Matsushita Announces Bigger, Faster SD Cards
Matsushita has announced that it will soon be releasing 256 MB and 512 MB secure digital (SD) memory cards. The 256 MB version is expected to hit the market on December 21 while the 512 MB one is scheduled to be available on January 21, 2002. It is not yet clear whether Matsushita is planning to release them in Japan first and in the rest of the world later or if they plan a world-wide launch. Prices for either of these cards have not yet be announced.
These new cards boast a transfer speed up to five times faster than current cards. While current SD cards can transfer data at 2 MB/second, the new ones are capable of 10 MB/second for both read and write.
According to Matsushita, the largest one of these can hold up over 11 hours of MP3 files. Of course, this depends on the quality at which they were saved.
Beginning in October, the company plans to begin producing 700 thousand of these a month.
Matsushita and its American subsidiary Panasonic are engaged in a war with the rival Sony over flash memory. They are competing over who can make the largest capacities and both have cut their prices recently.
While Sony's Memory Sticks currently have a slight edge over Panasonic SD cards in price, Sony has not yet announced 256 MB or 512 MB Memory Sticks.
Not surprisingly, as larger cards get announced, smaller cards get phased out. Panasonic no longer lists 8 MB SD cards for sale on its site.
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