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SanDisk unveils SD flash card with USB connectivity

Card is designed to let users plug it in to products like digicams and then directly in to PCs, with no need for a special reader. Image: SanDisk's flash has USB connections

SanDisk introduced on Friday an SD flash memory card with built-in USB connectivity.

The card can be plugged into any Secure Digital card slot, such as those used in digital cameras, and then plugged in to any Universal Serial Bus port without needing an SD card reader to transfer data, images, audio or video between computers, digital cameras and other electronic devices, the company said.

The design eliminates the need for a removable cap and features an LED that blinks when data transfer is taking place to indicate that the card is being used as a USB flash drive.

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"SD cards have become the dominant standard for consumer-electronics products such as digital cameras. On the other hand, USB flash drives have grown dramatically in popularity due to the huge installed base of PCs and notebooks that support the USB standard," Wes Brewer, vice president of consumer products marketing at SanDisk, said in a statement.

The card maker said it plans to release products featuring the new card in the first quarter of this year.

The company will release more details about the cards at the Photo Marketing Association trade show in February, when it is expected to introduce cards with capacities as high as one gigabyte.