The MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA) has approved a new RS-MMC (Reduced Size MultiMediaCard) standard. This new flash storage format has the same width but almost half the length of existing MMC cards, RS-MMC cards will be 24 x 18 x 1.4 mm. Hitachi are the first manufacturer to announced RS-MMC cards up to 64 MB in capacity. It's clear that this new reduced size format is aimed primarily at the mobile phone / PDA market but I'm sure it would also offer digital camera manufacturers the opportunity to build even smaller digital cameras.

Press Release:

REDUCED SIZE MultiMediaCard STANDARD APPROVED BY MMCA

Offering significant advantage in mobile phones and digital imaging devices

Cupertino, CA, November 11, 2002 – A reduced-size standard for the MultiMediaCard™ was approved at the MultiMediaCard Association’s recent membership meeting in Boston, according to Andy Prophet, Executive Director of the trade organization.

The new Reduced Size MultiMediaCards (RS-MMCTM) will store data for mobile phones in a form factor that is approximately one-half the size of the standard MultiMediaCard. The new cards will be manufactured and marketed by various members of the MMCA with density ranges of 16/32/64 Mbytes available immediately, expanding to 128 and 256 Mbytes later in 2003. Both standard and RS-MMCs have seven pins and can be used in existing host platform. However, the MMCA believes the new RS-MMCs will find most acceptance in next-generation smart mobile phones. The RS-MMC proposal was cosponsored by Hitachi Ltd. and EEMS Italia SpA, Europe's leading provider of back-end manufacturing services for semiconductor memory.

Dimensions of the reduced size cards are 24x18x1.4 mm3, reduced from 24x32x1.4 mm³ in existing cards. The reduced size cards are supported by cell phone makers that understand the advantage for their next generation products where space and power are at a premium. In addition, compliance issues have been taken into consideration so that, for example, a card from a cell phone can be inserted in a digital camera.

According to Gennaro Massa, MultiMediaCard Program Manager at EEMS, “We thought, back in 1999, the MultiMediaCard could be a very good candidate for form factor reduction by ‘chopping’ the long side of the standard card in half, leaving the silicon portion intact and reducing the total volume by more than 40 percent. We pursued this even though the standard card was already the smallest form factor for any memory card. We are very proud that the MMCA, after serious discussion and evaluation, recently adopted the RS-MMC, validating the original concept. The first functional samples were produced by EEMS in August 2001, and we are committed to supplying design, assembly and test services to interested customers on both card standards.”

Volume (in cm³) Device type
5.14 CompactFlash
3.01 Sony Memory Stick
1.27 Smart Media
1.08 MultiMediaCard (Standard)
0.60 MultiMediaCard (RS-MMC)

Phil: The new xD-Picture card measures 20 x 25 x 1.7 mm giving it a volume of 0.85 cm³

A reduced size card can be used in a full size MultiMediaCard with a simple mechanical expander that will make the card "regain" a full size format.

According to Takashi Totsuka, Department Manager, Memory Application System Department, Semiconductor & Integrated Circuits at Hitachi, Ltd., “The epoch-making small form factor of RS-MMCs allows the design of mobile devices such as advanced cell phones, digital cameras, silicon audio players and high density data acquisition systems that contain enormous content levels within restricted volume. RS-MMCs, with current density rages of 16/32/64 Mbytes, use our multilevel flash memories and advanced MCM (Multi Chip Module) technology, and they also satisfy all compliance issues. We will achieve 128/256 Mbytes RS-MMCs next year, and this variety of choices will satisfy the needs of mobile handheld device markets all over the world."