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Mini memory cards poised for capacity boost

Two of the smallest memory card formats on the market will have a capacity boost in the coming months, according to card makers at the Computex trade show in Taiwan this week.

ATP Electronics Taiwan said it will start mass-production of 256Mbyte and 512Mbyte capacity Reduced Size MMC (RS-MMC) and MiniSD cards next month.

The lower-capacity card is expected to cost between $200 and $250 and the price for the higher-capacity card has not yet been decided, said Henry Lin, a sales director for ATP.

ATP was showing samples of both cards at the show. Neither was shown in operation although Lin said the cards were working samples.

Another memory card maker, Kingmax Semiconductor, was also showing prototype 512Mbyte capacity cards for both formats. It will start mass production of the cards later this month and has already started production of 256Mbyte capacity versions, said Vera Chien, senior marketing specialist for the company.

The RS-MMC and MiniSD card formats are smaller versions of MultiMediaCard and Secure Digital cards and are designed for use in devices in which space is a premium, such as mobile phones.

Samsung, Nokia and Siemens are using RS-MMC in phones for the European market or will add support in new phones scheduled to be released during the fourth quarter of this year, said Lin.

To date, MiniSD has been most widely adopted by mobile phone makers for models sold in Japan and South Korea, he added.

Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service


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