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Memory Products: More than Just DIMMs

Besides the DIMM modules, a lot of attention of the memory manufacturers now goes to the flash memory solutions. You may have already read in our News that OCZ is going to start offering Flash products any time soon, Flash memory has become a significant part of business for Transcend, PQI, Kingtston and other manufacturers. And there were quite a few interesting products demonstrated at the show that I would like to draw your attention to.

First of all, Kingston is now offering an “unbreakable” USB 2.0 flash drive with hardware password protection.

It means that if you take the flash IC from the drive, it will not work in another drive. Every flash IC is encrypted, which ensures the safety of the data. Besides, Kingston addressed one of the major issues with the USB flash drives: the issues with low MTBF resulting with the frequent plugging-in and pulling-out of the device. They improved the connector reliability and are offering 5-year warranty of these products. Well, keeping in mind that my USB flash drives die almost every 3-4 months for this particular reason, maybe I should think of getting myself a Kingston one :)

Another big market which is hungry for new flash memory solutions is the ever growing handhelds and portables market, including cell-phones, of course. We have already pointed out in our previous reports from CES, E3 and CeBIT that this market is picking up really quickly, and that almost all manufacturers and developers pay special attention to it now that the niches haven’t all been taken yet. Kingston was showing a few interesting solutions there too.

In particular, they claim that they are currently offering the fastest Ultimate SD card working at x133 speed (23MB/s read rate and 20MB/s write rate), which is topping their SD card family including the regular SD cards and more advanced Elite Pro SD cards working at x50 speed. In fact, it looks like the read speed record is going to be broken any time now, as from what I hear OCZ Technology is going to roll out a products offering 25MB/s data read rate.

Another product developed for the needs of the cell phone makers is the Kingston MMC card with the dual-voltage support. This MultiMediaCardmobile card is designed specifically for Nokia cell phones and supports operational voltages of 1.8V and 3.3V.

Some news also comes from the Compact Flash cards market. The high-capacity CF solutions have always been demanded by professional photographers, but now it looks like the European Union found one more useful application for them. The European GPS navigation systems use CF cards to store dedicated maps for different countries. This is one of the fields where Kingston targets its 4GB solutions now.

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