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Wireless LAN standardized for SD cards

By dpreview staff on Jan 12, 2012 at 08:20 GMT

CES 2012: The Secure Digital Association has announced a standard for wireless communications from SD cards. The standard builds on the work done by Toshiba, which has been showing compliant cards at CES. The standard includes two communications systems, denoted 'W' and 'D.' 'W' cards can communicate with other devices (such as tablets and televisions), in a peer-to-peer fashion, or can upload to 'cloud' services.  The 'D' section of the standard aslo allows connection to home networks. 'W+D' cards that allow both communication types will also be available.

Press Release:


LAS VEGAS – CES Booth South Hall 4 #36231 -- Jan. 9, 2012 – A new SD memory card standard can transform millions of everyday consumer electronics into wireless LAN devices with portable storage and communications. The Wireless LAN SD standard announced today is the SD Association’s first wireless SD memory card standard combining storage and wireless capabilities. Consumers will be able to transfer pictures, videos and other content wirelessly from most existing digital cameras and digital video cameras to web-based cloud services and between SD devices over home networks.

The Wireless LAN SD standard combines the world-leading memory card storage standard with the ubiquitous wireless standard IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, part of the Association’s strategy to expand SD services and features by incorporating other global standards. This standard is applicable to full size SD/SDHC/SDXC and microSD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. It taps into a billions-strong SD standards market for which manufacturers can develop products and consumers can reliably use Wireless LAN applications.

“As cloud servers and wireless technologies continue to penetrate the consumer experience, wireless accessibility will become increasingly more important,” said Michael Yang, senior principal analyst, memory and storage, IHS iSuppli. “The addition of wireless capability to the existing SD memory card standard, will enable SD memory cards to remain relevant to shifting market demand, and add value to consumers and manufacturers of new cameras, tablets, and mobile phones.”

With wireless communication capabilities in their familiar SD memory cards, consumers around the world will be able to:

  • Upload family, vacation or sports photos and video wirelessly from a camera or video camera to a computer or server for sharing or backup.
  • Wirelessly download pictures from servers with cameras and video cameras using Wireless LAN SD memory cards. Consumers can share pictures and videos without email or physical card transfers, including peer-to-peer picture and video transfers from cameras to smart phones and tablets wirelessly without an access point.
  • Use Wireless LAN SD memory cards as wireless control points for other devices, such as TVs, in a home network.

The Wireless LAN SD memory card standard defines two interface types:

The Web interface supports server upload and peer-to-peer functions.
The home network interface supports server upload and home network communication functions.
A Wireless LAN SD memory card can provide both of the wireless communication types, designated by both symbols.

“Wireless LAN SD offers you a standardized approach to transfer pictures, video, documents and other content easily with most existing cameras and video cameras,” said Norm Frentz, chairman of the SD Association. “The Wireless LAN SD memory card standard demonstrates how SD Association innovation continues to respond to market demand and improve consumers’ digital lives.”

For more than a decade, SD standards have increased the value, usefulness and longevity of consumer electronics by allowing consumers to easily upgrade storage instead of replacing devices and creating more electronic waste.


Total comments: 12
By jquagga (Jan 13, 2012)

A W variant with Apple PhotoStream support and geotagging would be very tempting.

By lighttube (Jan 13, 2012)

I hope it cannot transfer only jpg pictures, raw pictures and video, but also any types of files. For example, even MS word files. And FTP transfer is required via peer to peer.

Martin Ocando
By Martin Ocando (Jan 13, 2012)

Bluetooth might have been a standard with not enough range to support a working pro shooting tethered to his computer on a big studio. I think WiFi is the way to go.

By steve_hoge (Jan 13, 2012)

Does this support or preempt the protocols already being used by Eye-Fi?

I was kind of hoping to see SD wireless standardization around Bluetooth (eg, for geotagging as well as file transfer) but I guess that won't happen.

Ken Phillips
By Ken Phillips (Jan 16, 2012)

Bluetooth is a very weak signal (and so was the Eye-Fi's!), not the best for speed over distance. I don't want Eye-Fi to lose everthing, but their product was not quite ready for prime-time: the only time you got close to rated transfer speed was when you were sitting next to the receiver's antenna.

1 upvote
Bernard D
By Bernard D (Jan 13, 2012)

I wonder why they don't or can't with CF cards?

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By Zebooka (Jan 13, 2012)

I bet CF is dead. XQD is the replacement and will be developed.

1 upvote
By alfa (Jan 13, 2012)

They probably looked at sales of CF cards for the last few quarters.

Andreas Frank
By Andreas Frank (Jan 13, 2012)

If we're lucky we can find an all-plastic CF-SD adapter that will make these SD-WIFI-Cards work in our DSLRs.

AFAIK, the Eye-Fis work with adapters.

By lighttube (Jan 13, 2012)

If you use this one, you don't need to buy CF cards and you can use the wireless SD card with your camera which works with CF camera.

1 upvote
By cdembrey (Jan 13, 2012)

How soon until they are available ?? I have a need for a remote iPad viewfinder, for a Sony NEX 5n (used as a video crash cam.

By cdembrey (Jan 13, 2012)

The Toshiba Class 6, 8 Gig FlashAir SDHC card was announced at IFA, Sept 211. They were quoting deliveries in Feb 2012. Hope that this is still true.

Total comments: 12