BARCELONA, Spain — It wasn't so long ago that memory manufacturers were selling their wares by touting how many megabytes they contained. Whether hard drives or memory cards megabytes were the standard. Then came gigabytes (1,000 MB = 1 GB). For the most part that's our current standard. Gosh, even smartphones now come with eight, 16 or even 32 GB of Secure Digital (SD) space for you to carry your music, videos photos and more in your pocket.
But the memory wizards aren't stopping there. Not they're talking about the next step up: terabytes (1,000 GB = 1 TB). Yes, you can find terabytes of storage in outboard hard drive systems and even some well appointed laptops. But PDAs and smartphones? Now, the answer is yes.
Last month, the people who worry about such things announced the next generation of Secure Digital cards. They are called SDXc (eXtended Capacity) memory cards and the future looks, well, spacious.
Here's why: The new SDXC specification provides up to 2 terabytes storage capacity and accelerates SD interface read/write speeds to 104 megabytes per second this year, with a road map to 300 megabytes per second.In English, that means these little memory cards will be capable of storing more than 2TB of stuff and letting you access them incredibly quickly. These user-removable devices could wind up being faster and possibly cheaper than many of these new-fangled solid-state hard drives I've been telling you about. Only time will tell.