Samsung Getting Into Retail Flash Memory Sales

For those who know, the Samsung branded NAND flash memory is considered the Tier 1 quality that everyone talks about.  It’s the best stuff out there…highest quality, best in performance, yet always a touch above others [Micron, Hynix, etc] in price.

Samsung flash

Well that might change because Samsung is entering the retail market with their solid state flash of Secure Digital, Compact Flash and microSD media. Samsung will release sizes from 4GB to 16GB capacity before the end of 2009.  These cards will be in the ‘Plus’ memory card class and compliant with the Secure Digital class 6 performance standards.  Cards boust a speed range of 17Mbps to 45Mbps. Continue Reading

Samson Q3 Is Portable Video Recorder With 32Gigs

Samson just released a great looking product, the Q3.  It’s a hand held video recorder and what is particularly nice about this unit, is the huge microphone perched at the top.  Now it’s easier than ever to capture that perfect moment – in both video and audio.

Samson Q3

In addition to the well positioned microphone, the Samson Q3 also has an expansion slot via SD card for additional memory capacity.  Up to 32GBs to be exact.  Thus the title of the article.

Samson Q3 SD slot

The Samson Q3 also has VGA output so you can easily connect the device to your TV for instant viewing. Use HandyShare to edit and share video on your favorite websites including YouTube, Facebook and MySpace. You can connect the video recorder to your computer via USB connection. Continue Reading

Boot Your MacBook Pro From SD Slot

macbook pro sd slotMacWorld posted an article about a French website getting the MacBook Pro to boot from a SD card in the SD slot.  Not a huge feat, but I think it’s an indication that laptop manufacturers, both PC and Mac, will continue going down the road of being Optical-less [if that’s a world]. If you are a MacBook Pro owner and interested in this bootability, please visit the following link: here. The MacWorld article also mentioned a new SD format of SDXC which is based off the new Windows exFAT format for extended FAT and FAT32 sizes.  I’ll dig up some research on this and report back. Source: MacWorld. Continue Reading

TASCAM’s Digital Pocketstudio Records to SD Cards

The TASCAM’s DP-004 Digital Pocketstudio is based on 30 years of easy-to-use cassette Portastudios, and updated with four tracks of CD-quality digital recording. Like those groundbreaking Portastudios, a row of knobs set levels and pan instead of a list of menus.

tascam pocketstudio

The DP-004 can record two sources at once to the included 1GB SD Card. A built-in stereo condenser microphone makes it simple to record anywhere you go, perfect for concerts, rehearsals and songwriting inspirations. A pair of 1/4″ jacks on the rear panel allow you to connect your own microphones or sources. You can even switch the inputs to guitar level for recording. You can connect to the Pocketstudio via two 1/4″ mic line inputs, switchable guitar input, headphone line out or USB 2.0 connection. For recording options you have four track digital multitrack recording with 44.1kHz/16-bit WAV recording.  The unit records directly to SD cards with autopunch, repeat and record undo functions.  You can also have a dedicated stereo mixdown track. As for power, just a couple AA batteries will keep this going for nearly 8 hours. Street price is right at $200 bills. TASCAM Pocketstudio product page. Continue Reading

SanDisk & LG Locking Data to microSD Cards

SanDisk and LG developed technology to lock data to a microSD card.  Their goal was to data load information to a microSD card which could only be used with a specific device.  This ability would insure content isn’t used with other devices or copied over to another user for unauthorized use.

data lock microsd

These cards could help to make a particular handset or plan more attractive to a subscriber by offering songs, movies, maps for GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation or applications. However, locking the card will ensure consumers couldn’t use the content elsewhere.
SanDisk reports the data lock portion could be updated remotely via IP protocols which means a vendor could update music lists, content and video depending on the subscribers requirements, needs or membership. Some critics believe this technology is coming at a bad time, since users enjoy cross platform sharing for their music, along with Apples move towards less DRM on their music.  However, what these critics don’t see is the need to protect other types of intellectual property.  Although music and video is the big numbers, mainstream target market, there is an infinite need in the pro-sumer and corporate world for data lock and protection. Continue Reading

Hack: Use SD Card With Disposable Digital Camera

With the economy being a bit tight and many folks finding themselves either out of work or some extra time on their hands, it might be worth interest to check out this SD card hack to run a disposable camera off the tracks…and turn it into a re-usable digital camera. The meat of the tutorial is to replace some of the disposable camera’s guts with more permanent memory for re-usable applications. Granted it’s not the best digital camera in town, but if you’ve got the time, need to save some cash this might be a great, fun project. It’s also an ideal digital camera to send to school with the kids. Here’s the full video tutorial.
Digital Camera Hack! Secret The Stores Don’t Want You To Know! – video powered by Metacafe Have fun! Continue Reading

Samsung Considers Bid For SanDisk

Samsung is looking to strengthen their digital memory storage line with a possible purchase of SanDisk.  SanDisk is currently the #1 supplier of solid state flash memory, world wide [such as Secure Digital, miniSD, microSD and many more].  Samsung is the top producer of flash memory chips.

samsung sandisk buy out

Through an acquisition, Samsung would strengthen it’s channel for supplying it’s flash chip to retail and channel sales of end-user flash memory. With weak chip prices and fluctuating buyer habits, a move like this could strengthen Samsung’s position and would put Samsung at over 50% of world wide control of production, distribution and sales of NAND flash memory.
Avi Cohen of Avian Securities said it was an “unlikely prospect” due to SanDisk being unwilling to sell at the bottom of the cycle, and Samsung becoming a direct competitor to many of its customers and regulatory concerns. “Regulators in the US, Korea and Europe among others will likely have issue with one player controlling north of 50 per cent of NAND [Flash memory] supply,” he said.
Another option is Samsung reducing it’s royalty license to SanDisk to gain synergy with the top seller, reduce SanDisk’s bottom line and secure channel distribution of flash memory.
However if a deal goes ahead, it could block efforts by Samsung rivals Toshiba and Hynix Semiconductor to topple Samsung’s market leadership. Toshiba runs joint production lines with SanDisk and Hynix is also conducting joint re-search with the US group. Samsung controls 42.3 per cent of the NAND flash memory market, trailed by Toshiba with 27.5 per cent and Hynix with 13.4 per cent, says market researcher iSuppli.
Source:  Financial Times. Continue Reading

Hack: Why Is My SD Card Write Protected?

I ran into a situation the other day where my SD card was [all-of-a-sudden] write protected. I couldn’t format it, I couldn’t delete the files and I certainly couldn’t write to it. I checked the lock/unlock switch and still, no avail. I thought the card was a total loss.
 
It turns out, the SD card wasn’t the problem but the card reader was.
 
After some internet searching I found several solutions to the problem, but no one really explained what the problem was. So I thought others could learn on “why” their SD card was write protected and giving problems.
 
First off, lets take a look at the SD card reader itself. Below is a typical SD connector found inside most SD card readers. The area I will be talking about today is the part of the reader which makes a physical connection to either give write access or provide write protection. It’s the thin metal strip the blue arrow is pointing to.

internal sd card reader

What gives the SD card write protect error is when that metal strip does not make contact with another metal strip on the inside of the card reader. When the SD flash memory card is pushed inside the card reader, the internal metal strip is pushed outward and makes contact with the outer metal strip shown in the picture above.
 
To give you a better idea, here is a rough drawing / schematic of the metal connectors: Continue Reading

Surplus of NAND Flash Memory To Continue

DRAMeXchange published a market research paper stating that NAND flash memory will continue to flood the market at lower prices. NAND flash memory is primarily used for storing songs, photos and other data on gadget type devices like digital cameras, MP3 players and iPods. The biggest contributing factor on why the market will continue to see cheap NAND is lack of sales.

sandisk flash memory

Since production forecasts run months ahead, the market has sitting inventory. To move this inventory prices are continueing to drop. For example, DRAMeXchange reported a drop of 20% in June for NAND memory related devices.
The NAND flash market has been so bad that the creator of the chips, SanDisk, on Monday reported a surprise loss of US$68 million for the second quarter. The company blamed the supply glut for its problems, pointing out that it sold a record amount of flash, 120 percent more than the same time last year, but that prices are down 55 percent compared to then.
SanDisk also reported the flash memory pricing might get worse [better for us] in the third quarter. So, it might be a good idea to start picking out your Christmas items now and make sure it’s some type of flash gadget. On the flip side, with today’s surplus means these companies are cutting back production as well, so once this flood dries up, we could see a shortage for NAND and prices jumping up…and the cycle goes on. Source: Network World. Continue Reading

SD Memory Cards Should Use Specific Formatting Software

computer userDid you know that SD (Secure Digital) memory cards should use a specific type of formatting software? I didn’t. I’ve been using the typical Windows formatting utility for years now – never seen a problem. However, I found out today that Panasonic has such a software utility. A utility that complies with the SD Memory Card Specification. The SD formatting software is specifically design for this media type and should not be used with other media types such as Compact Flash, USB or Memory Stick. However, the SD formatting software is ideal for SD, SDHC and all the sub sizes including miniSD and microSD. It is difficult to determine exactly what the difference is from the Panasonic website but from our investigation it appears you get two benefits. 1) the card size is formatted correctly to maximize size. The Windows version will make your card slightly smaller and 2) with optimized format the flash memory will perform slightly better. Of the two benefits, it’s difficult to determine how much of a difference a user would really see. Marginal at best. However, if you are anything like me, grab the utility package and give her a try. Panasonic’s webpage for SD Memory Card Formatting Utility. Continue Reading

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