SD Association

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SD Association
FormationJanuary 28, 2000; 24 years ago (2000-01-28)
Panasonic (Matsushita)
TypeNon-profit standards development organization

The SD Association (SDA) is an American nonprofit organization that sets standards for the SD memory card format. SanDisk, Panasonic (Matsushita), and Toshiba formed the SD Association in January 2000.[1] In 2010, the SDA had approximately 1,000 member companies involved in the design and development of SD standards. Thousands of device models and hundreds of products across dozens of product categories integrate the small, removable memory cards.[2]

The SD Association develops industry standards that define the next generation of SD cards and guide manufacturers in developing new products.[3][4][5] This strategy has made the SD memory card the most widely used removable memory card form factor in the industry.[6][7]

SD standards[edit]

"SD memory card" and "SD host device" are the umbrella descriptions for any memory card or device built to SD standards.[8] The SDA does not manufacture, market or sell any product. It exists solely to create industry standards and promote the adoption, advancement and use of SD standards. These standards are adopted by product manufacturers that make mechanical definitions and environmental requirements); File System Spec (definitions of the file system requirements in SD cards); SDIO and Intelligent SDIO card specifications (wireless LAN and TransferJet interface SD memory cards);[9] SD Host Controller Interface Spec; Advance Security SD specification, implementation and test guidelines.[10]

The SD Association was founded January 28, 2000 by SanDisk, Panasonic (Matsushita) and Toshiba – named also as "SD Group". The founding individual members include:

  1. Eli Harari, CEO and founder of SanDisk Corporation
  2. Youichi Morishita, President of Panasonic (Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd)
  3. Taizo Nishimuro, CEO and president of Toshiba Corporation

The SD Association held its first meeting on January 28, 2000, in San Francisco[1] and elected the first SDA Board of Directors on April 13.[11] The Board of Directors included 14 industry leaders from Alpine Electronics, Compaq, Eastman Kodak Company, Hewlett Packard, LG Electronics, Matsushita Electric, Mitsubishi Electronics, Motorola, NEC, Samsung, SanDisk Corporation, Sharp, Thomson and Toshiba Corporation. Shortly thereafter, SD v1.01 was released. The first SDIO specification was released in October 2001 and the miniSD released two years later in February 2003.[12] Multiple SD specifications were announced in 2004 including the First Advanced Security SD (ASSD), First Controller Interface and SD v1.10 with high-speed mode (25 MB/s).

MicroSD specifications [13] were released in 2005 with SD v2.0 SD- High Capacity (SDHC), introducing memory cards with up to 32 GB of storage in 2006.[14] SD v3.0 brought Extended Capacity (SDXC) [15] specifications offering memory cards with up to 2 TB of storage and Ultra High Speed – bus transfer speeds of up to 104 megabytes per second (MB/s) in 2009.[16] SD versions 4.0, v4.10 and v4.2 were introduced between 2011 and 2013. Version 4.0 included UHS-II interface specifications with bus transfer speeds of up to 312 MB/s and a new pin interface providing backwards compatibility.[16] Function Extension specifications and UHS Speed Class U1 were included in v4.10 while v4.2 contained UHS Speed Class U3 specification, supporting 4K video.[17] smartSD with NFC capabilities was introduced in 2013. September 2013 saw the first intelligent SDIO (iSDIO) specification along with a wireless LAN addendum.[9]

In February 2016, the SD Association announced its fastest speed class, Video Speed Class, which delivers real-time multi-file recording for many applications and supports the highest video resolutions and qualities available.[18] With Video Speed Class, 4K, 8K, 3D, and 360-degree video recordings are now assured and accessible.[19]

In November 2016, SD Specification 5.1 established the new Application Performance Class to meet technical and market requirements to both run and store applications on SD memory cards while still providing storage of pictures, videos, music, documents, and other data.[20] SD 5.1 introduced the first and most basic App Performance level, App Performance Class 1, or A1.[21] In February 2017, the SD Association expanded its App Performance Class with Application Performance Class 2 (A2), more than doubling random read and write speeds guaranteed in the entry-level App Performance Class 1. .[22]

In February 2017, the SD Association introduced UHS-III, doubling the fastest SD memory card transfer rate up to 624 MB/s.[23] UHS-III faster speeds help move large amounts of data generated by data-intense Gbit/s wireless communication, 360-degree cameras, drones, 3D, 4K and 8K videos recorded on SDXC and SDHC memory cards.[24]

In June 2018, the SD Association introduced SD Express[25][26] which added the PCI Express and NVMe interfaces to the legacy SD interface. The PCIe interface will deliver a 985 MB/s maximum data transfer rate and the NVMe upper layer protocol enables advanced memory access mechanisms.[27]

In tandem with the SD Express release, the SD Association also announced the SD Ultra Capacity (SDUC) card.[28] The maximum storage capacity in SD memory cards grows from 2 TB with SDXC to 128 TB with the SDUC card. Both releases maintained backward compatibility and are part of the new SD 7.0 specification.[29]

In February 2019, the SD Association announced the microSD Express.[30] The microSD Express cards offer PCI Express and NVMe interfaces, as the June 2018 SD Express release did, alongside the legacy microSD interface for continued backwards compatibility. The SDA also released new visual marks to denote microSD Express memory cards to make matching the card and device easier for optimal device performance.[31]

In May 2020, the SD Association introduced the SD 8.0 (SD8.0) specification for the SD Express memory card.

In May 2022, the SD Association announced the SD 9 Specification.

In October 2023, the SD Association announced the SD 9.1 Specification, which defines the access rules required to ensure the minimum defined performance of the PCI/NVMe interface in SD Express cards, including multi-stream access of up to eight streams.[32]

Organization and structure[edit]

SDA is led by a board of directors, chairman of the board, president, secretary and treasurer. The SDA also has multiple board committees including finance, legal and licensing, plus ad hoc committees that address specific needs. SDA's organization operates three primary committees – technical, marketing, and compliance.[33]

The association ensures global coverage by having key boards members in each region:[34]

Meeting structure[edit]

The SDA meets quarterly to review spec developments and promotion planning. Meetings provide a venue for SDA members to receive updates on SDA activities and an opportunity to update SD specifications and standards.

General Assembly Meetings are held bi-annually (spring and fall). General assembly events include an open plenary session in which members receive updates about SDA activities followed by speakers from the industry or market analysts. The committees hold working sessions after the plenary sessions. The board meeting is held after all plenary and committee meetings.

The SDA also organizes interim face-to-face meetings twice a year (summer and winter) where the various committees and the board of directors meet. Additional meetings held by the SDA include interoperability events, global workshops. The SDA also participates in trade shows and industry events.[34]

Current leadership[edit]

  1. SD Card Association President: Hiroyuki Sakamoto, SD Association
  2. Vice President: Paul Norbury, Cardwave Services Ltd[35]
  3. Board of Directors Chairman: Yosi Pinto, SanDisk Corporation
  4. Treasurer: Bo Li, Western Digital
  5. Secretary: Ashita Gupta
  6. Technical Committee Chairs: Noriya Sakamoto, Toshiba Corporation and Yosi Pinto, SanDisk Corporation
  7. Marketing Committee Chair: Kazunori Nakano, Toshiba Corporation
  8. Compliance Committee Chairs: Minoru Ohara, Allion Labs, Inc., Tsutomu Ando, Canon Inc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Matsushita Electric, SanDisk And Toshiba To Form SD Association To Promote Next Generation SD Memory Card". SanDisk.
  2. ^ "SD Association Celebrates 10 Years". Hugh's News. 2010.
  3. ^ June 2021, Mark Wilson 24 (24 June 2021). "Launch of new SD Express cards kicks off memory card format war". TechRadar. Retrieved 2021-07-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Vitangcol 3rd, Al (2021-06-05). "Smartmatic's WORM SD card can be altered". The Manila Times. Retrieved 2021-07-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (2019-05-24). "Huawei can't officially use microSD cards in its phones going forward". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  6. ^ "SD Leads Flash Memory Industry Into 2004 Dominating Market Share at 41.8 Percent". PR Newswire. 2004.
  7. ^ "SD & microSD Memory Cards - the World's First Choice in Memory Cards - 20 Years of Innovation". 2020-01-21. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  8. ^ "Simplified Specifications". SDCard. 24 November 2020.
  9. ^ a b Clark, Mike (23 September 2014). "SD Association adds support for TransferJet communications". NFO World.
  10. ^ "SD Standard Overview". SDCard. 11 December 2020.
  11. ^ "SD Association Gains Momentum, 86 Firms Attend SDA Meeting And Name First Board Of Directors". SanDisk. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  12. ^ "SD Memory Card - A Growing Presence in Wireless Communications". prnewswire.
  13. ^ "SD Card Association approves microSD specification". LetsGoDigital. July 12, 2005. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  14. ^ "SDXC expands SD into Terabyte territory". DPReview. January 8, 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Toshiba Launches First 64GB SDXC CARD". Toshiba. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  16. ^ a b "SD Card Standard Finalized". CNET. January 5, 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  17. ^ "The SD Association announces new UHS Speed Class 3 for SD cards". TweakTown. Nov 6, 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  18. ^ "SD Association unveils new Video Speed Class ratings, even faster flash cards". Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  19. ^ Condliffe, Jamie. "New SD Cards Will Support 360, 3D, and 8K Video at up to 90MBps". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  20. ^ "SD 5.1 spec will help you identify if your card can handle apps with new 'A1' badge". Android Central. 2016-11-22. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  21. ^ Smith, Chris (2016-11-23). "Buying microSD cards for your phone just got a lot easier". BGR. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  22. ^ "UHS-III and A2 brings ludicrous speed to SD cards". 13 March 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  23. ^ Shilov, Anton. "SD Association Announces UHS-III (up to 624 MB/s), A2 Class, LV Signaling". Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  24. ^ "UHS-III SD Card Standard Announced, Maxes Out at an Insane 624MB/s". PetaPixel. 2017-02-25. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  25. ^ "SD cards could soon hold 128TB of storage". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  26. ^ "SD Express Delivers New Gigabyte Speeds for SD Memory Cards". 2020-05-19. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  27. ^ Altavilla, Dave. "Your SD Memory Card Just Got Faster And Bigger Thanks To The New SD Express Standard". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  28. ^ "SDUC Express Memory Cards to Allow 128TB Storage and 985MB/s Speed". PetaPixel. 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  29. ^ Shilov, Anton. "SD Association Announces SD 7.0 Spec & SD Express Interface: PCIe + NVMe, Up to 985 MB/s". Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  30. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (February 25, 2019). "Memory cards are about to get much faster with new microSD Express spec". The Verge. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  31. ^ Hachman, Mark (February 25, 2019). "The microSD Express standard combines PCI Express speeds, microSD convenience". Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  32. ^ "microSD Express Doubles Speeds, New SD Express Speed Classes Introduced". 2023-10-19. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  33. ^ "Executive Board". SD Card. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  34. ^ a b "Board". SD Card. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  35. ^ "About Cardwave". Cardwave Services. Retrieved 23 December 2018.

External links[edit]