Ever since SD cards reached 16GB, I am still amazed at just how much data is crammed in the postage size card. It was just a few years ago that we heard all the news and excitement about how incredible it is to pack 50GB on a dual layer Blu-ray optical disc and just last month the launch of the first 100GB Blu-ray XL drives and media. Now here we are with 128GB on a postage stamp size card - Side by side and somehow I don’t see even Blu-ray XL as being such an advanced storage medium now!
Ok, flash memory still is 10x more expensive, but give it a few years for prices to fall and I’m sure CD, DVD and Blu-ray recordable/rewritable discs will be obsolete apart from storing audio and video to play in legacy equipment. Most new TVs and set-top media players all play directly from SD or USB.
On the other hand, it’s a real pity that SDHC was only designed to support up to 32GB. I remember when the SDHC standard was announced, I knew that it was going to be just another few years before we’re faced with another transition and here we go again with SDXC. Then again, at least it’s not as bad as with optical disc, e.g. CD (650MB-~900MB)->DVD (4.7GB & 8.5GB)->Blu-ray (25GB & 50GB)->Blu-ray XL (100GB & 128GB), each not backwards compatible in older hardware.
From my testing with a 64GB SDXC card I have a lend of, every single USB reader and internal laptop/netbook SDHC card reader I tried had no issue reading and writing with the card to its full capacity. So at least we shouldn’t need to replace our SDHC card readers. However, this is not the case with consumer electronics. Depending on the camera I tried, it will either say “Card not recognised”, “Card not formatted” (and fails to format) or “Card is full” (even when empty).
With SDXC supporting up to 2TB, at least we shouldn’t see a new major revision for a while that isn’t backwards compatible.