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Another New Memory Card... XD

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Yet another new type of memory card. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Memory cards are used for storage in digital cameras, PDAs and other devices to store data. The different formats have been pretty confusing for lots of consumers... CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Sony pushes its Memory Sticks while MMC and SD cards have been the latest. Until now. There's a tiny new card in town...

"It's called XD Picture Media."

Sally Smith Clemens... a product manager at Olympus which along with FujiFilm, will be using the smallest memory cards yet in new digital cameras...

"The idea behind it is the fact that it's got larger capacity capabilities. When it's introduced, it'll be introduced up to 128 megabytes, which is currently the maximum on SmartMedia cards. But by Christmas we're looking at 256 megs and it has the potential to go up to 8 gigabytes."

In a card that is smaller than a postage stamp. They are being manufactured by Toshiba. Clemens says another advantage is price... she expects a 128 megabyte XD card will be similar in price if not cheaper than SmartMedia. But still there's the nagging question about the addition of another format... given the growing use of the similar SD or Secure Digital cards...

SD media in general right now is about 20 percent more costly than SmartMedia, so although it is small, the new XD media is actually smaller than SD media and it will be less costly. So we've got a smaller media, with a larger capacity and the fact that it is smaller we can design much smaller cameras around it which seems to be appealing to the user now. Smaller cameras that are fully functional."

Clemens says adaptors will be available to allow XD cards to work in cameras and devices that use CompactFlash as well. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.