Trek 2000 Ltd introduces a wifi SD card where by the user could transfer files from a device, like a camera, to a computer without the need for cables or internet access.
We’ve seen this card before called the Eye-Fi card so we’ve been here before. What I like to see is the concept adopting on and more vendors are making such a device.
Trek 2000 has a bit of unique name for their SD wifi card; the “FluCard.” The FluCard was aptly named because Trek 2000 is hoping the product name will be contagious and easily remember by users. Of course, this naming idea is like “Kleenex” or “Google” where it just becomes a house-hold name. Trek has done this before, apparently the owner of Trek 20 coined the phrase “Thumb Drive” and we all know what that is!
The FluCard is a wifi device and does not need internet access to work. You could be in the middle of the Sudan and transfer files from your digital camera to your phone or computer. The wifi is license free.
The FluCard is comprised of a NAND flash chip for memory and an IC controller which has built in wifi capability.
3 bit-per-cell NAND is sampled out the manufacturers.Â The 3 bit per cell is exactly that, 3 bits of information are stored in each NAND cell.Â This increased the capacity while keeping the foot print the same size.Â This ultimately leads to larger storage capacity at a cheaper price.Â Traditionally, SLC [Single Layer Cell] and MLC [Multi Layer Cell] technology is used is USB and SD flash, but we will begin to see TLC [Triple Layer Cell or 3 bit per cell] technology have a full roll-out by the end of this year.
Over the past 18 months the biggest problem with TLC is the stability of the memory and performance, but Intel and Micron feel they overcame those problems and ready for production.Â More with their press release:
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SD cards come in all sorts of GB sizes and speeds.Â Today I thought it a good idea to take a look inside an SD card along with breaking out the speed differences.
To start, the SD media is broken down into “Classes”Â The Class depicts the speeds at which a device reads and writes.
There are different speed grades available, measured the same as CD-ROMs, in multiples of 150 kB/s (1x = 150 kB/s). Basic cards transfer data up to six times (6x) the data rate of the standard CD-ROM speed (900 kB/s vs. 150 kB/s).
The maximum read speed and maximum write speed may be different. Maximum write speed typically is lower than maximum read speed. Some digital cameras require high-speed cards (write speed) to record video smoothly or capture multiple still photographs in rapid succession. This requires a certain sustained speed, or the video stops recording. For recording, a high maximum speed with a low sustained speed is no better than a low speed card. The 2.0 specification defines speeds up to 200x.
Some manufacturers use the read speed in their X-ratings, while others (Kingston, for example) use write speed.
SD Cards and SDHC Cards have Speed Class Ratings defined by the SD Association. The SD Speed Class Ratings specify the following minimum write speeds based on “the best fragmented state where no memory unit is occupied”:
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.
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.
Did 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.
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Ya, that’s right…sometimes you need to crack your own flash memory.Â In this case, what if you have a password protected SD card?Â Well, the crafty fellows at USBFever have a solution which requires a USB port and a card reader adapter.
The USB Fever memory card unlocker is designed to crack your code and get back that flash memory you’ve been locked out from.Â The draw back, which I believe is appropriate punishment on forgetting your password, is the unlocker wipes your card clean of any data.Â If the data is that important you can send the flash card out to be serviced – but are pictures of your mother-in-law that important?Â Doubt it.
USB Fever memory card unlocker product page.
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