xD

xd-picture-card-logoxD Picture Card is another member of the extended flash memory family. The xD, which stands for extreme Digital, was developed jointly by Olympus and Fuji Film and was released on the market in July 2002. Used primarily in digital cameras, xD has carved their niche in the competitive flash memory arena. Measuring 20 mm × 25 mm × 1.78 mm and weighing 2.8 grams xD picture card is as small as a penny.

The xD picture is a proprietary format used, developed and promoted exclusively by Fujifilm and Olympus. This has its advantages and disadvantages, all which are discussed thoroughly below.

The xD Picture Card consists of a controller-less NAND flash memory chip. As a leading industry standard, NAND Flash memory is perfect for the xD, especially since it uses Multi-level cell (MLC) flash technology. This means you are able to hold almost twice as much data as Single-level cell (SLC). Cost is also important as MLC is considerably less than SLC.

 

Types of xD Picture Card

 

There are currently three xD cards on the market. There is the standard, M and H type.  The original were available in the 16MB – 512 MB capacities. When the type M was released it was stated that these cards could reach a storage capacity of 8 GB. xD picture cards as of 2006 have a capacity of 2 GB despite higher capacities touted. The Type H card the last to be released has a lower capacity as opposed to the Type M, but its transfer speed is almost three times that. Storage vary from  The size of these cards go from 16 MB, 32 MB, 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB.512 MB ,1GB and 2 GB.

Type M and H cards sometimes has issues with older devices that use the standard card. The compatibility issues

Olympus xD cards, include special “picture effects”, although most of these are only available in use with Olympus digital cameras.

 

Uses of xD Picture Card

 

The xD card was specifically developed to be used with Olympus and Fuji Film cameras. 90% of these cards are used exclusively with digital camera devices. However over the years specific devices have been developed to use the technology. Olympus developed a digital voice recorder that could use the media and Fujifilm had an mp3 player that operated and stored its mp3’s on the card.

As with most modern cards, adapters are available to be used in other formats. With the xD picture card there are adapters available to allow the card to be used with a PC Card and CompactFlash devices

The cost of xD picture cards has caused them to lose a great deal of market share. That combined with it being a proprietary product has seen less of the xD. As opposed to SD cards that have seen its use skyrocket across different platforms

Olympus branded xD cards are the only ones to support Olympus’ panoramic function. Although they store data identically, this is an attempt by Olympus to sell more cards. A limited number of Olympus and Fujifilm cameras such as the Olympus E-500 and Fujifilm S9500 can use other formats such as CompactFlash in addition to xD.

 

Specifications of xD Picture Card

 

Known Names

 

xD picture card is known was XD, extreme Digital picture card

 

 

16 MB, 32 MB, 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB.512 MB ,1 GB and 2 GB.

 

Transfer Speeds

Standard:

  • Maximum write speed: 14.4 Mbit/s (1.8 MB/s)
  • Maximum read speed: 19.6 Mbit/s (2.5 MB/s)
  • Up to 20 MB/sec – 133 X
  • WriteUp to 18 MB/sec – 120 X

Type H:

  • Maximum write speed: 14.4 Mbit/s (1.8 MB/s)
  • Maximum read speed: 19.6 Mbit/s (2.5 MB/s)
  • Up to 20 MB/sec – 133 X
  • WriteUp to 18 MB/sec – 120 X

Type M:

  • Maximum write speed: 14.4 Mbit/s (1.8 MB/s)
  • Maximum read speed: 19.6 Mbit/s (2.5 MB/s)
  • Up to 20 MB/sec – 133 X
  • WriteUp to 18 MB/sec – 120 X

Physical Dimensions

  • Millimeters: 20.0 mm (W) × 25.0 mm (H) × 1.78 mm (D)
  • Inches: .79 (W) x .98 (H) x  .07 (D)

Weight

§  2.8 Grams

Voltage

§  3.3V

Copyright Protection

§  No

Write Protection

§  Yes

 

Advantages

  • xD cards are fast in comparison with older formats such as SmartMedia (SM), MultiMediaCard (MMC), and MemoryStick (MS).
  • xD cards have a small form-factor in comparison with other formats (although Memory Stick M2 is smaller).
  • xD cards have a low power consumption.
  • xD cards are very small, which allows devices to be smaller, especially USB flash drives.

Disadvantages

  • xD cards have a fairly small theoretical maximum capacity in comparison with other formats.
  • xD cards are much slower than their main competitor, SecureDigital (SD).
  • xD cards are generally more expensive than cards of other formats.
  • xD cards are less widely supported than many other formats, both by camera, reader, and accessory manufacturers.
  • xD card is a proprietary format only used by Fujifilm and Olympus, much like the Memory Stick card is with Sony. This means that no public documentation or implementation is available. Compare this to the somewhat open SD, or the completely open MultiMediaCard and CompactFlash standards.
  • Olympus branded xD cards are the only ones to support Olympus’ panoramic function.