Sony has announced its new lineup of SD cards for advanced 4K/8K, DSLR, and mirrorless cameras. The new SF-G-series memory cards use the UHS-II bus and one of Sony’s proprietary technologies to offer the company's highest read/write performance to date — up to nearly 300 MB/s. The cards will hit the market in the coming months.

The Sony SF-G-series memory cards will be available in 32 GB (SDHC), 64 GB (SDXC), and 128 GB (SDXC) configurations. The key selling point of the new Sony SF-G cards is their performance: up to 300 MB/s read speed and up to 299 MB/s write speed, which a quick look finds is around 15% faster compared to competing products (such as the SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-II or the Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II, both of which offer up to 260 MB/s writes). The new cards from Sony are compatible with various types of SD-supporting devices (cameras, card readers, etc.), but to take full advantage of their speed one needs a device that fully supports the UHS-II bus and has the extra pins the wider bus requires.

Sony is not reveaing how they're getting up to 299 MB/s sequential write performance in an SD card, instead only saying that it is enabled by its firmware. One possibility is that the cards use NAND flash memory with very large block sizes (supported by the SD 5.0 standard), which helps to boost write performance. In addition, the NAND controller inside the card may have a special pSLC cache with very fast writes and rather low usable capacities of the devices imply on that, but this could be verified only by testing one of these products.

Sony UHS-II SD Cards at Glance
  32 GB
64 GB
128 GB
Usable Capacity 28.8 GB 57.6 GB 115.2 GB
Read Speed up to 300 MB/s
Write Speed up to 299 MB/s
Minimum Sequential Write Speed 30 MB/s
Interface UHS-II
Availability Spring 2017
SDA Labels UHS-II, Class 10, U3

The new cards from Sony carry the Class 10 and U3 labels to show that their performance does not drop below 10 and 30 MB/s when used with those standards' respective workloads. Being positioned for professional use, the Sony SF-G cards are also waterproof, static-proof, temperature-proof, and shock-proof, which is beneficial for people who travel a lot and/or have to use memory cards in tough conditions. In case the data on cards is lost, Sony supplies its File Rescue tool with them.

Sony’s SF-G-series SDXC cards will be available this spring. Pricing is to be determined, but it will vary depending on capacities. In addition to the flash memory cards, Sony will also offer its clients a UHS-II-capable MRW-S1 card reader with USB 3.0 interface, whose price is also unknown.

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Source: Sony

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  • Anonymous Blowhard - Friday, February 24, 2017 - link

    > Pricing is to be determined, but it will vary depending on capacities

    Probably from "Kidney" to "Soul"
  • negusp - Friday, February 24, 2017 - link

    From soul to material existence.
  • Chaitanya - Saturday, February 25, 2017 - link

    sure compared to UHS-I cards UHS-II cards are expensive but if you a camera that can take full benefit of the faster card then its worth the cost premium.
  • Gunbuster - Friday, February 24, 2017 - link

    The OCD part of me is dying they could not get the write up to 300 like the read...
  • ddriver - Saturday, February 25, 2017 - link

    Sorry, it is somewhere between 30 and 299. It hits 300 only during the full moon during a solstice during a leap year.
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, February 24, 2017 - link

    It'd be interesting if Sony can deliver on their performance claims in normal usage, but the "up to" portion is sort of a disclaimer that implies corner cases under idealized conditions that would be rarely encountered on a day-to-day basis.

    Regardless of the claims or possible Sony-level pricing, I am happy to see increased SD card speeds. Upgrading from an old 16GB class 4 to a 32GB class 10 card in my Nintendo 3DS has helped load times for digitally downloaded games noticably. I'm all for more and faster removable storage even if I don't intend to use it for digital video or photography.
  • fazalmajid - Friday, February 24, 2017 - link

    Too bad Sony's top cameras like the A7RII or RX1RII are still limited to UHS-I
  • boyang1724 - Friday, February 24, 2017 - link

    Right before the SD Card Association announces UHS-III standard with up to 624MB/s speeds.
  • samer1970 - Friday, February 24, 2017 - link

    There is no way you can use that speed on a USB card reader at all. you will need at least USB3.1 cardreader with a bridge chip that can saturate such high speed. does not exist sadly.
  • Meaker10 - Saturday, February 25, 2017 - link

    Internal readers on laptops can be PCI-E devices. 2 lanes would do that easy.

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