Samsung, Toshiba debut SmartMedia cards

Samsung Electronics said Wednesday it plans to shortly begin manufacturing a new SmartMedia memory card capable of storing up to 128MB of data. On Tuesday, Japan's Toshiba announced similar plans. The new cards will make it possible to store up to 32 songs in CD-quality on a single card while digital still camera users will be able to take 560 high-resolution (1,200 by 1,024 pixels) images before getting a "card full" message.

Inside, the two new cards are slightly different. Samsung's version features four 256Mb memory chips laid alongside each other whereas Toshiba's planned card will contain two of the company's newly-developed 512Mb memory chips. The latter are more advanced, produced using a 0.16 micron production process against Samsung's 0.18 micron process but the end result is the same -- 128MB of storage space on a card the size of a postage stamp.

Toshiba expects to begin mass production of its new cards in December and Samsung said it will begin in early 2001. The South Korean company would not divulge pricing for either the sample or production versions of the card. Toshiba said it expects to sell samples at 30,000 yen ($US280).

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