Toshiba has today announced a new 128 MB MMC/SD (MultiMedia Card / Secure Digital card). Hot on the heals of SanDisk who announced a 128 MB card back in June. While I'm not a huge fan of new formats (surely we have enough already!) it's good to see that at least those who end up with MMC digital cameras will be able to buy relatively useful capacities. Toshiba also reveal that they hope to introduce a 256 MB MMC/SD card in 'fourth quarter 2001'.

Press release:


NAND Flash-Based Secure Digital Memory Card Delivers Greater Storage Capacity For Audio, Video, Data and Multimedia Applications

IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 6, 2001 - To meet the growing consumer demand for greater storage capacity for data, video and audio files, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC)* today announced the introduction of a 128 megabyte (MB) Secure Digital (SD) Memory Card. The new SD Memory Card complements Toshiba Corp.’s (Toshiba) comprehensive line of solid state storage solutions which also include the CompactFlash™ and SmartMedia™ form factors, bringing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers a range of solutions to meet their removable storage requirements.

Designated the SD-M1280, the 128MB SD Memory Card includes two of Toshiba’s 512 megabit (Mb) NAND flash memory devices, manufactured using Toshiba’s 0.16-micron (µm) process technology. Designed for use in wireless and portable communications devices including personal digital assistants (PDAs), cellular phones, handheld PCs, digital still and video cameras, MP3 players, car navigation systems, and electronic books, the 128MB SD Memory Card stores up to four hours of music or 40 minutes of video.

"As the cost-per-bit of NAND flash memory continues to decline, it is becoming the most cost-effective choice for a variety of applications, driving a shift in the market demand from NOR to NAND," said Jackie Traeumer, senior business development manager, Flash Products, at TAEC. "With the introduction of the 128MB SD Memory Card, we are continuing to push the envelope in developing higher density solutions to meet the needs of a broader range of applications requiring greater amounts of secure file storage."

Toshiba’s 128MB SD Memory Cards leverage the company’s advanced security technology to provide key enhancements over traditional flash cards such as cryptographic security, improved protection of copyrighted data, high data transfer rate for fast copy/download, and high storage capacity.

According to Gartner Dataquest, the ability to store and transfer digital information has become increasingly important over the past couple of years, due to the emergence of digital consumer products in general and of portable electronic equipment in particular. "In 2000, the removable flash card market was worth approximately $1.3 billion," said Benjamin Thompson, senior analyst, Gartner Dataquest. "Gartner Dataquest views the potential annual revenue for Secure Digital Card sales to be as high as $800 million to $1 billion by 2004, due to the substantial requirement for content protection of recordable and prerecorded media (CPRM and CPPM) in the consumer electronics marketplace."

Key Specifications

  • Part Number: SD-M1280
  • Flash Memory Process: 0.16 micron (µm) process technology
  • Package: SD Physical Layer Spec. V1.0 Compliant
  • Dimensions: 32 mm x 24mm x 2.1mm
  • Power Supply: Operating Voltage 2.7 volts (V) to 3.6V

Pricing and Availability

Samples of Toshiba’s SD-M1280 are available now, and priced at $149 each in OEM quantities. Toshiba plans to introduce a 256MB SD Memory Card in the fourth quarter of 2001.

SD Card Background

The SD Memory Card is a revolutionary universal flash memory storage device designed to meet the security, capacity, ergonomic and performance requirements of emerging audio, video and multimedia consumer electronics markets. SD Memory Card packaging includes a new high-performance, nine-pin SD interface that enables data transfer rates of up to 2 megabytes per second (MB/s) and will eventually allow transfer rates of up to 10MB/s. The SD Memory Card is ergonomically designed for current and future devices that require reduced real estate for components while demanding increased storage space. The card is 32 millimeters (mm) long, 24mm wide and 2.1 mm thick, approximately the size of a postage stamp, and weighs two grams.

The SD Memory Card specification was defined by the Secure Digital Association (SDA), which founding members include Toshiba, Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) and SanDisk Corporation. The SD Memory Card is designed to comply with all three levels of the Secure Digital Music Industry (SDMI) security requirements. Both non-protected (category I) and copy protected (categories II and III) material can be stored on the card. The copy-protected material can be secured either by a unique card bound identification (category II) or by an active cryptography algorithm (category III), that involves challenge/response protocols against a private key.

NAND Flash Background

The SD Memory Card is based on NAND flash memory. Toshiba is a recognized pioneer in flash technology and invented NAND flash technology in 1989. NAND flash is becoming the storage media of choice for solid state storage applications because of its high-speed programming capability, high-speed erasing, small block size, and low cost. The sequential nature (serial access) of NAND-based flash memory provides notable advantages for these block-oriented data storage applications. Toshiba's NAND flash memory products are optimized for general solid state storage, image file storage and audio for applications such as solid state disk drives, digital cameras, set-top boxes and industrial storage.