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SanDisk toolkit targets smart phone OS

The flash memory card maker releases a kit for developers interested in working on the Symbian operating system that's used in smart phones.

Removable flash memory card maker SanDisk on Monday released a new toolkit for the Symbian operating system used in so-called smart phones.

The kit is designed to help cell phone makers integrate support for removable flash storage cards in smart mobile phones with digital cameras, games and the MP3 music capabilities, among other features.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said the kit will help designers improve voice and data functions as well as applications such as personal information management and gaming. Also, an expanded slot for a removable flash memory card with copy protection will enable data transfer to other digital devices.

SanDisk offers toolkits for both embedded and removable flash designs for different software and hardware technologies, while Symbian develops and licenses Symbian OS for smart phones, the chief rival to Microsoft's Windows Mobile Smartphone operating system.

The demand for removable memory is rising, as demand increases for digital cameras and notebooks with removable storage devices. Multifunction mobile phones are also driving up demand for these chips. According to IDC, mobile phones with a removable card slot accounted for 70.44 million units, or 15 percent, of global handset sales in 2003. This figure is expected to rise to 420.60 million units, or 64 percent, in 2007.

"Our goal is to offer the necessary tools that allow Symbian OS developers to quickly add removable flash storage capabilities to smart phones and bring their products to market faster," Farshid Sabet, director of OEM Wireless Computing Products Marketing at SanDisk, said in a statement.