Milpitas (CA) – Flash memory cards, based on ExpressCard technology, and commonly referred to as SxS cards, are making their way into the market. Expect to shell out a hefty premium for the privilege of using one of those new cards.
Sandisk is among the first companies to offer SxS (pronounced "S-by-S") cards that so far only have been adopted by Sony and its recently announced XDCAM EX pro-sumer camcorder, which relies on SxS as its only supported storage technology and integrates two slots for SxS Express cards.
While Sony has not yet announced a release date and pricing for the XDCAM EX camcorder (current speculations put the device into the neighborhood of $7000-$8000), Sandisk today said that it will begin offering 8 GB and 16 GB SxS cards in November of this year. Prices will be steep: The 8 GB card has a suggested retail price of $500 and the 16 GB card will be priced at $900. In comparison, 8 GB Compact Flash memory cards sell for an average of about $150, according to Pricegrabber.com. Sony said that increasing support for the format should bring the price of the SxS card down "significantly" over time.
Sandisk did not release information about the read/write performance of the card (Sony previously said that a data transfer rate of 800 Mb/s is the target), but noted that 16 GB is enough to record about 60 minutes of HD video at 35 Mb/s. The XDCAM EX will support 720p, 1080i and 1080p HD formats.