Hitachi debuts high-capacity memory cards

Hitachi debuts high-capacity memory cards


Hitachi has unveiled a range of new high-capacity flash memory cards including the industry's highest-capacity yet Compact Flash (CF) card.

The new cards, which are scheduled to begin shipping in sample quantities in July in Japan, make use of a special chip package that, unlike conventional products, contains two 256Mb memory chips stacked one on top of the other.

This makes it possible to store 512Mb's of information in a plastic packaging that ordinarily contains half that amount. The technology was developed as one answer to ongoing demands from customers for higher-capacity memory cards, Hitachi said.

Leading the new line up is a 448Mb (CF) card - the industry's highest capacity card in the CF format, according to Hitachi. The company also unveiled 256Mb and 320Mb CF cards. Unlike current CF cards, which are 3.3 millimeters thick, the three new Hitachi cards conform to the recently standardised type 2 format for 5 millimeter thick cards.

Sample pricing will range from 143,000 yen ($2313) for the 448Mb CF card, to 105,000 yen ($1699) and 85,000 yen ($1375) for the 320Mb and 256Mb versions, respectively, a Hitachi spokesperson said.

Hitachi also announced a new type 2 PC Card memory card that accommodates 16 of the double density chips to result in a total capacity of 1GB of storage capacity.

The highest capacity CF card, which is the same size as a postage stamp, can hold seven hours of CD quality music while the PC Card can hold up to 16 hours of the same, said the Japan-based company.

Flash memory cards are commonly used in a wide range of portable multimedia devices, such as digital still cameras and music players, because they feature the ability to retain their contents even when the power is disconnected and consume a small amount of power in operation.

Hitachi also hopes the new PC Card, which is to carry a sample price in the 350,000 yen ($5665) to 400,000 ($6475) yen range, will find use among notebook computer users as a high-capacity removable storage system or in cases where a second hard drive would otherwise be installed.

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