We've just received a production sample of the recently announced Panasonic SD CardBus PC Card adapter (BN-SDPC3E). This works in the same manner as the 32-bit CardBus CF adapters we've seen in the past. With more and more devices using SD cards and now even some digital SLR's faster access to SD cards will become more important. If you use a laptop or notebook the Panasonic SD CardBus adapter is now the fastest method for reading (and writing to) SD cards. (Windows only at the moment).

Panasonic SD CardBus PC Card adapter (BN-SDPC3E)

Installation is straightforward enough, install the supplied drivers and insert the PC card, you can access the SD card as a normal removable drive which only appears once the SD is inserted. (Note that in the picture above the SD card is not inserted into the adapter, when inserted it fits fully inside).

Adapter / reader Performance

As you can see from the figures below the Panasonic SD CardBus adapter is easily the fastest reader here closely followed by a generic USB 2.0 reader. Card used for the measurements below was the 1.0 GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card.

Reader Speed
Panasonic SD CardBus 9,529 KB/sec
12,533 KB/sec
USB 2.0 SD card reader 7,536 KB/sec
8,802 KB/sec
Delkin CF CardBus + SD adapter 3,818 KB/sec
4,504 KB/sec
Firewire CF + SD adapter 2,752 KB/sec
2,890 KB/sec

Write speed Read speed

SD Card Performance in SD CardBus adapter

A fairly remarkable difference in performance between the SanDisk and Lexar and then the 'budget priced' 128 MB Kingston card.

SD card Speed
1.0 GB SanDisk Extreme III 9,529 KB/sec
12,533 KB/sec
512 MB Lexar Hi-Speed 5,680 KB/sec
7,252 KB/sec
128 MB Kingston 1,225 KB/sec
6,696 KB/sec

Write speed Read speed