updated 11:25 am EDT, Fri September 22, 2006
Kingmax SLC microSD Card
The SD card format was considered slow until the recent high-speed cards from Toshiba. However, users of microSD - the extra-small format designed for cellphones and other handhelds - have so far been limited to slower read and write speeds that exclude the devices from write-intensive uses such as GPS mapping. Taiwanese flash manufacturer Kingmax says its new 1GB microSD card removes that barrier by using a storage technique called single-level cell (SLC) storage. Where most flash memory adds capacity by allowing more than two power levels on a storage cell (thus allowing each cell to store more than one bit of data), the new Kingmax design only needs those two power levels to read and write to each cell. This change reduces the effort needed to access data across the entire card, improving the transfer rate substantially when combined with the extra-high 1GB capacity. Kingmax hopes the new card will encourage new features in cellphones when it ships internationally before the end of September. No price has been set.