The SD Card Association unveiled a miniature version of its Secure Digital (SD) memory card at the CeBIT show.
Called "Mini SD", the card is the smallest memory card yet to be introduced and is designed for use in compact, portable digital electronics devices such as cellular telephones and digital music players.
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"Every cubic millimetre is important in those devices," said Bo Ericsson, senior vice-president of marketing at memory-maker SanDisk. At 602 mm, the Mini SD is "the smallest device out there", and has superseded the Reduced Size Multimedia Card, which was unveiled late last year by Hitachi, which had a card volume of 605 cubic mm.
The XD Picture Card, which was launched last year by Fuji Photo Film and Olympus Optical and Sony's Memory Stick Duo are also sub-1,000 cubic mm memory cards designed for use in small portable electronics products.
The Mini SD cards will be available in 16Mbyte, 32Mbyte and 64Mbyte capacities shortly, said SanDisk. A version with 128Mbyte capacity is expected to be launched worldwide in the second quarter and a 256Mbyte version in the second half of this year.
Capacity of the cards is also increasing as semiconductor companies find ways to make memory chips smaller.
Lexar Media will begin shipping in the second quarter a 4Gbyte Compact Flash card, it said last week, and SanDisk said it would ship a similar card in the middle of this year.
CeBIT is also being used by Panasonic to give showgoers their first look at a 1Gbyte SD memory card.