Toshiba and Samsung join 128Mb flash race

The race to set the industry standard for flash memory heated-up yesterday when Toshiba and Samsung joined forces to support a 128Mb flash memory format based on Toshiba's SmartMedia brand.The joint initiative follows other industry collaborations in developing flash memory most notably by the Intel/Sharp and AMD/Fujitsu pairings but 128Mb flash products are expected until 2001.

The race to set the industry standard for flash memory heated-up yesterday when Toshiba and Samsung joined forces to support a 128Mb flash memory format based on Toshiba's SmartMedia brand.

The joint initiative follows other industry collaborations in developing flash memory most notably by the Intel/Sharp and AMD/Fujitsu pairings but 128Mb flash products are expected until 2001.

All three major collaborations are fighting it out to try and forge the standard for flash memory, especially as the flash market is forecast to rise by about seven per cent this year, according to SBC Warburg, which suggests that growth in digital mobile products such as cameras and phones is the major cause. In contrast, the DRAM market is forecast to fall by 25 per cent this year.

One major stumbling block for flash is pricing. Flash cards are still relatively expensive and this is expected to remain the case at least until some form of standard is forged, according to SBC Warburg.