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THOUGHT: A new memory card is hitting the customers - miniSD
Posted by Arne Hess - on Saturday, 21.02.04 - 15:53:13 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 5516x
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With the awaiting introduction of the Motorola MPx220 Smartphone, users will also meet a new storage card type. After PCMCIA, CF and SD card, now we will get the miniSD card. So time to learn more:

The miniSD card, is a new thumbnail-sized flash memory card that is designed to meet the needs of the mobile phone market for greater storage capacity in the smallest possible physical form factor. The miniSD card was recently adopted by the SD Association as an ultra-small form factor extension to the SD card standard.

The miniSD card is targeted at the new generation of 2.5G and 3G mobile phones that offer storage-intensive features such as digital cameras, video capture, MP3 players, video games, personal information management (PIM), E-Mail and voicemail capabilities. SanDisk already started customer shipments of the new miniSD card in March 2003 and was demonstrating the product at the  2003 CeBIT trade fair.

The miniSD card offers significant savings in card area and volume, two critical design parameters for the new generation of increasingly miniaturized mobile phones. Compared to standard SD cards, the miniSD card saves more than 40% of the printed circuit board area and more than 60% of the volume required to support the card in a portable device. The miniSD card is expected to be available  in a wide range of memory capacities in the new format, with 16, 32, 64, 128 and 256 megabytes.

"The miniSD card that we are announcing today may become one of the most important cards introduced by SanDisk in recent years", said Eli Harari, President and CEO of SanDisk. "The miniSD form-factor was developed by the SD Card Association, founded by Matsushita, SanDisk and Toshiba, as well as leading OEM's in mobile communications. The new generation mobile cell phones introduced this year are differentiated primarily by their exciting multimedia capabilities, including cameras, MP3 players, and internet messaging, which are expected to drive the requirement for removable flash storage cards."

A key benefit of the miniSD card is that it is both electrically and software compatible with the existing SD standard. It uses the same SD interface, including security features for content protection (CPRM-Content Protection Rights Management) as the standard SD card. As an extension of the existing SD card standard, the miniSD card allows mobile phone and consumer electronics developers to leverage their current SD-based designs with no changes to software or electronics.

To allow interoperability with standard SD devices, manufactures are expected to offer an adapter that converts the miniSD card into the SD card form factor. The adapter allows the miniSD card to fit into existing SD card slots, and thereby provide compatibility with the rapidly growing number of SD compatible devices in the market.

Mario Morales, vice president at market research firm, IDC, said, "We project that unit demand of flash storage cards for the cellular handset market will reach 218 million units in 2007. New applications such as digital imaging, MP3, gaming, Internet access, and other storage-intensive features will continue to drive strong demand for small form factor, high capacity, removable storage cards, especially the miniSD form factor. As a leader in this space today, SanDisk is well positioned to take advantage of this growth opportunity."

The miniSD card is 21.5 mm long, 20 mm wide and 1.4 mm thick, and occupies a footprint of 430 square mm and volume of 602 cubic mm. The new format was developed by the three original developers of the SD card, Toshiba, Matsushita and SanDisk, and recently adopted by the SD Association, an organization consisting of more than 500 member companies.

SanDisk initially sold the miniSD card through its Japanese retail distribution channels. In order to reach the broadest set of devices for the miniSD, the SanDisk-branded miniSD cards will be packaged with a full-sized SD adapter. This will allow consumers to use their miniSD card in both miniSD slots and regular SD slot devices for maximum flexibility. Suggested retail pricing for the miniSD plus SD adapter will be ¥3,480 (US$29) for the 32MB card, which is approximately the same price of an SD card of the same capacity. Prices on higher capacities have not been set.

Cheers ~ Arne


 

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Comments
Posted by lvermont on 22.02.04 - 06:32:32

This is cool. But it's like the MinDV to MicroMV size reduction for digital video recorders. Will there be dual MiniSD slot devices showing up perhaps?

Posted by jayson on 23.02.04 - 01:34:16

Hmmm. reminds me of the Memory Stick Duo.

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