Small Storage Devices Hit a Higher Capacity
LAS VEGAS--Small storage is getting big: Both Sony's Memory Stick and Secure Digital cards hit 1GB of storage in versions unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show here this week. And Hitachi's Microdrive (formerly made by IBM) will jump to a whopping 4GB this fall.
Sony's new Memory Stick Pros will come in everything from PDAs to notebooks to cameras, letting you pack more of your favorite files in theses ultraportable formats. Expect the new capacity Memory Stick Pros to sell for $880. They should be available in April of this year.
The downside for users: Only "certain" Memory Stick devices on the market now will be compatible with the new format, officials here said. New devices that support the technology are expected this year.
The capacity of the cards will increase to 2GB next year, and Memory Stick Pro can hold a theoretical maximum of 32GB, says Masaharu Yanaga, a senior general manager at Sony.
Sony claims Memory Sticks have garnered 30 percent of the worldwide market for this class of media since their launch.
Panasonic was the first company to announce a 1GB SD product, scheduled
for release this fall. The new cards are faster than
With a capacity of 1GB, SD cards can hold up to 9 hours of MPEG-4 video, 16 hours of MP3s, or over 2000 JPEG photos shot at 1600 by 1200 resolution. Cards are already in use in digital cameras, MP3 players, PDAs, and other devices, and may become staples in ultracompact digital video recorders as well. Secure Digital is the fastest growing flash memory format, according to Panasonic spokespeople.
Microdrives, the slightly heftier cousins of CompactFlash cards (they require CF type II slots), are also getting a boost in capacity. Hitachi announced at CES that the company will be marketing a 4GB version of the card this fall. Pricing has not yet been determined.