and Olympus have today joined forces to announce the xD-Picture Card, a new memory
card for digital cameras that delivers high capacity storage at an economical
price. With its small physical size, the xD-Picture Card will enable consumers
to benefit from more compact and innovative camera designs.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
Fujifilm, Olympus. Both development partners will offer individually branded xD-Picture
Cards at launch but the technology will be made available to other companies.
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.