CES 2007: Panasonic has today officially announced its range of 'Class 6 SD Speed' cards, an addition to the Pro High Speed SD card range. These new cards, available in 1, 2 and 4 GB capacities are 'Class 6' speed compliant, meaning they have a guaranteed minimum write speed of 6 MB/sec, they are capable of burst speeds of up to 20 MB/sec. In addition Panasonic has upgraded its existing card range to the next class (Class 4; 4 MB/sec minimum) and also revealed that they intend to introduce a 16 GB card this year.

Phil: These minimum sustained write speeds are more relevant to camcorder video capture such as the recently announced Panasonic HDC-SD1, that said faster cards are always a good thing, especially with the proliferation of the use of SD/SDHC cards in digital SLRs.

Press Release:

Panasonic Launches SD/SDHC Memory Cards With Class 6 Speed Specification

Las Vegas, NV (January 7, 2007) – Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company today announced plans to launch new Pro High Speed SD Cards with Class 6 SD Speed specification with 1GB/2GB/4GB memory capacity. Sales of the memory cards worldwide are scheduled to begin in February 2007.

Ongoing expansion and evolution of SD/SDHC compatible devices requires faster data transfer speed as well as larger storage capacity. To meet such requirements, Panasonic will introduce new Pro High Speed SD cards with Class 6 SD Speed Classification, the highest class of the three classes of SD Speed Class specification as standardized by the SD Card Association.

The new Pro High Speed SD cards’ high-speed data writing capability enhances the function of advanced SD/SDHC compatible devices to provide a more stable and effective performance. Even when using the cards with the highest resolution Digital SLR, consumers can enjoy full performance of consecutive shooting without worrying about overflow of buffer memory. When used with Panasonic’s new High Definition SD Video Cameras, model HDC-SD1, the card can stably record real-time detailed High Definition video image until memory capacity exhausts.

The new Pro High Speed lineup includes a 4GB SDHC* Memory Card. Thanks to the massive data storage capacity, it is now able to record High Definition movie of approximately 1 hour in AVCHD Normal mode with a single card. Panasonic will continue to expand the memory capacity, and is planning to introduce 8GB and even 16GB SDHC Memory Cards in year 2007.

In addition to the introduction of new Pro High Speed series, Panasonic will also upgrade the performance of its SD Memory Card line for general use. Current 4GB SDHC Memory Card (with data transfer speed of up to 5MB/s, Class 2) will be replaced by RP-SDM04G with an improved speed of up to 10MB/s with Class 4. Also the speed classification for 2GB SD Memory Card (up to 5MB/s, Class 2) will be upgraded to Class 4, as a new model RP-SDM02G.

To differentiate the Pro High Speed models from others, all Pro High Speed cards will have gold colored labels. All Panasonic SD Memory Cards for general usage will come with blue colored labels, with the exception of the 4GB SDHC Memory Card which sports a silver label.

Panasonic remains committed to playing a leading role in the development of both SD/SDHC compatible devices and SD/SDHC Memory Cards. The company is planning to expand the usage and application of SD/SDHC Memory Cards by increasing their memory capacity and improving their data transfer speed. Consumers know they can count on Panasonic for high performance for stable and secure recording.