SDIO Standard Approved

The SD Association (SDA) announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show that it has finally approved the specifications for SDIO (Input/Output) cards. This will allow peripheral makers to finalize new product designs for products that will use the SD slot for more than just memory cards. Currently SDIO cards are in development for wireless functionality using Bluetooth, navigational devices based on GPS receivers, cameras, and others.

SDA member companies will be on hand at the CES at the SD Pavilion to demonstrate products using the SD card. Despite expectations, Palm doesn't appear to be intending the announce when its SD Bluetooth card will be available.

The group also ratified format specifications for PIM (Personal Information Management Data) and Image/Video (MPEG-4, Motion JPEG data).

The new specifications are officially posted to the SDA website. These are critical guideline documents that describe both the memory and I/O devices and a standard method for storing data onto SD cards. Adherence to these provides a means of enhancing interoperability across a wide range of devices.

SD cards face stiff competition from other standards, some of which are well ahead. Sony has recently released the first I/O Memory Stick peripherals and there have been modems and other such devices using the Compact Flash standard for much longer.

Related Information:

Article Comments


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.


Competition yes...

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 4:13:09 PM #
But the other standards all have issues because they are older and more established technologies. MC and CF are both bigger and much slower than SD. This alone will eventually lead SD into the pole position that CF has held for so (too) long.

Faster Pussycat
Quik_Fix @ 1/8/2002 4:18:31 PM #
Are you sure SD is faster than CF? That hasn't been my experience on my 330. I use a large CF almost exclusively because it's faster loading and thinking than the SD..... either that or the crack is taking its toll.

Could be the crack.

...In accordance with the prophecy...


RE: Competition yes...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 4:28:40 PM #
This approval took way too long.

RE: Competition yes...
Coyote67 @ 1/8/2002 4:41:13 PM #
Agreed. I don't know what took them so long, but its about damn time. If this was finalized earlier, Nintendo could have put a SD slot into the gamecube. Imagine popping in a wireless modem into your gc and using that to go online to play multiplayer games. Or a bluetooth/wifi module. Such a waste.

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: Competition yes...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 4:53:58 PM #
SD transfer rate is 10MB/s (megabytes). CF is about 2.2MB/s from memory. Accessing SD memory using FAT however chews into this substantially. :-( But you don't need FAT for talking to devices (as opposed to memory)

RE: Competition yes...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 5:49:42 PM #
It definitely took too long to get this standard approved. Last May people were comparing memory stick and SD saying SD was superior because of its open standard. Well, not if it's going to take this long for everyone to agree on something! Hopefully it's not a sign of things to come with SD...

RE: Competition yes...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 5:59:39 PM #
I heared this story exactly one year ago at the developer conference in Amsterdam. Timeline by then where a few months - even only weeks. Fact is: theres today still no decent SD module to buy bringing the promoted added value. If standard for cars would have taken so long we would still walk.
Palmtop-Pro Magazin

RE: Competition yes...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 6:07:21 PM #
I forgot - SD is only a open standard if you close your eyes and intentially overlook the fine print.

SD Transfer Rate
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 6:44:07 PM #
SD transfer rate is 10MB/s (megabytes)?????

Then why does my Palm Backup Card and BackupBuddyVFS take minutes to back up 8MB??? Accoring to this rate posted above, it should take 1.6 seconds!!!!

RE: Competition yes...
msmasitti @ 1/8/2002 6:52:44 PM #
this is the maximum transfer. if you have 56k dial up, do you download files right at 56 kb/s? dont think so...


RE: Competition yes...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 6:52:49 PM #
"CF is about 2.2MB/s from memory" Your memory and reading fail you though. For starters you're not going to get full rated performance from either on our current hardware during every 4th clock tick at 33Mhz. Further you'll never get those data rates because on the M50x and HandEra 330, data pins 8 and 9 (two of the 4 data pins on an SD card) aren't even connected which you can verify from the dev specs. Palm doesn't list data rate as far as I've seen in their dev specs but HandEra quotes 1 MB/s in theirs for SD. So you see on our current hardware it's not much faster that bluetooth. Next, your figures for CF are out to lunch. Do a google search and you'll see CF cards at all kinds of data rates. Toshiba has a bunch at 5.4 MB/s, others go to 6.6MB/s, RitData has some with: "Fast ATA host-to-buffer burst transfer rates up to 20MB/S and Support PIO mode 4 at 16.6MB/S" again though, none of that is relavant on our hardware (especially since HandEra gear doesn't support CF's IDE mode anyway).

Sticking with Data I/O as the original thread is about, there are already dozens of CF wired and wireless ethernet cards running at 10, 11, and 100 Mbps to run on your HandEra or PocketPC PDA's. On the HandEra site alone ( there are 6 10Base-T ethernet CF cards, 2 802.11b wireless ethernet cards, and one 10/100Base-T ethernet card. CF is no speed slouch. But both formats are hampered on our current hardware. Since both are limited to a similiar speed range on our gear it's more about how much data you can put through in a clock cycle. So it's more important how wide your data bus is, not how fast it is. This is why CF is still faster on our hardware because SD is limited to half it's bus width on currently, and even if it wasn't it still couldn't do the 16 bit wide transfers that CF can. There's a reason CF is larger. Not only does it give you more room for larger and thus cheaper memory, but it's what enables all those pins for a wide data bus.

Craig Bowers

donpdonp @ 1/8/2002 6:53:25 PM #
Nintendo has had two chances to put some sort of expansion into their products. The first was the gameboy advance - can you imagine effortless multiplayer GBA gaming? It would have doubled the popularity of the GBA. Having an SD slot on the gamecube is a great idea. Im looking forward to the bluetooth module for my palm pilot. Id like to see a car stereo deck with NO moving parts (like a CD player) and two or more SD slots.

RE: SD Transfer Rate
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 7:00:33 PM #
"this is the maximum transfer. if you have 56k dial up, do you download files right at 56 kb/s? dont think so..."

Real-world SD transfer rate is more like 1MB per 13 seconds.

I hate marketing dishonesty and B.S.

RE: Competition yes...
Coyote67 @ 1/8/2002 7:09:21 PM #
There is a bluetooth adapter for gbas in development. Interesting idea, play someone across the room instead of right near you.

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
SD - genetical defect?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 7:40:12 PM #
If you pop in a SD card - you have to pop your datacard out. Logical.
That will be the time when people will find out that the (nowadays) Palm with one slot and the data on the (poped out) card become useless. Thats a genetical defect in the whole idea - widely overlooked. Either Palm comes out with a two slots model or 32 MB RAM - otherwise - what could you transmit with a Bluetooth SD card if your data and probably most of you programs stored on a memory card are gone?

SD Slot Splicer
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 9:01:43 PM #
nah...they are working on an SD "Bridge" which will SPLICE your m505's SD single slot into 2-3 SD slots for multiple uses.

RE: SD Slot splicer
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/8/2002 10:40:09 PM #
SD cards can hold 7 different functions. IE BT and memory and ...?? When will we see combo SD cards?

RE: SD - genetical defect?
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/9/2002 1:18:13 AM #
I doubt Palm will release another new model that does not have Bluetooth built in, so the SD slot will be free for other expansions.

RE: Competition yes...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/9/2002 1:49:36 AM #
If the standard is only now agreed upon, how do we know that the Palm slot is compatible with it?

RE: Competition yes...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/9/2002 6:02:33 AM #
<I doubt Palm will release another new model that does not have Bluetooth built in, so the SD slot will be free for other expansions.>
You did not get my point.
When you pop in a mp3 SD module, barcodescanner SD , camera SD , phone SD, whatever - you have to take out the memory card - and gone are your programs & data.

RE: Competition yes...
Quik_Fix @ 1/9/2002 9:46:48 AM #
Very valid. That's why I got the 330. Of course, please observe as I talk out my a##, since I don't even have anything other than memory to shove in my slots. But when I do, I'll be ready! :-)

...In accordance with the prophecy...


RE: Competition yes...
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/9/2002 5:25:57 PM #
"I hate marketing dishonesty"
No one said that was from marketing material. It's from the Developers Hardware Developement kit. It means the PalmOS hardware is capable of that. That doesn't mean your going to get that. The OS has a huge amount to say about that. I've seen SD access derated in various OS builds for various reasons, and I've seen poorly performing PalmOS FAT extensions and fast ones. The difference in benchmarked performance has been as much as 200%.

RE: Competition yes...
mrscarey @ 1/9/2002 6:33:07 PM #
Do you get the impression that Palm are holding out on the Bluetooth SD card release because they realise that it is effectively redundant. By the time they release their version TDK, Blue-M etc will already have the market clinched. Why compete? They will most likely include Bluetooth in the next m525/705 whatever they call it. If Sony or Handspring include BT in their next device Palm had better have something pretty special waiting in the wings. I want the oooh factor again.


palmist and visionary

''Computer'' or ''Consumer'' Electronics show?

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/9/2002 6:25:38 AM #
Isnt it the Consumer Electronics show? =)

RE: ''Computer'' or ''Consumer'' Electronics show?
Ed @ 1/9/2002 9:01:48 AM #
You are correct. Funny, the press release from the SDA actually calls it the Computer Electronics Show. That's what I get for too closely following a press release.

News Editor


Register Register | Login Log in