By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Flash-memory manufacturers continued their relentless drive to pack higher performance and larger capacities into their diminutive digital film while Sony debuted a hard-disk-based photo viewer designed for high-definition viewing.
A new SD card specification — SD HC — will enable the card to push into 4GB capacities and higher while retaining backward compatibility with older SD devices (provided those devices accept higher capacity cards). SD cards in capacities exceeding 2GB that do not bare the SD HC logo may not be backward compatible, said Tanya Chuang, senior retail product marketing manager, SanDisk.
Lexar announced an 8GB CompactFlash (CF) Type I card with a minimum sustained write speed of 13.5MBps. It will ship in April.
Pretek introduced a 133x speed rated CF card with 14MBps read/write speeds, available in March.
PNY announced new speed rated cards in its Optima line, including a 60x CF card capable of a minimum sustained write speed of up to 9MBps and read speed of 10MBps (80x). New Optima SD cards are capable of a write speed up to 20MB per second or 133x.
The cards will be available in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB capacities in the first quarter.
The company also introduced its first MicroSD cards for mobile phones in 128MB, 256MB and 512MB capacities.
SanDisk announced a 2GB version of its SanDisk Ultra II SD Plus card which incorporates a USB pin inside the SD form factor. The card features write speeds of 9MBps and read speeds of 10MBps. The card will ship in June for a suggested $139.99.
The company also doubled the capacity of its Extreme III line of pro cards. The lineup will include an 8GB CF card and a 2GB SD. The CF card (March, $559.99) and SD card (March, $199) feature minimum write/read speeds of 20MBps.
In the Ultra II line, geared toward demanding amateurs, the company announced a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo card. Available in March for a suggested $239.99, the card features a write speed of 9MBps and a read speed of 10MBps.
Sony will also introduce a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo. While the company will continue to support full-sized Memory Stick, the product development will largely center on building out the smaller form factor Duo (which can fit in full-sized MS slots with an adapter). The card will ship in July for an estimated $250.
The company will also introduce the HDPS-L1, a hard-disk-based photo storage device designed to connect to HDTVs. The unit features a 720p composite output for displaying digital images on HD sets, an 80GB hard drive, five memory card slots and a USB port. Photos can be viewed in one of seven preloaded slide shows with automatic music and transition effects.
SmartDisk announced its PhotoBank hard disk drive-based storage device. The PhotoBank can connect to a PC via USB and accepts the popular flash memory card formats. It features a 40GB capacity and will ship in March for a suggested $179.99.
Wolverine introduced a 120GB portable media player that can display digital images, video and playback digital audio files. The MVP 9120 can display images on its 2.5-inch LCD or connect to a PC or TV. The 7-in-1 card reader supports CF, MicroDrive, SD, MMC, Memory Stick (including PRO), Smart Media and xD cards.
The $599 device supports JPEG, TIFF, BMP and 33 camera RAW files with their corresponding EXIF data (which the company will expand through periodic firmware upgrades on its Web site). The MVP 9120 also supports MPEG-1, MPEG-4 and DivX-5.x video files, and MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV audio files.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.