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KsMcSkeane

SD Express is a New Memory Card Standard That Leverages PCIe and NVMe

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Source: https://www.techpowerup.com/245534/sd-express-is-a-new-memory-card-standard-that-leverages-pcie-and-nvme

Another Source for reference (Not quoted): https://www.techspot.com/news/75266-sd-express-combines-pcie-nvme-nearly-1gbs-transfer.html

Signs that SD cards are not becoming obsolete with the rapid development of photography and video creations. Briefly, this combines 2 of the popular protocols to deliver fast transfer speeds and larger storage (with more advanced memory access mechanism), SD Association has stated that this new SD Express essentially has SSD grade performance along side with a backward compatibility to existing devices

 

Now if only linus could somehow convert his red 8k weapon cameras to use these :P

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The SD Association announced today SD Express which adds the popular PCI Express and NVMe interfaces to the legacy SD interface. The PCIe interface delivering a 985 megabytes per second (MB/s) maximum data transfer rate and the NVMe upper layer protocol enables advanced memory access mechanism, enabling a new world of opportunities for the popular SD memory card. In addition, the maximum storage capacity in SD memory cards grows from 2 TB with SDXC to 128 TB with the new SD Ultra Capacity (SDUC) card. These innovations maintain the SDA's commitment to backward compatibility and are part of the new SD 7.0 specification.

"SD Express' use of popular PCIe and NVMe interfaces to deliver faster transfer speeds is a savvy choice since both protocols are widely used in the industry today and creates a compelling choice for devices of all types," said Mats Larsson, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource. "The SD Association has a robust ecosystem with a strong history of integrating SD innovations and has earned the trust of consumers around the world."

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SD Express keeps pace with growing performance levels of mobile and client computing, imaging and automotive as they adopt faster communication and embedded storage protocols designed to make processing data faster.

"With SD Express we're offering an entirely new level of memory card with faster protocols turning cards into a removable SSD," said Hiroyuki Sakamoto, SDA president. "SD 7.0 delivers revolutionary innovations to anticipate the needs of forthcoming devices and content rich and speed hungry applications."

"PCI-SIG is pleased to have teamed with the SDA to collaborate on this innovation for the world's leading removable memory card - SD," said Al Yanes, PCI-SIG president and chairman. "PCIe specification conformance tests are available today by major test vendors, offering a significant advantage for any new PCIe adopter."

SD Express delivers speeds necessary to move large amounts of data generated by data-intense wireless communication, super-slow motion video, RAW continuous burst mode and 8K video capture and playback, 360 degree cameras/videos, speed hungry applications running on cards and mobile computing devices, ever evolving gaming systems, multi-channel IoT devices and automotive to name a few. SD Express will be initially offered on SDUC, SDXC and SDHC memory cards.

"NVMe is the industry-recognized performance SSD interface from the client to the datacenter, shipping in millions of units," said Amber Huffman, NVM Express Inc. president. "Consumers will benefit by SD Association adopting the NVMe specification for their new SD Express cards."

SD Express uses the well-known PCIe 3.0 specification and NVMe v1.3 protocols defined by PCI-SIG and NVM Express, respectively, on the second row of pins used by UHS-II cards today. By relying on successful protocols already in the marketplace, the SDA gives the industry an advantage allowing utilization of existing test equipment and saving in development process by usage of existing building blocks used in existing designs. These cards also provide system developers new options offered by PCIe and NVMe capabilities, such as Bus Mastering, Multi Queue (without locking mechanism) and Host Memory Buffer. A new video explains more about SD Express.

The SDA released visual marks to denote SD Express and SDUC memory cards for easy matching with devices' recommendation for the best SD memory card for optimal performance.

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A new white paper, "SD Express Cards with PCIe and NVMe Interfaces," provides more details on the new capabilities and features found in the SD 7.0 specification

 

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Well increasing the max capacity to 128tb is cool and all but it's not like they can actually make a sd card with that much memory. They can't even manage to get an ssd that large. 

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4 minutes ago, Brooksie359 said:

Well increasing the max capacity to 128tb is cool and all but it's not like they can actually make a sd card with that much memory. They can't even manage to get an ssd that large. 

That's futureproofing the spec.

 

We haven't even been able to max out the current implementation of the address space of x86-64 at 256 TB. The most you could probably get to is 4TB on a quad socket system with 8 slots apiece

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18 minutes ago, M.Yurizaki said:

I feel like at this rate, PCIe is going to dominate as the PHY protocol for peripherals.

pretty much right? o_o Sony has their XQD (PCIe 2.0) (and prior to that they have SXS memory sticks that's PCIe 1.0x2). CFexpress (after CFast: CFast being SATA-based, CF being IDE based, can you imagine modern cameras still using CF cards?!)

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Well outside of USB anyway.

(Then again, who says we can't just use the USB connectors to connect a PCIe PHY based device anyway?)

you could argue for Thunderbolt 3 o_o

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Any idea when RED will take advantage of this, giveb their memory cards are fairly slow for transfer of many GBs of raw data?


The pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge.

Forever in search of my reason to exist.

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4 minutes ago, Zodiark1593 said:

Any idea when RED will take advantage of this, giveb their memory cards are fairly slow for transfer of many GBs of raw data?

Never because RED will use a propitiatory adapter. Linus should just run to an external recorder or PC


ƆԀ S₱▓Ɇ▓cs: i7 6ʇɥפᴉƎ00K (4.4ghz), Asus DeLuxe X99A II, GT҉X҉1҉0҉8҉0 Zotac Amp ExTrꍟꎭe),Si6F4Gb D???????r PlatinUm, EVGA G2 Sǝʌǝᘉ5ᙣᙍᖇᓎᙎᗅᖶt, Phanteks Enthoo Primo, 3TB WD Black, 500gb 850 Evo, H100iGeeTeeX, Windows 10, K70 R̸̢̡̭͍͕̱̭̟̩̀̀̃́̃͒̈́̈́͑̑́̆͘͜ͅG̶̦̬͊́B̸͈̝̖͗̈́, G502, HyperX Cloud 2s, Asus MX34. פN∩SW∀S 960 EVO

Just keeping this here as a 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Funny that SPI is still the most importent way to interact with  SD cards for me and not the faster protocols. But the new stuff looks great. Just read the paper and not the article.

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10 minutes ago, Pangea2017 said:

Funny that SPI is still the most importent way to interact with  SD cards for me and not the faster protocols. But the new stuff looks. Just read the paper and not the article.

If you're dealing in embedded systems then yah, this is usually way to go because its simple. I still would rather interface to a Cortex M over serial than USB because of how stupid simple serial is.

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18 minutes ago, M.Yurizaki said:

Thunderbolt 3 is just Intel proprietary crap riding on PCIe.

 

Okay, it also has a DP signal, but that's aside the point.

Power too, but I see your point.  I have a TB3 MOBO and all I have ever used it for is back ups to a Drobo. 

It seems like it's more useful in portable gear.

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I'll get excited when something actually comes to market. I mean, how long ago was Samsung's UFS stuff shown off? Right.


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Well rip UFS cards. Super disappointing since UFS card standard has 2x the bandwidth and very similar latency to this, but backwards compatibility with SD will make this take off.

 

I get that it's for cost savings, but running it over a single PCIe 3.0 lane max seems like a massive bottleneck for no real reason. >.> At least we'll finally get "SD" cards with decent random performance since they won't bottleneck on the shitty SD protocol.

 

17 hours ago, dizmo said:

I'll get excited when something actually comes to market. I mean, how long ago was Samsung's UFS stuff shown off? Right.

They died because no other industry players got on board, meaning the control chips are super expensive and no devices support it.

 

It was a chicken or egg problem, and Samsung made an egg but nobody else wanted to get on and hatch it into a chicken.

 

17 hours ago, M.Yurizaki said:

(Then again, who says we can't just use the USB connectors to connect a PCIe PHY based device anyway?)

You can't really do it outside of proprietary controller additions like thunderbolt 3 because of how PCIe works with chipset resources/firmware. You need some controller that reserves space for the attached devices, manages them on the other side, and things like that. Same reason why only really high end server motherboards have the hardware in place for PCIe hotswapping because it requires similar controller shenanigans.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Sniperfox47 said:

They died because no other industry players got on board, meaning the control chips are super expensive and no devices support it.
It was a chicken or egg problem, and Samsung made an egg but nobody else wanted to get on and hatch it into a chicken.

It's Samsung. They could have easily done it themselves by having it start in phones, cameras, etc. They'd already designed everything.


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1 hour ago, dizmo said:

I'll get excited when something actually comes to market. I mean, how long ago was Samsung's UFS stuff shown off? Right.

External UFS hasn't taken off, but UFS storage is used for the internal storage in many high end Android phones now.


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1 hour ago, M.Yurizaki said:

I feel like at this rate, PCIe is going to dominate as the PHY protocol for peripherals.

 

Well outside of USB anyway.

 

(Then again, who says we can't just use the USB connectors to connect a PCIe PHY based device anyway?)

Obviously since with time almost all external devices need more speed, only PCI-E has direct lane connection to the CPU for maximum speed, best example is M.2 NVMe vs SATA(which is a joke nowdays).

 

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I'm confused, how does this work? 

 

So these are new types of SD card sized chip that can plug in either via PCIE (to get really high speeds) and USB (or whatever our current SD card uses), is that correct?

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11 minutes ago, Drak3 said:

External UFS hasn't taken off, but UFS storage is used for the internal storage in many high end Android phones now.

Correct.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 minutes ago, crystal6tak said:

I'm confused, how does this work? 

 

So these are new types of SD card sized chip that can plug in either via PCIE (to get really high speeds) and USB (or whatever our current SD card uses), is that correct?

There will be a new SD (sduc) that will allow increased storage with similar design as before, reducing cost of production which is always good.

However both host and the card must support SD Express in order to gain up to 985MB/s speed whereas if you have SD Express supported Host device but you use the current SD-UHS-III then you will be limited to 104MB/s which is strange since the III type host devices will be much faster. Im sure someone will clear this up 

Image as below

H5Q7TC1RoMynUCqZ_thm.jpg

 

Meaning this would lead to creation of 2 new types that both benefit SD Express but if it turns out that Host devices can support SD-UHS-III natively as well then that is great. (Makes sense since it does say "Basic Interface" 

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9 minutes ago, crystal6tak said:

I'm confused, how does this work? 

 

So these are new types of SD card sized chip that can plug in either via PCIE (to get really high speeds) and USB (or whatever our current SD card uses), is that correct?

 

These cards don't touch a direct PCIe link on your machine at all. They're just a 1x PCIe 3.0 bus on the reader and a PCIe 3.0 device in the card that connect and talk with NVMe, and then that gets converted to whatever your "SD" controller talks to the system over. USB, PCIe, i2c, or whatever the SD card reader is connected to your machine over.

 

From an end user perspective they're just faster SD cards with better random performance when used with new readers and identical to older SD cards when used with old readers (just like using a UHS II card with a UHS I reader, or a UHS card in general with a non-UHS reader).

 

17 minutes ago, yian88 said:

Obviously since with time almost all external devices need more speed, only PCI-E has direct lane connection to the CPU for maximum speed, best example is M.2 NVMe vs SATA(which is a joke nowdays).

 

A) PCIe is just a bus. It doesn't need to talk to your CPU at all. It can be implimented on devices without CPUs, can connect through a secondary chipset (see platform Chipsets on x86 motherboards), or can talk to the memory Controller directly. As long as it has access to memory no CPU need be involved.

 

B) there are plenty of other connections available through a direct connection to your memory Controller. UFS is a good example of one and is why it's used in a lot of situations where massive PCIe lanes don't make sense but you still need performant storage.

 

C) There's nothing wrong with SATA itself really. We could have kept pushing it faster and faster. bandwidth wise. The problem is not SATA, it's the AHCI protocol that rides on it. Great for spinning disks, not so much for flash. NVMe is strictly better for flash memory but to be clear is not strictly linked to PCIe.

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3 minutes ago, Trixanity said:

I see one problem: most mobile SoCs don't have PCI-E. Additionally they don't have PCI-E for power reasons. So that would need to be solved.

This won't connect to the system directly through PCIe in most cases. The "SD" host controller talks to the card with NVMe over 1x PCIe 3.0, but most controllers will likely connect to systems over USB 3.X

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2 minutes ago, Sniperfox47 said:

This won't connect to the system directly through PCIe in most cases. The "SD" host controller talks to the card with NVMe over 1x PCIe 3.0, but most controllers will likely connect to systems over USB 3.X

That sounds extremely convoluted. Sounds like it adds tons of latency making NVMe useless.

 

I did hear future versions of PCI-E will focus on power in addition to bandwidth but it remains to be seen if anything comes to fruition.

 

Do you know if Apple made proprietary changes to PCI-E to make theirs work in phones?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Christophe Corazza said:

Would have thought at that speed a tiny microSD card would just melt :D

You be surprised with the rate of technology, its only getting faster

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