It wouldn't be SanDisk if it didn't follow up one capacity busting announcement with another...
Once again breaking new ground, the solid state expert has unveiled the world's first 12GB microSDHC card along with a potentially simplifying new approach to storage for camcorder owners.
Dealing with the mini-monster first, the 12GB microSDHC card represents a ball-busting 50 per cent increase on the industry's previous 8GB kingpin. It is good for 1,500 songs (based on 4min tracks at 128kbps encoding), 3,600 2MP photos or 24.5 hours of 384kbps encoded Mpeg4 video. In a word: LOADS.
No pricing or release information was given out at this stage, but I'd place my money on the SD Speed Class 4 card (minimum 4Mbps data transfer rate) arriving in Q2. Note, microSDHC isn't backward compatible with microSD (though microSD does work in microSDHC slots) so be sure to check your hardware.
Also note: you can stick one of these in SanDisk's new 32GB Sansa View creating a 44GB flash memory player!
Also announced today is SanDisk's new line of flash memory cards specifically aimed at digital camcorder owners. Dubbed 'Video HD', the main differentiator for the performance series is that they identify themselves by minutes of recording time as well as by capacity.
Times for 'HD High' (13Mbps), 'HD Standard' (9Mbps) and 'HD Extended' (6Mbps) recording will therefore be clearly marked on the packaging (HD Standard times are reported on the card itself) and go on sale with '60min' (4GB) and '120min' (8GB) cards in both SDHC and Memory Stick PRO Duo formats. RRPs are $79.99 and $139.99 in SDHC and $79.99 and $149.99 in Memory Stick PRO Duo. The range hits shelves in March.
Useful? Potentially, but I have some scepticism since camcorder memory usage varies wildly from model to model based on the recording codec they employ and the efficiency of the compression onboard. Consequently the SanDisk minutes can only be taken as guides, which is kinda what 4GB and 8GB does already.
Still, anything that might reduce my inbox's number of technical help enquiries... ;)
Update: You can also now add a 72GB 1.8in SATA II SSD and an 8GB Cruzer Crossfire to SanDisk's list of announcements. The Crossfire will retail for $149.99 this quarter while the SSD will, frustratingly, once again be going straight to laptop builders for use in new machines only.