Solid state memory and one inch hard disk drives fight it out with a flurry of new products from SanDisk, Sony, Apacer, TwinMOS, Seagate and Hitachi. It's a war out there.
Keeping MMC’s winkly, old chin up is Apacer. In existence since 1997, the old boy has been given a new lease of life with monstrous 1GB and 2GB capacities.
Sneakily, Apacer notes with its announcement that the number of shipping mobile phones with card slots will exceed 246.8m units this year. The number that will be shipping with support for MMC, on the other hand, is somewhat more debateable.
MMC is fast becoming a legacy format with the likes of miniSD and TransFlash coming to the fore but with life still in the old dog to the extent Apacer is proving, I see no need for a sombre trip to the vet’s just yet. Both the 1GB and 2GB MMC cards will be available from March, pricing has yet to be released.
A fan of Ultra-X SD cards? A fan of super fast Ultra-X SD cards? If so, TwinMOS is about to become your new best friend with its latest 2GB, 66x offering. With promised read speeds of up to 10MB/SEC and write speeds of 7.9MB/SEC this Ultra-X SD card promises to be no slouch.
Pricing details and product availability still remain a mystery at present, but judging but the immediacy of the other flash devices announced in the last week I can’t see TwinMOS being slow to market.
Moving away from Flash media, we have new 1in 6GB hard drives on the horizon as well. In fact, Seagate’s drive (pictured above) is not so much on the horizon as docked in port with rumours that it is being used in Apple’s new iPod minis announced yesterday.
Hitachi’s version, not due for a couple of months, will be available in two interfaces: with a CompactFlash Type II connector or an IDE interface. There will be 128KB of on-board buffer RAM and the 3600rpm drive purports an average seek time of 12ms.
Details of Seagate’s product, the latest in its line of ST1 drives, were not revealed with its announcement.
As always, a handy knock on effect from the new 6GB 1in hard drives will be price cuts to the 4GB range with Hitachi announcing it will slash prices by up to 60 per cent. It also offered a tasty tid-bit for the future, confirming it will release a 10GB drive 20 per cent smaller than the current 1in format later in the year.
The race between solid state memory and hard disk continues…