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Embedded Wi-Fi functionality now part of SD standard  
Monday, January 9, 2012 | by Rob Galbraith
The SD Association, an industry group that oversees specifications related to Secure Digital memory cards, has announced a new standard for the embedding of Wi-Fi wireless functions into the ubiquitous card format. Called Wireless LAN SD, the standard allows for 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking and a variety of transfer scenarios including web upload, peer-to-peer and more.

Eye-Fi has been creating SD cards with similar features for several years. The change today is the formal inclusion of these types of capabilities into the SD standard and, presumably, an upcoming expansion of the number of makers producing wireless SD, SDHC or SDXC products, such as Toshiba's FlashAir.

More information is in the press release below.

Press Release

SD ASSOCIATION ADDS STANDARDIZED WIRELESS
COMMUNICATION TO WORLD-­‐LEADING SD MEMORY CARD STANDARDS

New Wireless LAN feature extends SD memory card convenience
so consumers can transfer pictures and videos wirelessly from their cameras

LAS VEGAS – CES Booth South Hall 4 #36231 -­‐-­‐ Jan. 9, 2012 – A new SD memory card standard can transform millions of everyday consumer electronics into wireless LAN devices with portable storage and communications. The Wireless LAN SD standard announced today is the SD Association’s first wireless SD memory card standard combining storage and wireless capabilities. Consumers will be able to transfer pictures, videos and other content wirelessly from most existing digital cameras and digital video cameras to web-­‐based cloud services and between SD devices over home networks.

The Wireless LAN SD standard combines the world-­‐leading memory card storage standard with the ubiquitous wireless standard IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, part of the Association’s strategy to expand SD services and features by incorporating other global standards. This standard is applicable to full size SD/SDHC/SDXC and microSD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. It taps into a billions-­‐strong SD standards market for which manufacturers can develop products and consumers can reliably use Wireless LAN applications.

“As cloud servers and wireless technologies continue to penetrate the consumer experience, wireless accessibility will become increasingly more important,” said Michael Yang, senior principal analyst, memory and storage, IHS iSuppli. “The addition of wireless capability to the existing SD memory card standard, will enable SD memory cards to remain relevant to shifting market demand, and add value to consumers and manufacturers of new cameras, tablets, and mobile phones.”

With wireless communication capabilities in their familiar SD memory cards, consumers around the world will be able to:
• Upload family, vacation or sports photos and video wirelessly from a camera or video camera to a computer or server for sharing or backup.
• Wirelessly download pictures from servers with cameras and video cameras using Wireless LAN SD memory cards. Consumers can share pictures and videos without email or physical card transfers, including peer-­‐to-­‐peer picture and video transfers from cameras to smart phones and tablets wirelessly without an access point.
• Use Wireless LAN SD memory cards as wireless control points for other devices, such as TVs, in a home network.

The Wireless LAN SD memory card standard defines two interface types:
• The Web interface, designated by a  symbol, supports server upload and peer-­‐to-­‐peer functions;
• The home network interface designated by a  symbol, supports server upload and home network communication functions.
• A Wireless LAN SD memory card can provide both of the wireless communication types, designated by both symbols.

“Wireless LAN SD offers you a standardized approach to transfer pictures, video, documents and other content easily with most existing cameras and video cameras,” said Norm Frentz, chairman of the SD Association. “The Wireless LAN SD memory card standard demonstrates how SD Association innovation continues to respond to market demand and improve consumers’ digital lives.”

For more than a decade, SD standards have increased the value, usefulness and longevity of consumer electronics by allowing consumers to easily upgrade storage instead of replacing devices and creating more electronic waste.

SD Association
The SD Association is a global ecosystem of more than 1,000 technology companies charged with setting interoperable SD standards. The association encourages the development of consumer electronic, wireless communication, digital imaging and networking products that utilize market-­‐leading SD technology. The SD standard is the number one choice for consumers and has earned more than 80 percent of the memory card market with its reliable interoperability and its easy-­‐to-­‐use format. Today, mobile phones, Blu-­‐ray players, HDTVs, audio players, automotive multimedia systems, handheld PCs, digital cameras and digital video cameras feature SD interoperability. For more information about SDA or to join, please visit the association’s web site, www.sdcard.org.

Related articles  
Related coverage of this topic includes:
  • Eye-Fi issues firmware v5.0008 for X2 cards (March 21, 2012)
  • Eye-Fi CEO says patented technology violated by Wireless LAN SD standard (January 20, 2012)
  • Eye-Fi to SD Association: our intellectual property is not available (January 12, 2012)
  • Eye-Fi issues firmware update for X2 cards (January 11, 2012)
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