SD Memory Card Format Gets Boost from Industry

TOKYO (01/07/2000) - Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and SanDisk Corp. today announced a large vote of support from the electronics industry for their new SD (Secure Digital) memory card format.

The three companies announced plans to establish a promotional organization to push use of the memory card, which supports the SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) copy-protection system, and said more than 100 companies have already stated they plan to join as members or general members. The group will have its first meeting at the end of January, with an agenda that is likely to include the formulation of technical and specification standards for applications of the card.

The list of companies planning to join the SD Association as members reads like an industry who's who and includes Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., LG Electronics Inc., Liquid Audio Inc., Microsoft Corp., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Motorola Inc., NEC Corp., Qualcomm Inc., RealNetworks Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp., Symbian Ltd., TDK Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Universal Music Group and Victor Co. of Japan.

Absent from the list was Sony Corp., which recently announced a version of its own MemoryStick technology with built-in copy protection using Sony's own SDMI-compliant OpenMG system.

Plans to develop the SD card were announced in August last year [See "SanDisk, Toshiba, Matsushita Join on Memory Card," Aug. 1999]. At just 24 millimeters by 32 millimeters by 2.1 millimeters in size, the card is around the same size as a postage stamp and, in its initial version, will be able to hold 32M bytes or 64M bytes of data. The first SD card samples are expected to be available some time in the first quarter of this year, with commercial shipments scheduled for the second quarter of this year, the companies said today.

Matsushita can be reached at +81-3-3578-1237 or on the World Wide Web at http://www.panasonic.com/. SanDisk, based in Sunnyvale, California, can be reached at +1-408-542-0500 or at http://www.sandisk.com/. Toshiba, based in Tokyo, can be reached at +81-3457-2100 or at http://www.toshiba.co.jp/.

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