The SD Association (SDA) has relased the SD Memory Card Formatter 5.0.1, a software tool compatible with SD Memory Cards, SDHC Memory Cards and SDXC Memory Cards complying with the SD File System Specification.
SDA urges consumers to use the SD Memory Card Formatter to format SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards rather than using formatting tools provided with individual operating systems. "In general, formatting tools provided with operating systems can format various storage media including SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards, but it may not be optimized for SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards and it may result in lower performance," SDA says.
SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards have a "Protected Area" for SD Card security purposes. The SD Memory Card Formatter does not format the protected area in the SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards. The protected area shall be formatted by an appropriate PC application or SD host devices that provide SD security function.
As a note, the SD Memory Card Formatter doesn't support SD/SDHC/SDXC Card encrypted by the "BitLocker To Go" functionality of Windows. So you may format the SD/SDHC/SDXC Card after it has been unlocked.
The utility is compatible with Windows 7 (32/64-bit) or higher and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or higher. It is available for download at https://www.sdcard.org.