Toshiba shrinks Bluetooth SD card

Toshiba has announced a new version of its Bluetooth SDIO (Secure Digital I/O) card for portable digital consumer equipment such as PDAs (personal digital assistants) and digital still cameras that have an SDIO card slot.

The new card is an update on a Bluetooth SD Card that Toshiba launched just over a year ago. Compared to that card, the new one consumes half as much power when transmitting and receiving data and is also smaller. Measuring 40 millimeters by 24 millimeters by 2.1 millimeters, the card is 9 millimeters shorter than the previous version which means it will not stick out from the device in which it is being used as much as the first-generation card.

Like the previous version it complies with Bluetooth 1.1, which means it supports data transmission at speeds of up to 768k bps (bits per second) at a maximum distance of around 10 meters.

Toshiba said it plans to offer the card as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) product to other companies for them to sell under their own brand name. Samples of the new card are already available at US$100 and the company will enter mass production during October this year at a rate of 50,000 units per month, it said.

The card can be used in a range of devices that support SDIO, which is a system that allows SD memory card sockets to be used as interfaces to peripherals such as modem cards or digital still cameras. Such Bluetooth cards are also available from other manufacturers packaged inside competing memory card formats, such as Sony Corp.'s Memory Stick.