SimpleTech has today announced the availability of Compact Flash Type I cards up to 640 MB in capacity and Type II of 850 MB and 1 GB. This announcement comes hot on the heels of one made earlier this week about their new partnership with Hitachi Semiconductor. "We can take Hitachi's leading edge flash memory silicon, double its density with SimpleTech's patented IC Tower(TM) stacking technology, and offer the world's highest capacity CompactFlash cards.'' said SimpleTech's Chief Technical Officer Mark Moshayedi.

Press release:

SimpleTech Announces First-to-Market Availability of Type II CompactFlash Cards in Capacities Up to 1GB

Type I Cards Available in Industry-Leading Capacities Of Up To 640MB

SANTA ANA, Calif. - Aug. 16, 2001--SimpleTech, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEC - news), a technology solutions provider offering products based on DRAM, SRAM and flash memory technologies, today announced first-to-market availability of Type I CompactFlash(TM) cards in capacities up to 640MB and Type II cards in industry-leading capacities of 850MB and 1GB.

The cards are designed to meet the expanding needs of commercial and industrial embedded applications professionals looking for the highest possible storage capacity in the most popular standard Types I and II CompactFlash cards.(a)

"This is a prime example of the technical synergy inherent in our recently announced alliance with Hitachi Semiconductor (America),'' said SimpleTech's Chief Technical Officer Mark Moshayedi. "We can take Hitachi's leading edge flash memory silicon, double its density with SimpleTech's patented IC Tower(TM) stacking technology, and offer the world's highest capacity CompactFlash cards.''

According to Mark D'Arcangelo, Hitachi Semiconductor America's system memory product marketing manager, "These new product offerings from SimpleTech are just the beginning of many future `industry-first' solutions that will result from our partnership. The combination of both organizations' strengths will continue to yield superior product for the marketplace.''

The proliferation of digital cameras of 3 megapixels plus, audio players and other consumer electronics -- as well as the standardization of high density CompactFlash in industrial embedded applications -- is fueling an unprecedented demand for high capacity flash cards. As more digital data is captured and supported across various consumer and computing devices, CompactFlash becomes the portable media of choice for the transparent exchange of information between electronic platforms. A captured image on a digital camera can travel to a PC, notebook or handheld device directly or with the help of an adapter.

"By pushing the storage capacity of our CompactFlash cards, we are enabling the market to look at them not just as portable media storage devices but as viable permanent storage options,'' said Jeanclaude Toma, SimpleTech's vice president, marketing. "With this equivalent of a miniature floppy disk and HDD combo, we can offer ruggedness, high storage capacity, low power consumption and miniaturized size in one package, offering enough flexibility to load and run operating systems and serve as a secure repository for critical data.''

Embedded or commercial applications can also leverage the high capacity cards as a storage cradle for Linux operating systems or embedded Windows-based systems that serve host devices, Toma added.

The high capacity cards are available in limited quantities through September, with production quantities expected to be available in October.

Older press release:

SimpleTech To Be Exclusive U.S. Manufacturer of Hitachi Flash Memory Products; Companies To Collaborate in Sales and Marketing of Leading-Edge Flash Technology

Seeking to grow market share in the expanding flash memory arena, Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc., a leader in flash technology and products, and SimpleTech, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEC - news), a leading supplier of flash-based data storage and custom and standard memory solutions, today announced a strategic alliance. Under this exclusive agreement, SimpleTech will provide U.S. sales and manufacturing services for Hitachi's flash memory products and the companies will jointly market the finished flash memory products.

U.S. customers will benefit from Hitachi's leading-edge flash process technology and existing local marketing and support as well as from SimpleTech's engineering, manufacturing and marketing strengths. Customers will also experience shorter lead times from SimpleTech's state-of-the-art U.S. flash card manufacturing center while continuing to enjoy the support of a major semiconductor manufacturer. Additionally, the companies will deliver innovative, first-to-market flash-based memory solutions.

According to Dan Mahoney, president and chief operating officer of Hitachi Semiconductor (America), the agreement is a logical extension of a long-standing and successful relationship with SimpleTech.

"Providing a quick turn-around time for customers is essential to our business,'' Mahoney said. "SimpleTech's state-of-the-art engineering, manufacturing and supply chain logistics will significantly reduce our time-to-market for flash devices. This will ensure that Hitachi flash semiconductors are available in all channels and that we can meet the complex needs of a wide range of customers from large and small OEMs to retailers. We also see this new business model as a logical first step while we explore alternatives to further strengthen the relationship between our companies.''

Manouch Moshayedi, chairman and chief executive officer of SimpleTech, said the agreement creates a global technology presence focused on speeding up the design-to-development process and collaborating in the introduction of innovative new flash-based memory solutions.

"We see this decision to become Hitachi's primary U.S. channel for end-product distribution, manufacturing and sales in the flash memory arena as a win-win situation,'' Moshayedi said. "Hitachi will benefit from SimpleTech's U.S.-based technical and manufacturing expertise and from our strategy for reaching all sales channels. SimpleTech will work with Hitachi to open exciting new market opportunities. In fact, when we jointly visit customers, we will deliver a three-fold promise: shorter lead times; unsurpassed quality and service in cards, modules and drives; and our joint commitment to deliver timely, next- generation flash-based solutions.''

Flash memory solutions, used extensively in both the commercial and industrial markets, provide solid-state data exchange and data storage capacity for a broad range of consumer electronics products including cell phones, digital cameras, hand-held PCs and digital audio players. They are widely used in telecommunications platforms including routers, switches and network access equipment like DSLAMs (digital subscriber line access multiplexers).

High reliability, ruggedness, compact size and standard form factors are fueling the demand for flash solutions. Flash market revenues shot up 133% worldwide last year to more than $10 billion, according to Web-Feet Research, Inc.