More On The miCard

As things unfold for the miCard today we find a picture of the first [actual] product.
Here we see the Pretec S-Diamond miCard which is the new memory card standard from the MMC Association. The new format is expected to house anywhere from 128MB to 2TBs! Measuring only 21mmX12mmX1.95mm, miCard is the smallest USB flash drive in the world, with an area 40% smaller than miniSD (volume is about 18% smaller than miniSD). miCard can also be an SD/MMC card with an inexpensive adapter. The specification of miCard should be able to be released to MMCA members later this year. S-Diamond is the 2nd generation of Pretec i-Disk Diamond series, which has been the smallest USB flash drive for years, which can now also serve as an SD/MMC card, saving not only consumers cost, but also saving hassles by getting rid of card readers and carrying multiple flash cards in different form factors. Continue Reading

Nanowires and Flash Like Material Could be the Future

Over the weekend a publication came out about applying nanowires to flash like storage to produce memory that is cheaper to manufacture than typical flash memory storage materials we see today. The fabrication is a combination of silicon nanowires and more traditional type of data storage. Researchers say their hybrid structure may be more reliable than other nanowire-based memory devices built recently, and could as well be easily integrated into commercial applications.
nanowire flash
According to the scientists, the device is a type of “non-volatile” memory, like flash memory, which is widely used in digital camera memory cards and USB memory sticks, meaning stored information is not lost when the device is without power. In this new device, nanowires are integrated with a higher-end type of non-volatile memory that is similar to flash, a layered structure known as Semiconductor-Oxide-Nitride-Oxide-Semiconductor (SONOS) technology. Here’s the key element of the design, when fully charged, each nanowire device stores a single bit of information, either a “0” or a “1” depending on the position of the electrons. When no voltage is present, the stored information can be read. Since flash memory is a more expensive to produce than using the above design, the nanowire memory approach could further reduce the cost of memory thus creating a shift in manufacturing process, design and end user consumption. Not bad! Continue Reading

RIM Sues Samsung Over Black

Research In Motion, creators of Blackberry have their arms up in the air for Samsung marketing a Blackberry looking mobile device called the BlackJack.
RIM is stating in the lawsuit that Samsung is projecting false origin and unfair competition of the trademark name, Blackberry. BUT, the BlackJack does have some notable features the RIM folks are near offering, like 1.3mp digital camera and MP3 player. The BlackJack, like Blackberry has a MicroSD slot for expanded memory. Despite the lawsuit, Cingular Continue Reading 58 Comments

3X Faster Memory Stick PRO-HG

At 3X the speed of a Memory Stick PRO the Memory Stick PRO HG version is based of a new 8-bit parrallel interface that bumps transfer rates to that of HighSpeed USB of 480mbps. SanDisk and Sony have teamed up to produce this gem of a technology. The speed increase obviously helps transfer rates during download, but it further enhances performance for digital products during activity process like SLR cameras during rapid shooting or digi-cams that recording directly to flash memory.
memory stick pro hg
The news came out today, but don’t expect anything until Q1 2007. Continue Reading 7 Comments Secure Digital Music Initiative

The SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) is an activist group that has brought together more than 200 companies and organizations representing information technology, consumer electronics, security technology, the worldwide recording industry, and Internet service providers.
SDMI’s goal is to develop open technology specifications that protect the playing, storing, and distributing of digital music so a new market for digital music may emerge and become successful for all parties. Continue Reading

New NAND Flash Technology Using Stackable Approach

Toshiba might be on to something with their development of a new three dimensional memory cell array structure that enhances cell density and data capacity without relying on advances in process technology. All this with minimal increase in chip size.
toshiba nand memory
The new structure design reflects pillars of stacked memory elements passing vertically through multi-stacked layers of electrode material and utilize shared peripheral circuits. The design is a potential candidate technology for meeting future demand for higher density NAND flash memory. Typically, advances in memory density reflect advances in process technology, but Toshiba’s approach isn’t necessarily the case. Toshiba’s new approach is based on innovations in the stacking process, not manufacturing process. Existing memory stacking technologies simply stack two-dimensional memory array on top of another, repeating the same set of processes.
stack flash memory design
While this achieves increased memory cell density, it makes the manufacturing process longer and more complex. The new array design from Toshiba does increase memory cell density, is easier to fabricate, and does not require increase in chip area, as peripheral circuits are shared by several silicon pillars. Toshiba said that it will further develop this elemental technology to the level where it matches current structures in terms of security and reliability. So nothing concrete yet, but well on the way with Toshiba’s announcement and commitment to fine-tuning this approach. With computer hard drives starting to go NAND based, there is a lot at stake. Continue Reading

miCard The New 2TB Flash Card

The MultiMedia Card Association just approved what could become the super flash card of the future – the miCard.  The new design from a Taiwanese research institute has produced a new global memory card standard, called the miCard, with a storage capacity that max’s out at 2TB (terabytes)
not the real product
The miCard is expected to ship as early as the 3rd quarter of this year.  What is inviting about this standard is not only the storage capacity but the backward compatibility of the card size.  With the inclusion of USB connectivity the miCard could literally wipe-out the plethora of other flash memory cards – thus making this site much less interesting!  Oh – lets hope not! The first miCards will be able to store 8GB of data, but the maximum capacity is expected to top out around 2,048GB. The compatibility with both USB and MMC slots means most users won’t need separate card readers anymore. MMC cards fit most consumer electronics, while USB connections are built into a wide range of IT hardware, including laptops, desktops, printers and home entertainment gear. So far, 12 Taiwanese companies have signed on to manufacture the miCard, according to its inventor, the Industrial Technology Research Institute. Officials expect local companies to save $40 million in licensing fees thanks to the card, in addition to profiting from sales. Taiwanese companies will not have to pay royalties to make miCards or related technology. Continue Reading

Insignia MP3 Player is 2/3rds Good

So you’re in the market for a budget MP3 player. Well the Insignia is worth a consideration. In addition it plays video and still images back while gyrating to your favorite tunes. Easy to use and MicroSD slot for expanded memory this little player is a descent value for the money.
insignia mp3 player
CNET: “The Insignia MP3 Player & Image Viewer doesn’t have the best sound quality and image quality could be better. It’s bulky for a flash MP3 player.”
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Nokia E61 Gets Bigger with MiniSD

Take the 75MBs of internal flash memory and jump another 2GB with MiniSD expansion slot makes the Nokia E61 one heck of a power SmartPhone. Considering the Nokia E61, it is a 3G handset with quad-band GSM support. With WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and the 320×240 pixel display in 16 million colors gives you a great wires free multimedia entertainment and work phone. Big downer, the Nokia E61 doesn’t consist of any camera – I guess too many businesses have issues with digital camera proliferation.
Nokia E61
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