SD Media Backers Form Association

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Panasonic, Toshiba and Sandisk yesterday announced the creation of the Secure Digital (SD) Association, designed to promote the use of SD flash memory cards.

The association has 71 initial members, said Sandisk senior VP of marketing Nelson Chan, and expects to add about 30 by the end of January. Companies joining the association, for a $5,000 fee, will receive all the necessary specifications to create both the media and host products capable of using the cards.

"The SD Association will promote global adoption, cross-platform compatibility, and will ensure future SD products and media cards are backward compatible," Chan said.

A 64MB SD card is expected to ship soon and will be followed later this year by a 128MB version. The card's capacity is expected to climb to 512MB by 2002, at which point it will store up to five hours of video.

"By 2010, SD will make obsolete 35mm cameras, 8mm camcorders, and CD/MD portable music players," said Sandisk CEO Eli Harari.

The three SD Association founders scoffed at the potential competition offered by Sony's Memory Stick flash memory device. Sony is at a disadvantage because it does not make its own flash chips and because the technology is proprietary, said Harari.


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