Sony hits 168MB/s with whippet-fast XQD memory cards

Sony has set a new memory card speed record, achieving a whopping 168MB/s from its next-gen XQD S-Series cards targeting HD video and high-res photographers. The 64GB QD-S64 and 32GB QD-S32 cards use a PCI Express Gen interface to hit an identical 168MB/s read and write rate, meaning it takes just 3.8 minutes to shuttle across 32GB of data to your computer.

It also means a big boost to photographers looking to shoot multiple frames at speed, without hitting a data transfer wall. Sony claims it slotted one of the cards into a Nikon D4 and managed a whopping 108 shots in ten seconds.

Sony doesn't make any specific claims about what sort of bitrate video you can capture to the S-Series cards, but with 168 MB/s to play with there should be no problem filling it up with high-def footage. You'll probably need a Thunderbolt card reader to make the most of the transfer rates copying footage back to your PC, the company says.

The new Sony XQD S-Series will go on sale July 11 in Japan, priced at around 60,000 yen ($754) for the 64GB model and 40,000 yen ($503) for the 32GB model. Expensive stuff, but speed costs money.