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Panasonic's logo. Click here to visit the Panasonic website! Panasonic 4GB SDHC cards near market
(Thursday, June 8, 2006 - 19:01 EDT)

Regular readers may remember last March we told you that Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. - better known by its Panasonic brandname - had officially announced it was developing Secure Digital cards with a capacity of four gigabytes.

The news came as part of the announcement of Panasonic's Lumix DMC-L1 digital SLR, which will be compatible with the new cards. The original Secure Digital card specification has a limitation of a two gigabyte maximum capacity, but the SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) standard extends this to 32GB, and also establishes classes that guarantee minimum sustained transfer rates of two, four or six megabytes per second.

Panasonic's new 4GB card manages the middle ground, with a Class 2 rating courtesy of a 5MB/second transfer speed. It should be noted that even though the form factor and pinout is identical to regular Secure Digital cards, only SDHC-compatible products will be able to accept the new SDHC cards. Panasonic notes that in order to differentiate between SD and SDHC, its SDHC cards will be black with a silver label, and will come packaged in a black box. The SDHC logo will also be emblazoned on both package and card.

The announcement last March noted only that the SDHC cards would begin shipping this summer. Today's announcement notes that worldwide sales of SDHC memory cards are now scheduled to start this August... Pricing has yet to be disclosed.

Original Source Press Release:

Panasonic Launches 4GB* SDHC Memory Card Based on New SD Memory Card Specification

Osaka, Japan, June 8, 2006 -- Panasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, today announced that it will launch a 4GB* SDHC (SD High-Capacity) Memory Card based on the new SD Specification Version 2.00. This latest specification was established to meet the growing demand for HD (High Definition) video and high-resolution image recording now used in many SD-enabled devices. Sales of the memory card worldwide are scheduled to begin in August.

The SD Memory Card has already been adopted for use in a wide range of digital devices, including digital still cameras, video cameras, audio players and others. Today, there is a growing need for cards with expanded capacity to handle the recording of higher quality images as well as larger volumes of data. In response to dramatic growth in the market for such devices, the SD Card Association (SDA) released SD Specification Version 2.00 for cards with capacities of more than 2GB. Under the new specification, it is now possible to develop SDHC Memory Cards with capacities of up to 32GB.

At the same time, the SDA has established a Speed Class designation for the standardization of data transfer speeds (Class 2, Class 4, and Class 6, with guaranteed increases in speed from one class to the next), instead of relying on the different standards of individual manufacturers. Panasonic’s new SDHC Memory Card has a large capacity of 4GB* and a data transfer speed of up to 5MB/s. It is compliant with the Class 2 SD Speed Class specification, and is best suited for recording MPEG2 video at standard definition quality.

Due to the transition to the new specification, the SDHC Memory Card can be used only in SDHC host devices, which support the SDHC Memory Card format. It cannot be used in other, non-SDHC host devices. Conventional SD Memory Cards, however, can be used in all SDHC host devices.

To clearly differentiate new SDHC Memory Cards from conventional SD Memory Cards, the new Panasonic SDHC Memory Card will have a noticeably different design from the existing Panasonic SD Memory Card lineup. The 4GB* SDHC Memory Card will be black in color with a silver label and will be packaged in a black box, with the SDHC logo imprinted on both the package and the card itself.

With the release of the SDHC Memory Card, along with the Panasonic SDR-S150 SD Video Camera due to be launched in August 2006, Panasonic is providing a stable, longer-duration solution for MPEG2 video recording.

Panasonic remains committed to playing a leading role in the development of both SD enabled devices and SD Memory Cards. The company is planning to further increase the storage capacities of its SDHC Memory Cards as host devices compliant with the new specifications arrive on the market.


Product Name 4GB* SDHC Memory Card

Model No.


Memory Capacity*


Usable Capacity


MPEG2 video recording time**
(704x480, SP mode, 30 fps)

Approx. 1 hr. 40 min.

Still images recordable**
(6Megapixels, 2880x2160, Fine mode)

Approx. 1,240

Data Transfer Rate

Up to 5MB/s

Speed Class

Class 2

Number of pins

9 pins (Same as the current SD Memory Card)

Physical Specification

Version 2.00
(Current SD Memory Card complies with Version 1.01 and Version 1.10)

File System

Version 2.00 (FAT32)
(Current SD Memory Card complies with FAT16 or FAT12)

Size (W x L x T mm)

24 x 32 x 2.1 mm (Same as the current SD Memory Card)


Approx. 2g

*Usable capacity will be less (MB means 1,048,576 bytes).
**The number of images and recording time may vary depending on the particular device.

About Panasonic
Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan , the company recorded consolidated net sales of US$81.44 billion for the year ended March 31, 2005. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York (NYSE:MC), Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net.

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