Nintendo is releasing a card to slip 64MB SD cards into to work as memory cards, but will these 512MB cards work with it? If so, one memory card will do ya for life.

RE: Game Cube?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 10:51:56 AM #
If I had to take a guess, probably, unless they somehow specifically disallow it. Other devices with SD slots have no problem working with the larger cards, so that would probably work out here.

SD becomes a usefull portable data storage thingy

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 10:55:36 AM #
now all palm needs to do is upgrade the hardware so we can play MP3 and watch videos etc.

for that matter is there an MP3 player out on the market that uses SD?


RE: SD becomes a usefull portable data storage thingy
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 11:54:27 AM #
Yeah, there are a few, actually. Panasonic has a really nice, tiny little one that uses SD, and D'Music just came out with one that has 32 megs on board and uses SD expansion.

RE: SD becomes a usefull portable data storage thingy
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 12:32:37 PM #
Compaq's player takes two SD cards for its memory. My wife has one and it works great.

RE: SD becomes a usefull portable data storage thingy
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 2:34:24 PM #
For the Palm M-100 / M-105 check out the Porteson MP3 attachment sled. It accepts SD cards.

RE: SD becomes a usefull portable data storage thingy
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 7:56:12 PM #
Take a look at

I already own the mp3 player and the Palm cam, so I cannot wait for more memory !!!!

The mp3 is so cool (a bit expensive tho), especially for a runner as I am, the cam is ordinary.

Toshiba has a mp3 player as small, using SD memory and less expensive.


Yay for everyone

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 1:24:54 PM #
This is great, everyone wins with this one. PPC wins. Palm wins, Handera wins. And soon the Visor will win, as soon as the memplug guys release their sd/mmc to springboard, springboard. At pcexpo they said it would be out by late fall, I think, been a while since PCEXPO2k1.

On a side note, would be cool if they rlsed a memplug that can read cf/sd/mmc/sm/ms. Like an all purpose springboard adapter. Yeah baby.

Once the SD/MMC adapter comes out, I'll mod my visor with a headphone jack and use tealplayer to play all my fav songs :)
I wish someone would release large mmc cards so I can use them with my minijam.

RE: Yay for everyone
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 1:50:57 AM #
Handspring should be building SD slots in on all their new models (separate from the Springboard slot). Unfortunately, they've already failed on that note with their new models. It would have been a real opportunity to put a good standard across all the Palm OS devices.

RE: Yay for everyone
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 2:26:28 AM #
When the M500 came out, I thought the choice to go with SD was a mistake. the CF standard gives the electrical engineers at least a little physical room to put electronics in there. the SD format just seemed too small to do anything but be ram. Now that the new iPaq will have an integrated SD slot, and its likely there will be a springboard adapter to bring all the old handsprings up to date, I think SD will make a great storage standard for handhelds of all types.

Anyone know of an I/O SD card? Id love to see bluetooth on an SD card.

Isn't 512MB kind of overkill for a Palm?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 3:26:11 PM #

RE: Isn't 512MB kind of overkill for a Palm?
sub_tex @ 10/1/2001 4:02:37 PM #
I think comments like this have been covered a thousand times before.

It all boils down to the individual. For some, 2 megs is more than enough. For others, 128 is not enough.

It's all a personal choice.

You use what you need.

Now There's An Idea . . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 4:59:12 PM #
Heh, I see it now.

"All the Palm Software on just 5 (if not 3) SD Cards"

"Keep on Palmin'!"

RE: Isn't 512MB kind of overkill for a Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 10:59:34 PM #
People, SD cards aren't just for your Palms/PPCs.. there are MP3 players out there that use the SD card for storage.. there are digital cameras that use SD cards too. Panasonic is pushi this format heavily, with their 2-3 tiny MP3 players, and 2 new digicams in a collobaration with Leica. So don't limit the SD card format to Palms!!!

RE: Isn't 512MB kind of overkill for a Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/3/2001 2:23:15 AM #
This is really great news. This could be huge for mp3 players. No more worrying about how much on-board ram an mp3 player has - soon they'll all use SD only as the storage format. A DVD can usually be ripped into a lower quality version with MPEG 4 onto a CD. So now you can get all of The Matrix on one little tiny SD card. Its like something from a Star Trek movie. Very cool.

Now I want to see some I/O SD cards. Bluetooth on an SD card would make my year.

Will the 505 support it?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 3:26:43 PM #
Can anybody comment on the 505's ability to use more than 64MB? It was advertised that it could use up to 64MB.

RE: Will the 505 support it?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 5:02:39 PM #
Before anybody flames me for ignorance, please don't.

How does a VZ proccessor address the extended memory if it's limited to 16 MBs?

"Keep on Palmin'!"

8 MB at a time
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 6:35:42 PM #

Yum! 512mb

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 7:35:55 PM #
Now I can have an unabridged dictionary in about every language I can think of! And with decent lookup time, unlike some other things I could mention *cough*ms encarta dictionary for ppc*cough*

What about font support?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/2/2001 6:43:13 AM #

If you build it, they will come...

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 7:50:55 PM #
I am sure that the usefullness of the "Do I really need 512 mgs ??" will become not only obvious, but also a basic necessity for most of us, three years from now.

I am thinking, mp3, pictures, maps for GPS, complete dictionnaries, portable encyclopedia and even maybe a telebtubbie's film to keep the younger one occupied on a long car trip... lolllll


RE: If you build it, they will come...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 9:02:30 PM #
I can't wait to play Counterstrike on my Palm! With this SD card i can copy the entire CD onto my palm!

RE: If you build it, they will come...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 11:34:54 PM #
You let your kids watch that drivel? For shame! TV is bad! Read a outside! LOL

-Fellow Loving Parent

RE: If you build it, they will come...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/1/2001 11:50:44 PM #
yeah, you should let your kid play counterstrike instead

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