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xD-Picture Card Nets Wider Distribution

5/27/2003 01:03:00 PM Eastern

Melville, N.Y. - The newest flash memory format on the scene, the xD-Picture Card co-developed by Fujifilm, Olympus and Toshiba, has just extended its retail reach thanks to two independent agreements signed with two of the leading flash memory manufacturers.

The first deal, between Olympus and Lexar Media, gives the later company the rights to sell xD memory cards in Lexar-branded packaging. Previously, Lexar sold Olympus-branded xD cards.

Lexar has also agreed to license its patents to Olympus for the xD-Picture Card and host devices sold to Olympus' retail customers or bundled with Olympus cameras. Lexar Media and Olympus also agreed to future joint technology development.

SanDisk announced that it has signed a five-year agreement with Olympus covering the xD-Picture Card format. Under the agreement, Olympus will be licensed to SanDisk's patents relating to xD flash cards and host devices. SanDisk will be licensed to manufacture xD-Picture Cards for Olympus as well as sell xD-Picture Cards under the Olympus brand through SanDisk's global retail distribution channels.

SanDisk will begin shipments of xD-Picture Cards in capacities from 64MB to 256MB in selected regions beginning in June, with worldwide availability in the third quarter 2003.