Pretec Electronics has begun offering samples of a 4GB SD (Secure Digital) memory card, the company said Wednesday.
Scheduled to enter mass production in August, Pretec's 4G-byte SD card conforms to the SD 1.1 specification and has an access speed of 20MB per second, according to Pretec, which is a subsidiary of Taiwan's C-One Technology.
Roughly the size of postage stamp, SD cards are a popular type of removable memory card. Support for the cards can be found in a wide range of handheld devices, including PDAs (personal digital assistants), cellular phones, and digital cameras.
SD cards are currently available in a range of capacities, from as little as 16MB or less up to 2GB. More capacity lets users take more high-resolution pictures with their cameras or carry more MP3 music files with them.
Samples of the 4G-byte SD cards, which are based on 16G-bit NAND flash memory chips, are being offered to customers at US$699 per card, it said. That price is significantly higher than the price of SD cards with less capacity, such as 1GB models which sell for less than US$100 but is likely to fall over time.
Pretec claims it is the first company to ship a 4GB model, although several other companies, including Taiwan's ATP Electronics, have also announced plans to offer 4GB SD cards. ATP plans to introduce its 4GB SD card during the fourth quarter, the company said in a statement.
SD cards with still greater capacity are set for release in the future, according to the SD Card Association, an industry group established to promote the technology. It said SD cards with a capacity of 8GB are in the pipeline but did not say when these cards will be available.