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Flash Capacity Grows In HD Era

Las Vegas — The surging popularity of flash-based high-definition camcorders, digital SLRs and high-resolution digital cameras has pushed flash-memory capacities and performance to new heights at International CES last week.

Panasonic said it would ship a 32GB SDHC memory card in the second half. It would be a Class 6 card. Pricing wasn’t announced.

Pretec said it would ship a 48GB CF card with a 333x speed rating. Pricing and availability were not announced.

SanDisk announced a “Video HD” line of SDHC and Memory Stick Pro Duo cards. The cards will carry both capacity and recording time (in HD Standard mode) on the packaging.

The SanDisk Video HD card packaging offers a chart that shows the approximate number of minutes for HD High, HD Standard and HD Extended settings. According to SanDisk, the new cards will be merchandized next to digital camcorders and will include jewel cases and labels for archiving video.

The video line will ship in March. A 4GB (60 minute) SDHC and Memory Stick card will retail for a suggested $79.99. An 8GB (120 minute) SDHC card will retail for $139 while an 8GB Memory Stick will retail for $149.

Lastly, SanDisk said it was sampling a 12GB microSDHC card — the higher capacity announced to date. Pricing and availability were not announced.

Sony introduced a 16GB Memory Stick Pro Duo card, which will ship in March for an estimated $300. A new “Mark 2” designation has been added to cards fast enough to support high-definition video recording.