SanDisk Announces WiFi SD & CF cards w/ Memory

CES 2003: SanDisk Corporation today introduced a line of wireless Wi-Fi (802.11b) cards with the world's first card products to include both memory and wireless communications technology. The new SanDisk Connect product line was introduced at a press conference at CES.

The Connect product line includes four products - dual-function 128 megabyte (MB) CompactFlash® (CF) and 256MB SD cards that combine Wi-Fi and flash memory as well as single-function CF and SD cards with Wi-Fi connectivity. SanDisk plans to add 256MB cards to the CF Connect product line by the middle of 2003.

Nelson Chan, SanDisk senior vice president and general manager of SanDisk's retail business unit, said, "Access points that allow mobile computer users to wirelessly connect to their email and the Internet are rapidly being deployed around the world - from hotels, airports and universities to cafes, coffee shops and corporate campuses. With these new SanDisk Connect cards, people on the go can quickly transmit and receive data, images and music from any of those thousands of locations."

He added, "The cards bring wireless connectivity to a host of new products including handheld and notebook computers, digital cameras and MP3 players. By combining both flash memory and wireless communications in one card, people going on a business or pleasure trip can load up the card with family pictures, data files, spread sheets and Power Point presentations and have everything they need, plus wireless connectivity, on one card. This is becoming quite important to consumers and business users because many handheld and notebook computers have only one card slot and users are forced to decide between using the slot for connectivity or for storage. These SanDisk Connect cards solve that problem."

The new Connect cards also allow users to download files to their mobile computers while connected to their email or the Internet. Today, computer owners sometimes cannot download files to their systems because the main memory in the computer is already full. With a Connect card plugged in, they can download their files to that card if main memory is no longer available.

Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts, a Phoenix-based market research firm, said, "It's clear that the WLAN market growth is truly phenomenal, with 802.11 network interface card shipments growing over 100 percent in 2002 to 13.2 million from 6.4 million in 2001. We forecast that 138.7 million of these network interface cards will ship in 2006 for a compound annual growth rate of 85 percent from 2001. The mobility that WLAN provides ties in well with the compelling need for portable data storage, which makes the SanDisk Connect products very compelling."

SanDisk's SD Wi-Fi cards also will support devices with Palm's OS 4x and higher operating systems.

Combining flash memory and Wi-Fi in one card also represents a cost savings to consumers because if the cards were bought separately, they would cost considerably more.

SanDisk's new Connect cards have been designed with low power consumption to minimize battery drain, a key consideration for PDA and notebook users. The cards also have been simplified for easy installation, and security encryption keys are included with the products.

The Wi-Fi (802.11b) CF and SD Connect cards have a suggested retail price of $99.95. The dual-function CF cards with 128MB of capacity will be priced at $129.95 while the dual-function 256MB SD cards will be priced at $149.95. The CF Wi-Fi card is available now, the CF dual-function card and the SD Wi-Fi card will be available in March and the SD dual-function card is expected to ship at mid-year. The CF pricing includes a PC card adapter for notebook and laptop owners. SanDisk Connect cards will be sold in many of the 50,000 retail stores worldwide where SanDisk branded products are sold.

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SanDisk SD Card Problems

DWD @ 1/10/2003 3:19:16 PM #
I wonder if they addressed the problem of their SD cards functioning poorly on Palm devices?

RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
soundguise @ 1/10/2003 3:21:43 PM #
I may not yet have a palm device with an sd card slot but products like these are giving me more compelling reasons to upgrade. These products seem to address some of the concerns that have been voiced on PIC in the past of the sdio cards taking up the slots and not allowing for storage due to the limited internal memory.

I especially like the idea of communications and storage in one and the 256 mb sd card is really very enticing. The prices are also fairly reasonable for a card with so much potential.

RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
timewaster77 @ 1/10/2003 3:37:00 PM #
I have a feeling my next PDA (which would be my second) will have to be one that uses an SD card slot. Sony if you don't offer anything more compelling than you are going to lose my purchase.
RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
OrionNE @ 1/10/2003 3:44:08 PM #
just two words.



RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
jniola @ 1/10/2003 3:56:17 PM #
This is indeed very good news. My biggest disappointment with my Tungsten T is that I had to make a choice - connectivity or capacity. This card just made my day :) Can't wait until it comes out. Wish the SD card was 512, but this is a good start!

--Jon Niola

RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
Kesh @ 1/10/2003 4:07:07 PM #
Excellent news! That means that this summer, I can make my Treo 90 wireless. ;)

RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
jgb9348 @ 1/10/2003 4:33:41 PM #
I thought that the SD card in the Treo's was NON SDIO...meaning you couldn't transfer data using the Wi-Fi part of the card? I'm not certain, but someone please address the question: is it possible to use this card with a SD (not SDIO) card slot: a la the new HP Ipaq? Thanks everyone!


RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
rojo @ 1/10/2003 4:42:46 PM #
The Treo 90 has an update to make it SDIO. And yes it has to be in order to use it IIRC.

RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
tomwillson @ 1/10/2003 4:44:54 PM #
Handspring released a patch for the Treo90 to make it SDIO compatible.

RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
Kesh @ 1/10/2003 5:35:53 PM #
Right. The slot itself was SDIO compatible, but the Treo 90's firmware didn't support it. Handspring released a firmware update later to activate it, once enough people demanded it.

RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
RAMd®d @ 1/11/2003 3:16:36 PM #
I'm curious- given the power requirements of Wi-Fi over BlueTooth, what while battery life be like? With lots of RAM and color screens, battery life is already short enough.

I'm also using an iPAQ, and I need to charge it every day. Whereas the couple of minutes I need to sync my Palm (from putting into the cradle, booting up, and then synching) I *must* charge the iPAQ for 20m-35m minimum.


An armed society is a polite society.

RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
dsm363 @ 1/12/2003 12:28:11 PM #
I have the Tungsten T and the 256MB Sandisk SD card and am still having the slow sync problem when syncing data to the SD card takes 10 to 20 times longer than normal so I hope they fix this issue. Palm denies it's their problem and the only thing Sandisk will do is replace it with the same card since the one I have is "defective." Anyone ever solve this issue?

Wireless SDIO News
pdangel @ 1/13/2003 5:15:08 AM #
-While Bluetooth cards from Palm and Toshiba are already available, former Windows CE licensee Uniden says it is working on a Secure Digital Bluetooth card that will cost less than $50. And at 40 millimeters long, it will also be smaller than other Bluetooth cards. Expect a Pocket PC compatible card in March or April; no date has been set for the Palm OS compatible version.
-Anycom is releasing a Bluetooth SD card. Licensed from Toshiba and expected to be out in February, Anycom's card will be smaller than current cards and cost $109.
-Socket is offering a Bluetooth SD Card for PPC's as well.
-SandiskSocket, Socket and SyChip will come with WiFi SDIO Cards.

Using your Palm and Xircom 802.11 sled with T-Mobile WiFi Network

WiFi is like any other network -- it can be "public" (i.e., anyone with a network adapter can plug in and use the serivce) or it can be "private" (i.e., requires authentcation of some sort)....more

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"

Wireless Networking/ Bluetooth = fully mobile
pdangel @ 1/13/2003 6:06:44 AM #
WiFi and/or Bluetooth?????: First you have to understand the differences between Bluetooth and Wifi, that they are 2 different technologies for different uses/needs.....

It's very boring to read those "BT range is much less than the 802.11b and slower as well..." statements. The statement is true but it's like saying "My Bicycle hasn't the speed of my Car and isn't convenience for long distance as well"

#802.11b speed 11Mbps is in practice 2-6Mbps
#802.11 is battery sapping (Toshiba e740 runs 1 hour 45 with integrated wifi); bluetooth has an advantage for being low power; due to 802.11b's power demand to sustain high throughput and medium range, only certain portable devices like laptops can supply this power for long and still retain a reasonable batter life. pagers, handhelds, mobiles etc are not so lucky, they don't possess the energy to allow 802.11b to operate for long periods without directly impacting on their own performance.
#802.11b is designed as a communications channel to a host processor running TCP/IP. bluetooth defines more communications protocol layers and implements real applications. for the foreseeable medium-term future at least, this distinguishes a clear difference in the potential for each standard in embedded systems.
#cellular works better than Wi-Fi when the user is walking down the street or riding in a car. Wi-Fi is also subject to obstruction by everything from chimneys to elevator shafts; This is where Bluetooth (combined with cellular networks) comes in. Bluetooth is more mobile then WiFi. Dual, multi modes or Software-defined radios (SDRs) who support various Wireless Technologies are favourable solutions for now and in the future imho.
#bluetooth has a much lower range and throughput that 802.11, it's consequently significantly reduced power consumption means it has the ability to be much more ubiquitous than 802.11. it can be placed in printers, keyboards, mice, to fulfil its original role, to replace short-range cables. it can also be placed in pagers, mobile phones, temperature sensors to allow information download, monitoring and so on in areas equipped with a Bluetooth access point. low power and a projected stabilisation price of ~$5 gives it this potential.
#technology like bluetooth does not need a base radio station because every device can create a local network.
#bluetooth has a robust wireless connection method with a small footprint that makes it very well suited for millions of handheld devices; a bluetooth chip, designed to communicate in the 10m range, consumes only 1mW of power, compared to an 802.11b chip, which consumes more than 1W. A single bluetooth chipset is also fairly small, with a size of 8x8mm, compared to the smallest 802.11b at 30x14mm.
#bluetooth also holds an advantage concerning audio/voice communication (see Bluetooth Headsets, earbuds and audio/video profiles). here, bluetooth can be used in a cordless phone within a 10m range, in an office environment or home, without the need for handoffs. other WLAN technologies need voice-over-IP to support voice communication. 802.11b is a higher bandwidth standard optimized for rapid transfer of large amounts of data. although voice can be sent (as compressed files), it's not ideal for audio. bluetooth has a reasonable data transfer rate suitable for handling moderately sized data files, plus designed-for-purpose audio channel capability.

Wireless Networking: Bluetooth vs. 802.11b / Bluetooth = fully mobile:

"Neither 802.11b nor the newly introduced and faster versions of the protocol are designed for true mobile operation. These standards basically extend the IP protocol for wireless use. You can't carry an 802.11 device from one network to another and expect it to work automatically. Bluetooth, in contrast, was designed from the outset to be fully mobile, making Bluetooth a potentially better system for users who move around in a campus network."

"A lot of people ask me whether Wi-Fi or Bluetooth is "better." Although both are 2.4GHz technologies and overlap somewhat, they are more complementary than they are similar."

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"

RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
Altema @ 1/15/2003 4:42:06 PM #
"I have the Tungsten T and the 256MB Sandisk SD card and am still having the slow sync problem when syncing data to the SD card takes 10 to 20 times longer than normal so I hope they fix this issue. Palm denies it's their problem and the only thing Sandisk will do is replace it with the same card since the one I have is "defective." Anyone ever solve this issue?"

Yes, I bought a Toshiba card instead. Probably NOT what you wanted to hear, but the Sandisk card is slower than the Toshiba or Lexar cards. That stands regardless of what device you have it in... most of my testing was done using a laptop and the performance results were similar. When you perform a hotsync which includes data on the expansion card, the file read/write speed is governed by the card's internal controller.

RE: SanDisk SD Card Problems
labalanguera @ 4/26/2003 11:28:52 AM #
Hi to all. I'd just like to ask you if there is something "new" to increase speed when uploading data on the SD card when syncing...

I'd really prefer separate wireless and memory cards.

ganoe @ 1/10/2003 4:21:41 PM #
We really need to start seeing some dual SD slot PDAs instead of requiring these combo cards.

RE: I'd really prefer separate wireless and memory cards.
timewaster77 @ 1/10/2003 5:12:03 PM #
I would like to have dual slots, however I cannot understand why you would prefer to have a WiFi card and a memory card seperately. First of all this saves you a slot and second of all it is cheaper than having them seperately.
RE: I'd really prefer separate wireless and memory cards.
Fammy @ 1/10/2003 5:49:07 PM #
Given the large number of existing single-slot PDA's, this is a good solution. If only I had a Wi-Fi network to connect too...

I do agree that future PDA's should have two slots. The SD slot is so small! A few PPC have CF and SD slots. And the there are the OS5 Clies. Why not us, Palm?


Multiple memory slots.
orb2069 @ 1/11/2003 4:45:38 PM #
I do agree that future PDA's should have two slots.

I think you're getting the future mixed up with the past...

It's been on the market for almost two years - I've had mine for over a year now.

RE: I'd really prefer separate wireless and memory cards.
MikeInDM @ 1/12/2003 2:29:37 PM #
No future mixed up with the past. Handera appears to be EOL. Also it's not color (which is a big deal in my book). There is no future there.

As for separate wireless/memory cards...why? EVEN if you had two SD slots I would ALWAYS be interested in having memory on a wireless card... you can never have too much memory.

The haze in the crystal ball.
orb2069 @ 1/13/2003 1:10:16 PM #
No future mixed up with the past. Handera appears to be EOL.

Maybe, maybe not. Unless you're an employee, I doubt your guess is much better than anyone else's.

Also it's not color (which is a big deal in my book). There is no future there.

I'll buy a color unit when they make one that runs off of AAAs. I'm not holding my breath.

The only reason they didn't release the color 330 they designed and short-run built was because they diden't want to have a boatload of them on hand when the (Then any-day-now)Tungsten was released.

We didn't know about that unit untill well after it was done - What are they working on now that we don't know about?

As for separate wireless/memory cards...why? EVEN if you had two SD slots I would ALWAYS be interested in having memory on a wireless card... you can never have too much memory.

Because commodity memory and commodity wireless cards are going to be cheaper seperately than a niche combination device (At least in the forseeable future)?

Because with seperated functions you can upgrade one (128mb to 256mb, or 802.11b to whatever comes next) without throwing the other one out?

RE: I'd really prefer separate wireless and memory cards.
quengho @ 2/9/2003 9:25:44 AM #
A unified card is just fine for a PalmOS device, because PalmOS handles card removal very well. I see a problem for people using this on low-end Pocket PCs with only 32M... because PPC memory requirements mean that you're likely to have software installed on it, and popping out a card that you're running software from can be pretty traumatic. I hard-reset my Jornada doing that.

But for Palm? No problem. Dual slots would be better, but the extra memory on my Thinmodem has never been a problem.

Will the card jut out?

palmdoc88 @ 1/10/2003 6:12:38 PM #
All this sounds very nice. But will the SD WiFi card jut out? I guess so since the antenna portion needs to be exposed properly like the BT SD card.
In that case, even if it did have memory, I wouldn't like to keep the card in the slot all the time like a regular SD memory card. That would then limit the usefulness of the builtin memory in the WiFi combo card.

RE: Will the card jut out?
AzureGuy @ 1/10/2003 8:45:33 PM #
It may not have to just out, look at the Tungsten T with the built in Antennae. I thought the Bluetooth SD card was just that big because of the hardware it had in it? I dunno for sure, anyone who know something please speakith!!!

Palm IIIe - Palm M100 - Palm IIIxe - Palm M125 - TUNGSTEN | T
Palm Powered, and READY TO ROLL!!!
RE: Will the card jut out?
TDS Computer @ 1/11/2003 2:20:27 PM #
802.11b does require a much larger antenna than Bluetooth. I cannot imagine that this card will not stick out quite a bit. Hmmm... Maybe a SD WI-FI card with memory expansion and a plug for an external antenna? That way you could have the card compact enough to keep in all of the time, and yet have access to the WI-FI just by pluggin in a clip-on antenna...

Visit us at
RE: Will the card jut out?
Marshall Flinkman @ 1/12/2003 10:05:28 AM #
Seems a little hard dot envision without the plug jutting out.

On another note, has anyone seen any pictures of these cards yet?

The card images are here !
mstur @ 1/12/2003 11:45:31 AM #

Currently only an image of the CF model of the SanDisk Connect is availabe at the SandDisk website. And yes, there is an external antenna very similar to the Palm Bluetooth SD Card...

I really want one !!

Clie NX70V & NX60 Memory?

adb3 @ 1/10/2003 8:47:26 PM #
Will the cards work in the NX series handhelds? Will the memory part work? (personaly i doubt it) and why is 256mb included in that tiny SD card and only 128mb in the bulky CF card?

The NZ90 is SOOOOOOO sweet :-D

RE: Clie NX70V & NX60 Memory?
rsc1000 @ 1/10/2003 9:16:39 PM #
Well - in theory the CF card should work - but the fact that the ClieSource competition for development of CF drivers for the NX yielded absolutely no submissions (0!) is not very encouraging. Sony only wants CF for wireless - all other expansion they want to channel through their proprietary MS slot. Drag. I like Sony - but they are starting to misfire here. I mean - non usable CF, $800 Clie (!!!!), and the increasing lag between SD and MS capabilities does not help them.

$150!! Good deal for dual SD

gfunkmagic @ 1/10/2003 9:46:28 PM #
I think this is a fantastic price for a dual function 256 MB sd card!! Also as long as we're talking about dual function cards, what about a dual BT+wifi SD card? I think that would be interesting as well...

The 2003 National Championship WAS ROBBED!!! Terry Porter, you suck you freakin REF! OSU STOLE the Chanpionship, period!!


Jonmills88 @ 1/11/2003 3:58:15 AM #
Finally I have been waiting on this for some time. I have a WIFI network in my house as well as at Purdue where I attend school. Nothing like chatting on AIM during a boring lecture.

Hurry up March.

RE: Excellent
TDS Computer @ 1/11/2003 2:25:19 PM #
Your parents are spending enough money on your schooling... Shouldn't you be using that expensive handheld to take notes instead of goofing off?

Visit us at

RE: Excellent
Kesh @ 1/12/2003 2:40:30 AM #
To be honest, I can't blame him. I've had classes where the professor is useless, as s/he simply lectures the same information you find in the textbook. :(

RE: Excellent
Mengoxon @ 1/16/2003 4:47:39 AM #
TDS Computer... ahhh... shouldn't you be selling or repairing computers instead of wasting time on bulletin boards and telling other people what to do.

CF Driver Collaboration

acetrike @ 1/23/2003 5:32:00 PM #
I just started development of a CLIE CF Device Driver. I was wondering if anyone wanted to work in collaboration on this since my device interface experience is limited, but coding and experience & knowledge is pretty vast. I need guidance more from a physical CF II slot design perspective. Some quick info or links to the pin data for the slot, etc.


RE: CF Driver Collaboration
quengho @ 2/9/2003 9:35:47 AM #
You can get full CF specs at for free. I haven't been able to get a similar level of information about MS, SD, or xD, but CF is pretty well documented.

They're being economical with the truth...

quengho @ 2/9/2003 9:37:51 AM #
I believe the first communication + memory cards are the Card Access Thinmodem and Thinmodem+. The Minstrel Springboard module had a substantial amount of memory, but I don't know if any of the resellers allowed user access to it (Omnisky... yech. Not only did they not allow you to access it, but the stupid thing copied about a megabyte of software from the module to your Visor when you installed it, instead of running out of the card like a well behaved Springboard).

Still Waiting

mmmarkiep @ 4/14/2003 6:05:44 PM #
So, they said available in March. That means... what? Probably not until November?

Wait no longer!
matthew1471 @ 4/12/2004 3:57:32 PM # - I e-mailed Sandisk and it looks like it may ACTUALLY come out this time!!! WOOT!

---------------------- - Sandisk are going to release their WiFi!!!!
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