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Lexar introduces USB FlashCard product
January 6, 2005; 9:15 a.m.
Lexar USB FlashCard
The product: Lexar is hoping to leverage the widespread popularity of the Universal Serial Bus format by introducing the first product in its new USB Card form factor: the tiny USB FlashCard. It has a USB Type A connector (as outlined in the Universal Serial Bus specification), and the device is only as wide and thick as the connector (with a length of 31.75mm). The company is hoping to create universal interoperability between computers and personal digital devices such as PDAs and digital still cameras. Lexar is working with manufacturers of consumer-electronics devices to develop a USB FlashCard socket that would accommodate the FlashCard within personal digital devices, much the way SD cards and the like are accommodated now. Users would be able to pull the USB FlashCard out of their digital camera, plug it straight into a USB port on their computer, and download all the images without using a separate media-card reader. Lexar plans to release Full-Speed USB versions in 16MB, 32MB, and 64MB capacities, and Hi-Speed USB versions in 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB capacities in the first quarter of 2005.
The prospects: Lexar is hoping that the USB Card form factor catches on with consumers, who will probably love to do away with the confusing clutter of storage formats. After all, this format does make a lot of sense. But makers of other memory-card formats and readers may have something to say about it. Don't expect to go out and buy a digital camera with this connector just yet. Lexar is still in talks with manufacturers, and given product life cycles, it will probably be later in the year before the first products containing the USB Card connector make an appearance.
By Felisa Yang, associate editor, CNET Reviews
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