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FISH Swims Into Flash Format Wars

2/05/2004 12:24:00 PM Eastern

Broomfield, Colo. — The Universal Transportable Memory Association (UTMA) announced the creation of the latest in a long line of flash media formats designed for use in an array of consumer electronics devices.

The format, called FISH memory (Flash Internal Semiconductor Hard drive) is essentially a miniature USB flash drive designed to fit inside electronic devices. According to UTMA, the card is smaller than an SD card and narrower than an xD-Picture Card. It will plug directly into any USB host port like a typical USB flash drive, and uses USB 2.0 connectivity for fast downloads.

To date the format’s backers, and UTMA members, are shrouded in contractual secrecy. According to a UTMA spokesman, at least two flash memory manufacturers are onboard to produce the card – which should be available 'soon' in capacities up to 2GB. UTMA members include 'camera suppliers, PC suppliers, PDA suppliers, car and home audio suppliers, personal audio player suppliers and photo kiosk suppliers,' among others, according to the group.

Products incorporating FISH memory are expected to be on store shelves by Christmas, the spokesman said.

The goal behind FISH is to make a single flash memory card standard, replacing the multiplicity of formats currently clogging the market, the spokesman said. Thanks to its USB connectivity, the card doesn’t need a reader or cables to transfer data to a PC.