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First SD Flash Memory Product Introduced

SanDisk announced that Toshiba has introduced the world’s first product designed to use the SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card, a high-capacity, high-security flash memory card. The device, a mobile Internet audio player (MEA110AS), is the first of a series of products that SanDisk expects will be introduced that will use the SD Memory Card. Several companies have indicated that they plan to base many of their new consumer electronics products on the SD Memory Card.

The SD card was introduced in August 1999 by Matsushita, SanDisk and Toshiba. As of January, 71 companies have stated they plan to join the new SD Association, an industry-wide association created to set industry standards for the card and promote its acceptance in digital applications, including Internet music players, Internet appliances, mobile phones, digital still cameras, digital video cameras, PDAs and other products. Initial membership in the association is expected to include approximately 100 companies.

Nelson Chan, SanDisk’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said, “Toshiba’s introduction of its new SD Internet music player is the first of many new SD-based consumer electronics products that we expect to see on the market this year and in 2001. We applaud Toshiba’s vision in helping establish the SD Memory Card as an industry standard in the era of the Internet.”

Toshiba’s new mobile audio player has a slot for the SD Memory Card, a solid-state removable card with the physical profile of a postage stamp (24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm).

Toshiba announced that “this is the world’s first AAC – and MP3 – compatible mobile audio player with a SD Memory Card slot. Support for AAC — high quality sound compression for music distribution and digital satellite broadcasts that will start later this year – and for MP3 – today’s most widely used format for digital music on the Internet – assures that the MEA110AS will bring consumers a tremendous range of audio content.”

MEA110AS incorporates the SDMI-compliant Content Protection for Recordable Media (CPRM) developed by Toshiba and other leading IT companies, assuring a high level of copyright protection and data security, while achieving full compliance with the SD Audio format specified by the SD Association. The player’s built-in 64 megabyte flash memory stores 60 minutes of music. An optional 64MB SD Memory Card adds a further 60 minutes.

The MEA110AS will be available in Japan starting April 22, according to Toshiba. Toshiba is now readying the product for its introduction in the international market.

“The SD Memory Card is a self-contained solution for the coming era of booming electronic distribution,” said Masao Suga, who promotes mobile AV product applications at Toshiba, and will head the Mobile AV Network Division, which was established April 1 at Toshiba Corp. “A strong partnership between SanDisk and Toshiba in flash memory allows users of our new SD-based mobile products to be highly confident about the future of this small but powerful medium.”

Both Toshiba and SanDisk plan to separately introduce 128MB SD Memory Cards by the end of 2000. The card provides an SDMI-compliant high level of copyright protection.