SanDisk has launched the SanDisk Express line of high-performance flash memory products, based on the ExpressCard technology standard. SanDisk Express products aim to deliver best-of-class solutions for professional videographers and photographers who demand speed, durability and reliability.
The first product in the SanDisk Express line is the SanDisk ExpressCard, a flash memory card designed for a new generation of professional camcorders that record to ExpressCards rather than magnetic tape, hard discs or optical disks.
The SanDisk ExpressCard is expected to be available in November, in 8Gb and 16Gb capacities. Recording time for high-definition video capture, at 35 Mbps, will be approximately 30 minutes on the 8Gb card and 60 minutes on the 16Gb card.
Sony is the first major video equipment manufacturer to adopt ExpressCards as video recording media, with its new XDCAM EX camcorder. SanDisk and Sony have jointly developed SxS, a specification to verify that ExpressCard memory cards will support the high-speed performance required for professional video. The SanDisk ExpressCard carries the SxS logo, and is expected to be fully compatible with the XDCAM EX, which has two ExpressCard slots.
"With the SanDisk ExpressCard, professional videographers for the first time will have access to a high-speed, solid-state digital recording solution," says Wes Brewer, vice president of SanDisk's Cards and Accessories Division.
"What's more, because the PCI Express interface is an open industry standard, and because of the continuing decline in the cost of flash, we expect other video equipment manufacturers to adopt this compelling new format."
ExpressCard is a standard created by the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) as a successor to the PC Card standard. By connecting directly to a computer's PCI Express bus, ExpressCards can read and write data at least 2.5 times faster than PC Cards.
Also, ExpressCards are half the size of PC Cards – allowing slimmer designs in notebook computers and ExpressCard-based camcorders.
Solid-state recording using flash memory is widely viewed as the future of video. Camcorders become lighter, more durable and gain battery life without the many moving parts required for turning tape reels or disc spindles. Digital video can also be quickly transferred into computers for processing with non-linear editing (NLE) applications.