Sandisk First to Offer 512-Mb microSD Card
SanDisk Corporation today announced that the microSD specification, which is based on SanDisk's TransFlash card, has been officially adopted by the SD Card Association (SDA). The new microSD card is fully compatible with the TransFlash card and is designed as a small, flash memory storage card for mobile phones and devices. SanDisk also announced a 512-megabyte SanDisk microSD card, the largest capacity available in this form factor. The company expects to have a 1-gigabyte microSD card by the end of the year and a 2GB card in 2006.
SanDisk currently supplies ten major handset manufacturers with TransFlash cards and has placement of this card at more than 60,000 retail storefronts. To date, more than 40 mobile phones that support TransFlash are shipping or have been announced. The company will continue to support existing TransFlash product lines and will transition its handset customers and the retail channel to the renamed microSD card over the next several months.
The SDA is an industry-wide organization chartered with establishing the technical and specification standards for the SD card and its applications. SanDisk has shipped more than 5 million TransFlash cards since announcing its launch with Motorola, its launch partner in February 2004. TransFlash (microSD) cards are designed for new compact, full-featured mobile phones with storage-intensive multimedia applications such as music, photo and video capture and download. The cards dramatically increase the functionality of these handsets without requiring much incremental space.
"Mobile phones now feature built-in high-resolution camera functions, content downloading capabilities and entertainment features that clearly demonstrate the need for removable storage cards to enhance mobile device capabilities," said Paul Reinhardt, newly appointed executive director of the SDA. "SanDisk worked hard to ensure that the TransFlash card offers handset makers and consumers an ideal combination of large capacity, small physical size and cross-platform interoperability. By making this specification an industry standard, we believe this will spur even greater adoption and market acceptance."
"SanDisk has been a leading proponent of industry standards since it invented the PC card in 1993 and the CompactFlash card in 1994," said Wes Brewer, vice president of consumer products marketing at SanDisk. "History has proven that open standards are beneficial to manufacturers and consumers alike and lead to increased demand."
Brewer added, "Due to its small physical size and wide range of capacities, TransFlash has been extremely successful as a semi-removable storage card for mobile phones. We expect a seamless transition from TransFlash to microSD and with future plans for 1- and 2GB capacities, SanDisk plans to accelerate the momentum we have already generated."
According to IDC, the market for mobile phones with card slots is expected to increase to more than 258 million units annually by 2006 as consumers adopt phones that take advantage of the features that removable memory cards provide.
The SanDisk microSD cards sold in retail channels will include an adapter that allows them to be used in any of the existing devices with SD card slots. Offered for sale through retail markets, SanDisk cards are sold at more than 100,000 retail outlets where SanDisk products are sold worldwide.