Samsung Electronics announced that it has begun mass-production of the smallest memory card available for mobile phones.
The MMCmicro(TM) device can read data at 10MBps (megabytes per second) and write at 7MBps, which is 3.5 times faster than that of competing flash memory cards.
The new thumbnail-sized memory card, designed specifically for mobile phones with advanced multimedia features, is one-third as large (12x14x1.1mm) as the reduced size multimedia card (RS-MMC) available today and can support four NAND Flash memory chips, enabling higher performance.
Multimedia features are increasingly being added to small mobile phones, requiring larger memory capacity and a smaller memory footprint -- requirements for which the new MMCmicro device is ideally suited. For example, an external 256MB MMCmicro card can hold about 120 photographs with a five-megapixel resolution or 100 minutes of QVGA-quality video.
The MMCmicro can operate on either 3.3 volts or 1.8 volts, cutting power consumption up to one-sixth that of competing devices. The new Samsung card can write, read and be erased more than a hundred thousand times.
Samsung's MMCmicro card is available in 32MB, 64MB, 128MB and 256MB versions. The company also plans to add a 512MB version to the lineup within the next three months. A 2GB card that supports four 4Gb NAND flash memory chips will be introduced in the first half of 2006.
The high-capacity, low-power MMCmicro line represents the next-generation in flash memory cards, and Samsung officials expect many of the world's leading mobile phone makers to adopt the format. The cards are already available with Samsung's latest mobile phones, including its five-megapixel and seven-megapixel camera phones.
Samsung is working on standardizing the "MMCmicro" memory card with the Multimedia Card Association (MMCA).
The market analyst IDC reports that the world MMC market will grow at an average annual growth rate of 49% through 2008.