The SD Association has announced a faster interface specification for the ever-popular SD card format. The new UHS (Ultra High Speed) bus can achieve speeds of up to 104 MB/s; that’s four times the speed of the previous maximum. Cards and readers conforming to the new spec are backwards-compatible with previous generations, and can be recognized by a new symbol that includes a “1″, which stands for “UHS Speed Class 1″.
To make matters as confusing as possible, the new logo depicts “SD memory cards and products with a performance option designed to support real-time video recording” instead of a clearly defined speed. Previous cards were classified as Class 2, 4, 6 and 10 which meant minimum speeds of 16, 32, 48 and 80 megabits per second.
Also, consumers won’t be able to take advantage of the full speed of these new cards anytime soon; the 104 MB/s speed exceeds the maximum speed offered by the popular USB 2.0 bus, and built-in card readers in most PCs and laptops will take some time to be upgraded to the new standard as well. If you’re confused about what speed your SD card and devices support, the SD Association has this handy chart that should help you.