Flash Miniature Cards out by August

The world's biggest Flash memory specialists will formally back the Miniature Card (MC) standard for small format cards in an announcement next Monday. The deal should promote the use of a single, interchangeable Flash medium in emerging product categories such as digital cameras with first products available from next month in Europe.

The world's biggest Flash memory specialists will formally back the Miniature Card (MC) standard for small format cards in an announcement next Monday. The deal should promote the use of a single, interchangeable Flash medium in emerging product categories such as digital cameras with first products available from next month in Europe.

Fujitsu, Sharp, Intel and AMD will build cards with a common software interface. Between them, the quartet make about 80 per cent of Flash memory devices. "The driving forces in Flash are behind MC," said Peter Heinrich, European marketing manager for memories at AMD. "The PC Card format has found a number of applications but it has not been the success it was supposed to be."

Heinrich was dismissive of the rival CompactFlash format backed by Canon, Kodak, NEC and Hewlett-Packard. "They're nobodies in the Flash market," he said. However, Heinrich said he didn't expect MC to necessarily have a huge impact on the overall Flash card market: "We're optimistic but, as a silicon vendor, what do we know about digital cameras?"

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