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Coming soon: 1GB flash cards for $8 or less

If you're thinking about buying a flash card for a camera, it's always a good idea to wait.

Over the past several years, Compact Flash cards, used in many cameras, have dropped about 42.7 percent every year, according to Bill Frank, who runs the trade group behind the Compact Flash standard. (Compact Flash cards are the square ones). Frank spoke at the Flash Memory Summit taking place in San Jose this week.

In 1998, one megabyte of flash cost about $3.50 at retail. Now, a megabyte costs about 2.5 to 3 cents. As a result, a 1gigabyte flash card (which contains 1,000 megabytes) costs about $25 to $30.

Two years from now, flash will sell for less than a cent per megabyte, he said. If the same trends continue, a megabyte will cost around three quarters of a cent. Thus, a 1GB card will cost around $8.

Finding a 1GB card, however, may be tough because densities keep rising. Some manufacturers now make 12GB cards. 20GB and more are in the future.