SD Association Introduces New Video Speed Class Rating

It has been a while since we got the last official speed rating for SD cards from the SD Association and the current ratings are quite low compared to the speeds we see from other hardware parts these days. Granted, the SDA ratings are minimum speeds and we’ve long had cards that got past this, it will be nice to have a new official rating that will make sure our modern video recorders won’t skip frames.

The new Video Speed Class will be identifiable by the letter V in it and they are part of the new SD 5.0 specifications. The rating is made to make sure that you can record 4K, 8K, 3D and 360-degree video without hick-ups. The two fastest options, V90 and V60 are made to support up to 8K resolution while V6, V10, and V30 are designed for HD and 4K captures.

“With Video Speed Class, SD device and memory card manufacturers can offer the highest-quality video recording to consumers and professionals that keep pace with the awesome video resolutions not only offered today, but anticipated tomorrow,” said Brian Kumagai, president of the SDA. “New products leveraging the capabilities of Video Speed Class will be based on the high storage capacities offered by SDHC and SDXC memory cards.”

One of the nice things about the SD standard is the easy-to-understand speed ratings as compared to the CFast standard for example. The original SD Class 2, 4, 6, and 10 referred to the minimum speed in MB/s and the same goes for the U1 and U3 specifications except that you had to multiply them by 10. The new video speed class is prefixed with a V followed by the minimum speed rating as a number, much like the original Speed Class scheme.

Now, clever users will quickly have noticed that we already have SD cards on the market capable of these speeds, but they weren’t officially rated for it. That was more down to the natural advances in NAND technology, but now we also have official ratings and official certifications for it.

A new white paper, “Video Speed Class: The new capture protocol of SD 5.0,” outlines how the latest SD specification enables Video Speed Class. You can download the white paper at this page.