Hitachi Debuts High Capacity Memory Cards

TOKYO (05/29/2000) - Hitachi Ltd. today unveiled a range of new high-capacity flash memory cards including the industry's highest-capacity yet Compact Flash card.

The new cards, which are scheduled to begin shipping in sample quantities in July in Japan, make use of a special chip package that, unlike conventional products, contains two 256M-bit memory chips stacked one on top of the other.

This makes it possible to store 512M bits of information in a plastic packaging that ordinarily contains half that amount. The technology was developed as one answer to ongoing demands from customers for higher-capacity memory cards, Hitachi said in a statement.

Leading the new line-up is a 448M-byte Compact Flash (CF) card -- the industry's highest capacity card in the CF format, said Hitachi. The company also unveiled 256M-byte and 320M-byte CF cards. Unlike current CF cards, which are 3.3 millimeters thick, the three new Hitachi cards conform to the recently standardized type 2 format for 5 millimeter thick cards.

Sample pricing will range from 143,000 yen (US$1,335) for the 448M-byte CF card, to 105,000 yen and 85,000 yen for the 320M-byte and 256M-byte versions, respectively, a Hitachi spokesman said.

Hitachi also announced a new type 2 PC Card memory card that accommodates 16 of the double density chips to result in a total capacity of 1G byte of storage capacity.

The highest capacity CF card, which is the same size as a postage stamp, can hold seven hours of CD quality music while the PC Card can hold up to 16 hours of the same, said the Tokyo-based company.

Flash memory cards are commonly used in a wide range of portable multimedia devices, such as digital still cameras and music players, because they feature the ability to retain their contents even when the power is disconnected and consume a small amount of power in operation.

Hitachi also hopes the new PC Card, which is to carry a sample price in the 350,000 yen to 400,000 yen range, will find use among notebook computer users as a high capacity removable storage system or in cases where a second hard drive would otherwise be installed.

Hitachi, in Tokyo, can be reached via the Web at http://www.hitachi.co.jp/.

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