"The portability and power of the Photo Memory Card makes it the perfect compliment for the PhotoSmart digital camera, ensuring that users can easily carry an unlimited amount of ‘digital film’ with them," said Vyomesh Joshi, general manager of HP’s Home Imaging Division. "The memory card also helps to provide the home PC user with instant gratification through its direct-to-the-PC transfer capability, which heightens the home user’s experience by displaying the photos taken with the digital camera quickly and easily."
"HP demonstrates its leadership in the PC imaging market by choosing Miniature Card digital media," said Bill Howe, Intel vice president and general manager of the Memory Components Division. "Miniature Card is widely supported by the PC industry and that means HP customers can depend on a format for their visual computing needs that will be around for a long time."
HP’s announcement follows a similar endorsement by Konica Corporation which last week unveiled its first Miniature Card digital camera offering, the Konica Q-EZ, at the Photo Marketing Association trade show in New Orleans, LA.
A host of products based on the Miniature Card format provide multiple options for data transfer of the new digital media to desktop and notebook PCs. The Miniature Card-to-PC connectivity solutions work for any flash memory-based Miniature Card product including those from AMD, Fujitsu and Sharp Corporations, as well as Intel.
To extend Miniature Card capabilities to desktop PCs, Miniature Card reader/writers in USB and parallel port versions are under development by SCM Microsystems. As Miniature Cards accommodate up to 64-Mbytes of data, a high-performance, user-friendly data link provided by these reader/writers is needed for data transfer to PC applications. Also in development is a Universal Serial Bus (USB)-enabled keyboard that features a built-in Miniature Card socket for fast data transfer from the card to the PC. Passive adapters to facilitate Miniature Card data transfer via PCMCIA slots are available from SCM Microsystems and Mitsubishi Plastics.
FTL software, the data format that allows the PC operating system to read and write to a linear flash array, is now included in Windows 95* OSR-2 release to OEMs, according to Intel. M-Systems, SystemSoft and Phoenix Technologies offer FTL data storage solutions that enable lower cost and higher performance flash cards. FTL ensures data compatibility among Miniature Cards and host devices, such as digital cameras, digital audio recorders and handheld PCs, and is recognized by PCMCIA as the industry standard for flash data formats.
The Miniature Card specification describes a card that can be used to store and exchange image, text and voice data. The Miniature Card Implementers Forum (MCIF) counts over 51 members from consumer electronic, PC, software, memory components and related companies. MCIF information, including the design specification, is available through its worldwide web home page at http://www.mcif.org.
Intel is the largest supplier of flash memory products worldwide, according to market research firms Dataquest, Instat and Semico.
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