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Fujifilm and Olympus announce the xD-Picture Card - Meeting the increasing need for digital camera image storage, the new xD-Picture Card offers fast read/write speeds, low power consumption and potential for up to 8GB capacity. xD-Picture Card will co-exist alongside SmartMedia.
The name 'xD-Picture Card' was inspired by 'eXtreme Digital', suggesting the power of this new memory card for recording, storing and transporting audio-visual information.
SmartMedia has the greatest percentage share (40%) of worldwide digital camera storage, and is widely used in Fujifilm and Olympus digital cameras as well as other electronic devices. SmartMedia has earned a reputation for outstanding portability, compatibility with personal computers, and cost performance - firmly establishing it as a memory device standard. Fujifilm will continue to offer SmartMedia as the memory card for many of its cameras, including the recently launched FinePix F401 Zoom and much-awarded FinePix F601 Zoom.
The Fujifilm xD-Picture Card responds to consumer demand by offering the smallest storage format of its kind on the market, with very fast data transfer rates. It uses less power than comparable storage options and has a potential for up to 8GB storage capacity. This will allow Fujifilm and other manufacturers of digital cameras, and possibly other devices like personal digital assistants and MP3 players, to produce hardware with faster recording capabilities and sleeker designs. Fujifilm will soon announce its first digital cameras compatible with the xD-Picture Card format.
The new format addresses the capacity limitations of existing media. Storage is increasingly an issue as image file sizes - even those produced by consumer digital cameras - become steadily larger. Fujifilm's 3rd Generation Super CCD makes is possible for a digital stills camera to also record full motion video (640 x 480 at 30 frames per second). This functionality requires high speed transfer rates and high capacity storage capability.
Adrian Clarke, Director of Consumer Products, Fuji Photo Film (UK) Ltd, said, "The xD-Picture Card has been designed to exploit leading-edge technologies in memory capacity, transfer speeds and reliability to deliver a robust storage format in a very compact package."
The xD-Picture Card's principal benefits include:
Capacity: At launch, Fujifilm xD-Picture Cards will have 16MB, 32MB and 64MB, then 128MB capacities in September, with a 256MB card in December. The media's development roadmap shows storage capacity potential of up to 8GB.
Dimensions: 20mm x 25mm x 1.7mm (0.8 x 1.0 x 0.07 inches). This size makes the xD-Picture Card the smallest memory card available.
Read/Write Speeds: The xD-Picture Card will have one of the fastest read/write speeds on the market. A 16MB or 32MB card can record data at 1.3MB/sec. A 64MB card or higher can record data at 3MB/sec and both offer a read speed of 5MB/sec. These high speeds can greatly enhance the user's experience with a product. For example, a photographer can take new pictures or view existing images more quickly with the xD-Picture Card media than with other, slower media formats.
Power Consumption: The xD-Picture Card was designed to use minimal power. Users will benefit from the convenience and savings of longer battery life on a single charge.
Compatibility: Adaptors make xD-Picture Cards compatible with other media. A PC card adaptor and a USB card reader will be available for the x?D Picture Card at the time of launch. A CompactFlash adaptor will be available later.
Branding: Fujifilm, Olympus. Both development partners will offer individually branded xD-Picture Cards at launch but the technology will be made available to other companies.
xD-Picture Cards will be released in August 2002 in capacities of 16, 32, 64 and then 128MB in September. A larger capacity 256MB card will be offered in December. Cards of 512MB, 1GB and larger will be available from 2003.
In August 2002, a USB card reader (xD-Picture Card and SmartMedia, dual slot) and PCMCIA (PC Card) card adaptor (xD-Picture Card and SmartMedia, dual slot) will be available. A CompactFlash card adaptor will be available soon.
Cameras featuring xD-Picture Card compatibility will be announced for the autumn and Christmas seasons, with camera announcements in August 2002.
Pricing for xD-Picture Cards and accessories will be similar to SmartMedia.