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January 12, 2012

SD Association Standardizes Wi-Fi Cards

Toshiba FlashAir Memory Card LAS VEGAS—The SD Association, the body which sets the standards for Secure Digital memory cards, announced a new standard for implementing Wi-Fi in memory cards. Dubbed Wireless LAN SD, it is first being brought to market this quarter by Toshiba in the form of FlashAir branded memory. Toshiba's card, which will sell for around $65, features a Class 6 speed rating and an 8GB capacity.

Compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n networks, it can be implemented in all flavors of SD and microSD cards. The standard can be implemented in two ways. The web version, which is denoted by a W symbol, makes it possible to upload photos to cloud services and to create peer-to-peer connections with smart phones, tablets, and other Wi-Fi devices. The home network implementation, which is identified by a D icon, supports home network device control as well as server upload. This lets you wirelessly transfer photos to your PC or view them on a Wi-Fi HDTV. Cards that support both operating modes will be possible via the standard.

Eye-Fi is currently marketing wireless SD cards, but its technology is proprietary rather than standardized. The Wireless LAN SD standard will make it possible for any member of the SD Association to develop and market wireless memory cards. The Association has more than 1,000 member companies, and SD card slots are found in all types of consumer electronics--including computers, phones, Blu-ray players, HDTVs, and car stereos.