SanDisk, the world’s largest manufacturer of Flash memories after Intel, presented at CeBIT its 8 GigaBytes (GB) module in Compact Flash (CF) format, a 4 GB SD and a 1 GB MicroSD. On the other hand, manufacturers that support the alternative MultiMediaCard (MMC) standard, are already launching modules of 1 GB and 2 GB for mobile phones and the smallest digital cameras, underlining their greater speed and lower energy consumption.
The 8 GB CF from SanDisk appears in the Extreme III line of its products, thanks to its writing and reading rates in the order of 20 MB / second, it is intended for professional photography, where users often register their images in a file in large RAW format (tens of MegaBytes).
At the other end of physical dimensions, SanDisk launched its 1 GB MicroSD in the Ultra II line. To this module the size of a child’s fingernail, the manufacturer assigns a writing speed of 9 MB / s and a reading speed of 10 MB / s.
Samsung is the leading manufacturer of Flash memories in MMC format and Nokia the main manufacturer of mobile phones that support them. The consortium that has been developing the specifications of this standard has already made its version 4, which provides speeds up to 52 MB / s (or 416 Megabits / s) and the support of two voltages – 1.8 and 3.3 volts – so that the modules can be used in a wider range of equipment.
Digital cameras and mobile phones have been the main drivers of the increase in the capacity of Flash memories, to the detriment of small format hard drives – such as microdrives, before IBM and now Hitachi, since it acquired the disk division from Hitachi. Big Blue.
And this evolution makes perfect sense: no matter how safe and reliable the new hard drives are, they can never be as cheap or as cheap as Flash memories, as they do not have mobile components. The expected demand is such that, coupled with the rapid progress of the manufacturing processes, IDC predicts that its prices will decrease by more than 40 percent per year until 2009.
Rui Jorge Cruz in Hanover (Germany)
2003-06-12 – Toshiba and Sandisk plan to introduce flash memory chips up to 4 GB