Toshiba Unveils First 32GB High-Density Flash Card

New flash cards meet specs to run new-generation mobile phones and other handhelds.

Toshiba revealed Aug. 22 that it will soon add three new high-density flash memory cards to its product lineup—including one it touts as the worlds first 32GB flash card.

The Tokyo-based company, which partners with SanDisk to produce SanDisk High Capacity cards, also announced a 16GB SDHC card and an 8GB microSDHC card.

All the new cards meet the Class 4 specification in the SD Speed Class (a minimum of 4GB per second of throughput), which enable them to deliver enough power to run new-generation mobile phones and other handheld products.

"The speed class is important to maximize performance for demanding applications and help the consumer choose the right card for their camera or camcorder," said Brian Kumagai, business development manager for NAND Flash with Irvine, Calif.-based Toshiba America Electronic Components.

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Flash memory products are used for general solid-state storage, image file storage and audio for solid-state disk drives, digital cameras, audio appliances, set-top boxes and industrial storage. In the last 18 months, they have been finding their way into laptop and notebook computers, built by Samsung and Dell.

The market for high-density memory cards is growing fast, driven by increasing demand for personal digital equipment able to handle motion pictures and high-resolution images, analysts at Gartner Group and Enterprise Strategy Group say.

Demand for high-density microSDHC cards is expected to emerge in the mobile phone market, as on-board cameras gain multi-megapixel capacities, Demand for music and motion pictures is expanding as well.

The SD memory card was jointly developed in 1999 by Toshiba, SanDisk and Matsushita Electric Industrial—best known for its Panasonic brand. SD memory cards have been widely adopted as a de facto standard worldwide; Toshiba has shipped more than 300 million memory cards and is currently the worlds second-largest supplier of NAND flash memory, behind Samsung.

The 16GB SDHC card will be made available worldwide in October, and the 32GB SDHC card and 8GB microSDHC card will be launched worldwide in January 2008, a Toshiba spokesperson told eWEEK.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...