What the PCI-SIG® and the SD Association Liaison Means

What the PCI-SIG® and the SD Association Liaison Means
By Al Yanes, PCI-SIG President and Chairman

The SD Association (SDA) recently announced SD Express, which adds the PCI Express® and NVMe™ interfaces to the SD interface. The PCIe® interface delivers transfer rates up to 985 megabytes per second (MB/s) and supports backward compatibility with existing SD hosts. We at PCI-SIG® are pleased to work with the SDA to jointly promote the SD Express memory card as a component in the PCIe® ecosystem. We formally agreed to a liaison to continue to innovate in this space.

From my perspective, this partnership is another validation point for PCIe technology as the industry-leading I/O that provides high performance and low power options, as well as how small form factor-friendly we are for the industry.  

A Key Partnership
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, PCI-SIG and the SDA will collaborate on a technical interchange related to SD Express and SD Express Test Guidelines, as well as information related to PCIe electrical certification of SD Express devices. The two organizations will also form the PCI-SDA Advisory Team and the SD-PCIe Technical Group whose members are from companies that belong to both the SDA and PCI-SIG.

If you are a PCI-SIG member as well as an SDA member, please let us know if you would like to join the PCI-SIG-SDA Advisory team to help enable the SD Express Card spec development.

The Technology
SD Express uses PCIe 3.0 architecture along with the NVMe v1.3 protocols on the second row of pins used by UHS-II cards today. Relying on successful protocols already in the marketplace will be a huge help in driving this forward even faster. System developers will also have new options offered by PCIe and NVMe capabilities, such as Bus Mastering, Multi Queue (without locking mechanism) and Host Memory Buffer.

The SD Association put out a  video, as well as a new white paper, “SD Express Cards with PCIe and NVMe Interfaces,” to provide more details on the new capabilities and features found in the SD 7.0 specification. More information is available on the SD Association website.

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