The three companies plan to establish a promotional organisation to push use of the memory card, which supports the Secure Digital Music Initiative copy-protection system, and say more than 100 companies have already stated they intend to join as members or general members.
Plans to develop the SD card were announced in August of last year. The card is around the same size as a postage stamp and, in its initial version, will be able to hold 32MB or 64MB of data. The first SD card samples are expected to be available some time in the first quarter of this year, with commercial shipments scheduled for the second quarter of the year, the companies say.
The list of companies planning to join the SD Association as members reads like an industry who's who. Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Liquid Audio, Microsoft, Mitsubishi Electric, Motorola, NEC, Qualcomm, RealNetworks, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, and Toyota Motor are among the supporters.
Notably absent from the list is Sony. The company recently announced a version of its own Memory Stick technology with built-in copy protection using Sony's own SDMI-compliant OpenMG system.