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Fast Flash Debuts At PMA

Las Vegas — Flash-memory manufacturers felt the need for speed at the PMA show last week, debuting several high-capacity memory cards to keep pace with higher resolution, higher performance digicams.

SanDisk added a 4GB SDHC Class 6 card and a 4GB Memory Stick PRO Duo card to its Extreme III line.

The 4GB SDHC card offers read/write speeds of up to 20MBps, while the Memory Stick clocks in at 18MBps. The Memory Stick card will ship in April for a suggested $179. The SDHC card will bundle the MicroMate card reader and retail for $139 when it ships in April.

A Class 2 SDHC card has a minimum data transfer speed of 2MBps, a Class 4 offers 4MBps and a Class 6 card clocks in at 6MBps.

Kingston introduced a USB flash drive with a built-in SD/MMC slot, allowing it to double as a card reader. The DataTraveler Reader drive is also compatible with new SDHC cards. The drive will be available in 1GB and 2GB for $19.99 and $34.99, respectively. Pricing on the 4GB card was not announced.

Computers will recognize the drive as two separate storage devices — one for the flash drive, the other for an SD/MMC card. The drives will ship in the end of March.

The company also added three new 8GB SDHC cards with Class 2, 4 and 6 speed ratings and a pair of 4GB SDHC cards with Class 4 and 6 speed ratings.

The 8GB Class 2 card will retail for $109, Class 4 for $114 and Class 6 for $129.

The 4GB Class 4 SDHC card will retail for $69.99 while the Class 6 will retail for $99.99.

PNY added an 8GB CF card in its Optima Pro line alongside a new 8GB SDHC Class 6 card. The 8GB CF card features a data transfer rate of 40MBps (266X). The new SD card offer transfer rates of 20MBps.

The company will also ship a 1GB and 2GB SD card speed rated at 133x or 20MBps.

The cards ship in April. Pricing was not announced.

Norcent, a recent entry into the flash market, showed an expanded line of flash-memory products at PMA.

The company will ship a SD Trio Card which packages a 1GB or 2GB microSD card with adapters for MiniSD and full-sized SD cards. The cards feature a data transfer rate of 11MBps.

An SD Duo SKU combines an SD card with USB drive in capacities to 1GB. The company will ship a 1GB and 2GB CF card with an 80x speed rating and a 4GB and 8GB CF card with a 120x speed rating. It will offer 60x and 80x SD cards in 1GB and 2GB capacities and an 80x microSD card in 1GB and 2GB capacities.

The company also introduced a new line of USB drives in 1GB, 2GB and 4GB capacities.

Pricing was not announced.

Lexar announced that it will offer Kodak-branded SD cards in multipacks starting in March. The cards will be available in two-, three- and four-packs of 1GB cards, as well as two-packs of 2GB cards. Lexar will also offer a 2GB SD card and a UFC drive — which combines an SD card reader with a 128MB USB flash drive.