2007 Consumer Electronics Show
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Panasonic SDHC - new capacity, speed highs
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, January 8, 2007 - 09:34 EST)

Panasonic Corp., the North American subsidiary of Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., has today announced a revamp of its SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) flash card lineup.

The company is launching a new lineup of SDHC Class 6-compliant cards at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as well as replacing two of its existing Class 2 cards with Class 4 compliant types. For those unfamiliar with SDHC, the class speed ratings identify the performance possible with a particular SDHC card. In each case, the class speed number equates to the minimum sustained write speed of the card in MB/second - for example, an SDHC Class 6 card must be capable of a minimum sustained write speed of 6MB/second. As well as establishing these performance indicators, the SDHC format extends capacity above the 2GB maximum of traditional Secure Digital cards, and today's announcement sees Panasonic predicting that it will ship SDHC cards with a whopping 16GB capacity by year's end.

According to the company's announcement today, the existing Class 2 SDHC cards in 2GB and 4GB capacities will be retired from the line, to be replaced by the RP-SDM02G (2GB) and RP-SDM04G (4GB) cards, both Class 4 types. A new "Pro High Speed" lineup will have Class 6 certification, and will ship in capacities of 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB with capacities of 8GB and 16GB predicted to follow later this year. Panasonic's new SDHC cards are labelled to give an impression of the speed and capacity available. All general-purpose cards will ship with blue labels, with the exception of the 4GB Class 4 SDHC card (the largest of the Class 4 cards announced at the show) which will have a silver label. The Class 6 "Pro High Speed" card lineup will be marked with gold-colored labels.

Original Source 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.

About Panasonic
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (NYSE: MC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

* SDHC (SD High Capacity) Memory Cards can only be used in SDHC host devices, which support the SDHC Memory Card format.
** The number of images and recording time may vary depending on the particular device.

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