Faster Flash For PMA

By Greg Scoblete On Feb 9 2004 - 8:00am

Despite a spat of negative publicity around the Spirit Rover's malfunctioning flash memory, consumer flash memory manufacturers are confident that new, high-performance memory cards for digital cameras will more than please their human customers.

Fast flash will be the order of the day at PMA, to be held here this week. Vendors will be promoting higher performance cards for the more demanding digital cameras hitting stores this year.

PNY Technologies introduced a new riff on the USB drive with its combination ballpoint pen/USB 2.0 drive. The drive pens will be available in the first quarter in two configurations, the Executive Attaché and Executive Attaché Signature Series.

The Signature Series features a 512MB drive in a blue or black marble design and packaged in a pen box complete with a USB extension cable and replacement ink cartridge for a suggested $149.99.

The Executive Attaché is available in 128MB and 256MB capacities. The 256MB metal pen comes in a black and red herringbone design, while the 128MB comes in brushed silver, for a suggested retail of $99.99 and $79.99, respectively.

Toshiba introduced a new line of high-speed SD cards featuring a maximum write speed of 10MB per second and a sustained write speed of 5MB per second, a five fold increase from the company's standard SD card line. The company will ship a 128MB card for a suggested $70 and a 256MB card for $110. A 512MB is expected in the first quarter of this year, the company said.

The high-speed cards will feature a white packaging, distinguishing them from the company's line of standard SD cards, which are blue.

SanDisk announced that it will ship a 1GB SD card to its distributors this month, with wider retail distribution to follow in the second quarter of this year. The $499-suggested 1GB card will be the highest capacity flash memory card in the SD format.

SimpleTech will introduce the industry's highest capacity CompactFlash to date, with its 8GB Type II card. The company will also introduce 2GB, 4GB and 5GB Type I cards along with increases to the write speed of its entire ProX line of CompactFlash cards. The ProX line can now deliver a write speed of up to 10MB per second. The new ProX cards will ship during the second quarter of 2004 with suggested retails from $750 to $5,999.

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