New CF cards from Lexar won't need CF card readers, they'll only need the US$20 Lexar JumpShot cable and a USB enabled PC/iMAC:

Lexar Media Launches New Line of High-Speed, USB-Enabled CompactFlash Digital Film Cards for Digital Cameras. New CompactFlash Cards Capture High-Resolution Images Quickly; Provide Fast, Hassle-Free Photo Transfer to Desktop Computers Via the USB Port With Lexar JumpSHOT(tm) Cable; Cards Guaranteed to Work With CompactFlash Cameras

Lexar Media, a leading supplier of High Performance Digital Film(tm), today announced a new line of high-speed CompactFlash cards that lets digital photographers quickly capture high-resolution images and easily transfer them to a desktop computer via the Universal Serial Bus (USB) port.

Compatible with any CompactFlash device, Lexar's USB-enabled CompactFlash cards are specifically designed for use with the Lexar JumpSHOT(tm) USB cable, which provides a high-speed, easy-to-use connection to the desktop computer.

Available at leading retailers in August, the new USB-enabled CompactFlash digital film cards are available in capacities from 16 to 80MB with list prices starting at $69.00. The optional JumpSHOT USB desktop connection kit will be available for a list price of $19.95. This kit includes the JumpSHOT USB cable, a CD ROM with software drivers for Microsoft Windows 98 and Macintosh platforms, and Windows 98 software for easily viewing and organizing the photo images.

USB connectivity is ideally suited for many consumer applications that require the convenience of Plug-and-Play operation and high-speed data transfer between the CompactFlash card and a desktop computer. The new Lexar USB-enabled CompactFlash cards and JumpSHOT USB connection kit offer a significantly faster and easier way to transfer large image files than the slow and cumbersome process of using the serial cable typically included with many digital cameras or reader devices that connect to the parallel port.

``The mass marketization of high-resolution digital cameras is driving the need for a simple and fast way to transfer images from the digital camera to the desktop computer,'' said John Reimer, President and CEO of Lexar Media. ``The combination of our USB-enabled CompactFlash cards and JumpSHOT USB cable connection is a revolutionary breakthrough in CompactFlash design that not only meets storage and performance needs, but also adds the value of a low-cost, high-speed and easy-to-use USB connection.''

Speed and Capacity Critical for Digital Film

Lexar's USB-enabled CompactFlash digital film cards feature 8X speed (1.2Megabyte per second or MBps) and are up to three times faster than the generic digital film currently available. This is important since the latest, high-resolution digital cameras can generate huge, multi-megabyte image files that can significantly slow write performance. A shooting delay occurs when the photographer must wait for the camera to write these large image files before it is ready to take the next shot. Faster performance reduces the wait-time and minimizes the chances of missing the opportunity for a live action or spontaneous shot.

Lexar digital film cards use Lexar's unique SpaceManager(tm) technology for faster performance, superior shock/vibration resistance and lower power consumption. Each Lexar digital film card is covered by the Lexar Media Digital Film Compliant(tm) guarantee that ensures consumers 100% compatibility with all of today's digital cameras. Each card includes a 5-year limited warranty.

USB Built In for Flexibility and Lower Cost

For maximum flexibility, Lexar's solution is based on the popular USB ports already included with most desktop computers. It consists of a high performance CompactFlash card with USB integrated into its controller, optimized software drivers and a special USB cable. Since the USB functionality resides in the CompactFlash card, the low-cost JumpSHOT USB cable and included software drivers is the only requirement for a digital camera to instantly gain USB capabilities.

Lexar's USB-enabled CompactFlash is certified as Digital Film Compliant (DFC), meaning it has undergone extensive compatibility testing in Lexar's DFC laboratories and that the new cards meet all of the CompactFlash certification requirements.

JumpSHOT Images Quickly and Easily

With Lexar's JumpSHOT USB connection kit, transferring photos to the desktop computer is a quick and simple process. The photographer removes the USB-enabled digital film card from the camera, slips it in to the JumpSHOT cradle and plugs the other end of the cable into the USB port of the PC or Macintosh computer. The operating system immediately recognizes the digital film card as another drive, and the photo images appear as individual files. The photos can then be transferred by dragging and dropping them to the computer's hard drive.

System Requirements

The minimum system requirements are Lexar's USB-enabled CompactFlash, a desktop computer with a USB port and the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system or MacOS 8.1 or greater. (Phils note: and hopefully soon Windows 2000).

Key Benefits

For consumers, Lexar's USB JumpSHOT Connection kit offers many benefits that include data transfer rates up to 25 times faster than a serial cable connection. (Typical serial ports transfer rates range up to 28.8KiloBytes per second (KBps); parallel ports accommodate up to 500KBps while USB blazes at up to 1MBps.) As a result of this faster connectivity, consumers who purchase digital cameras with Lexar's USB solution no longer need to purchase a separate USB reader device which typically costs between $70 and $160.

USB offers consumers a hassle-free way to attach devices to their personal computer. Unlike devices that connect through a computer's parallel port, USB does not cause IRQ conflicts or interfere with other devices such as a printer that may already occupy the parallel port. It is also ``hot-pluggable'' so consumers can quickly and easily connect and disconnect their JumpSHOT USB cable without having to turn the computer off. USB is rapidly emerging as the industry standard for connectivity to desktop PCs and Macintosh platforms.

Guaranteed Compatibility With CompactFlash Devices

Lexar's new USB-enabled CompactFlash card are guaranteed to be 100% compatible with virtually all industry-standard CompactFlash devices. The new cards adhere to all of the specifications set forth by the CompactFlash Association standards and, in fact, are a ``superset'' of the existing CompactFlash standards. Given the added feature of integrated USB into the CompactFlash card's controller, Lexar's new cards actually exceed the functionality of standard CompactFlash cards.

Future Applications

Lexar is currently in discussions with other vendors of CompactFlash-based consumer devices, such as MP3 players, who see the tremendous potential benefits of a high-speed USB connection. The combination of Lexar's fast write-speed memory with the JumpSHOT USB connection kit makes it ideal for downloading content-such as digital music files-from the Internet.