Several companies driving next-generation "sneakernets" have banded together to support the key technology, USB flash drives.
Little more than a USB controller, flash memory chip, and plastic shell, the USB drives are increasingly being used in place of floppy drives to transfer files between one PC and another. On Monday, the five companies formed the USB Flash Drive Alliance (UFDA).
Member companies include Genesys Logic, Kingston Technology, Lexar Media Inc., PNY Technologies and Samsung Semiconductor Inc., supported by associate members Crucial Technology, Microsoft Corp., SimpleTech, Inc., and Viking Interworks.
The organization said it believes that over five million USB flash drives will be sold in 2003 in the United States alone, representing approximately 20 percent of the worldwide market.
"Technology companies representing every level of the supply chain, from controllers to flash memory to operating systems to resellers, are coming together in the USB Flash Drive Alliance pursuing the common goal of driving the growth of these amazingly useful devices," said Steffen Hellmold, president of the UFDA, in a statement. "USB Flash Drives are efficient, convenient and remarkably easy to use. While they have already enjoyed outstanding success we believe there is significant growth ahead."
UFDA plans to launch a "educational website," the organization said.