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SanDisk, Lexar Introduces Flash Memory Products

SanDisk and Lexar Media introduced new flash media at the International CES here earlier this month.

Thesse introductions mark the increasing prominence of the SD memory format, which will see more compatible devices, especially digital cameras, debut in 2002.

The new USB-enabled Multi-MediaCard/Secure Digital reader from Lexar will carry a suggested retail price of $29.99. The reader requires no soft ware drivers so it will work with any operating system. It ships in the first quarter.

SanDisk stepped into the portable storage market with the introduction of the Cruzer, a pocket-sized storage device with removable and upgradeable flash memory cards. The Cruzer is 3 x 1.25 x .75 inches so it can be slipped into a pocket or purse.

The Cruzer will initially be available in 32MB, 64MB, 128MB and 256MB capacities and can accommodate SD and MultiMediaCards, and will be upgradeable as higher capacity memory cards hit the market. The Cruzer will be available in the first quarter of 2002 and is expected to sell, depending on capacity, at prices ranging from a suggested retail of $59.95 up to $199.95. The 128MB Cruzer will carry a $99.95 suggested retail price.

“The Cruzer is unique because it is the first pocket-size, personal data storage device that is fully compatible with both PCs and consumer electronic devices,” said Wes Brewer, SanDisk’s director of business development. “Up to now, all small flash storage devices were either PC centric or consumer electronic centric and could not be upgraded by the user.”

The Cruzer, said Brewer, bridges the gap because it plugs into the industry-standard USB port while its removable storage medium can also easily link the PC to a broad array of consumer electronics devices such as digital cameras, music players and PDAs that have an SD or MultiMediaCard slot.

SanDisk also introduced a 256-megabyte SD Card capable of storing up to eight hours of digital music, more than 80 minutes of MPEG-4 video or about 250 high-resolution digital images. This new card doubles the capacity of SanDisk’s highest capacity SD Cards now shipping.

The 256MB SanDisk SD Card uses a 1-gigabit NAND flash memory chip, the next generation of flash memory that doubles the amount of storage capacity in these flash memory cards. It is based on the patented multi-level cell (MLC) technology pioneered by SanDisk that allows two bits of data to be stored in one memory cell, doubling memory capacity. The 256MB SanDisk SD Card will be available in this quarter and is expected to sell for approximately $199.