By Chris Nicholls

LAS VEGAS: SanDisk has launched the first 32GB and 16GB SDHC cards in its Ultra II line, which offer 15 megabytes per second read and write speeds.

Launched at the PMA 08 photographic show, the new cards’ top speeds beat the previous company’s previous Ultra II card top speeds of 10MB read and 9MB write.

The 32GB card will be able to store more than 8,000 high-resolution pictures or up to 40 hours of video. Both the 32GB and 16GB cards will also come with a SanDisk MicroMate USB 2.0 reader.

The company also announced a smaller eight gigabyte SDHC card with the company’s ‘Hinge Lock’ system to allow the card to fit in any USB port.

Susan Park, senior product marketing manager for SanDisk Ultra II cards, said ever-increasing megapixel counts in cameras and the growth of high definition video necessitated the larger card sizes.

“As cameras offer more megapixels and as new high-definition ‘record-to-memory-card’ camcorders are being introduced, the image sizes and files get bigger, requiring higher card capacity,”

“Cameras also are increasingly used for recording video clips, which demand even more memory and capacity. These mega-capacities in our SanDisk Ultra II line give users the … ability to capture thousands of their memories and hours of HiDef video on a single card, while the faster write speed can reduce the time between shots and the faster read speed reduces time spent waiting to copy those images to a computer,” she said. 

Australian prices and release dates have yet to be confirmed, but the32 and 16GB cards are expected to ship in Q2 this year, a spokesperson said.