LetsGoDigital - CES 2003 - Show Report - SanDisk Flash Memory goes WIRELESS!
SanDisk Flash Memory goes WIRELESS!
The CES in Las Vegas is good for a lot of new introductions or innovations. During this show SanDisk introduced a complete new line of wireless Wi-Fi (802.11b) cards with the world's first card products to include both memory and wireless communications technology. The new line of SanDisk will be known as the SanDisk Connect product line.
The announcement mark's SanDisk's entry into the wireless communications market and comes at a time when Wi-Fi, also known as WLAN (wireless local area network), is emerging as the main worldwide wireless standard. According to Gartner inc. in North America are already two million mobile surfers using Wi-Fi and it is to be expected that this number will be doubled by next year.
The new SanDisk Connect line will include four products; dual-function 128MB CompactFlash and 256MB Secure Digital cards that combine Wi-Fi and flash memory as well as single-function CompactFlash and Secure Digital cards with Wi-Fi connectivity. SanDisk plans to add 256MB cards to the CF Connect product line by the middle of 2003.
According to Nelson Chan, senior vice president and general manager of SanDisk's retail business unit, the new SanDisk cards bring wireless connectivity to a host of new products including handheld and notebook computers, MP3 players and digital cameras. By combining both flash memory and wireless communications in one card, people going on a pleasure or business trip can upload the card with family pictures, data files, spread sheets and Power Point presentations and have everything they need, plus wireless connectivity, on only one card. This is becoming quite important to consumers and business users because many handheld and notebook computers have only one card slot and users are forced to decide between using the slot for connectivity or for storage. The new SanDisk Connect product line solves that problem.
The new Connect cards also allow users to download files to their mobile computers while connected to their email or the Internet. SanDisk expects that consumers will use the new Connect combination cards in various ways. For example, several camera manufacturers are exploring the development of new digital cameras (with single card slots) that would enable photographers to use a Connect dual-function card to take pictures and then use wireless connectivity to send the images to friends or business associates.
Devices enabled with Wi-Fi cards, such as the Connect line from SanDisk, can transmit and receive data at speeds up to 11Mbps at a realistic range of up to 300 feet from the nearest access point. The SanDisk Wi-Fi cards have one the fastest data transfer rates in the industry. The new cards have been designed with low power consumption to minimize battery drain, a key consideration for PDA and notebook users. The CF Connect line can be used in multiple devices because they support both WinCE PDAs and Windows laptop and notebook computers. The cards also have been simplified for easy installation, and security encryption keys are included with the products. The CF Wi-Fi card is available now, the CF dual-function card and the SD Wi-Fi card will be available in March 2003 and the SD dual-function card is expected to ship at mid-year. Prices for the Wi-Fi CF and SD Connect cards are suggested to have a retail price of $99.95. The dual-function cards with 128MB of capacity will be priced at $129.95, while the dual-function 256MB SD card will be priced at $149.95.
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