Samsung has developed a cut-down version of the multimedia memory card (MMC) that it hopes to see deployed in future mobile phones.
The MMCmicro measures 12x14x1.1mm. This makes it a quarter the size of a standard MMC card (which measure 24x32x1.4mm) and around a third as large as the Reduced Size MMC range (measuring 24x18x1.4mm).
MMC-RS cards were launched in 2002 and aimed at the mobile device market, but Samsung says that MMCmicro offers significant advantages as mobile phones become smaller and more powerful.
"Despite its exceptionally small size, the Samsung MMCmicro has proven to be highly reliable in delivering excellent performance through extensive testing," claimed the company in an announcement earlier this week
Initially, MMCmicro cards will only be available in 32, 64 and 128MB sizes. Samsung says data can be read off the cards at 10MB per second and written to them at 7MB per second. The interface between card and handset can theoretically support a maximum transfer speed of 26MB per second.
The emergence of 3G mobile networks is driving manufacturers to design handsets with extra functionality, which often creates extra demand for storage. The latest Sharp 3G phone to reach Europe, the 902SH, includes a two-megapixel camera, for example.
Eventually, it may be commonplace for more advanced mobile phones to include a hard drive. Last week Samsung demonstrated a mobile phone with a one-megapixel camera, two colour screens and a 1.5GB, 2.5cm hard-disk drive
Samsung says that MMCmicro will go into mass production in early 2005.