Almost a month since we covered Hitachi Japan's announcement of a 448MB CF Type II and 1GB PCMCIA ATA Type II card, Hitachi USA have today made these products official. Here's the complete press release. The 448MB CF Type II is priced at $895 per 1000 (to distributors obviously) that's a price of $1.99/MB compared to IBM's 1GB CF Type II Microdrive at $499 is just $0.50/MB.

Hitachi CF Type II Card specifications

Interface CF+ (ATA and PCMCIA compatible)
Case type Compact Flash Type II / PCMCIA (with adapter)
Capacity 256MB / 320MB / 448MB
Model names HB288256E5 / HB288320E5 / HB288448E5
Interface data rate 2 MB/s
Power req. (3.3V) Write: 25mA, Standby: 0.5mA
Power req. (5.0V) Write: 45mA, Standby: 1mA
Dimensions 42.8 x 36.4 x 5 mm (1.69 x 1.43 x 0.2")
Pricing 448MB - $895 (1000 quantity)
Availability 3rd Quarter 2000

Interesting announcement hot on the heels of last weeks announcement of 512MB and 1GB Microdrives from IBM, at $1.99/MB Hitachi's cards are pricing themselves out of contention, that said their power requirements are significantly less than the Microdrive (whilst writing anyway). Here's my comparison:

  IBM DCSM-11000 (Microdrive) Hitachi HB288448E5
Package CF Type II CF Type II
Type Minature hard drive Flash memory
Capacity 1 GB 448 MB
Power req @ 3.3V Write: 250mA
Standby: 20mA
Write: 25mA
Standby: 0.5mA
Power req @ 5.0V Write: 260mA
Standby: 20mA
Write: 45mA
Standby: 1mA
Data rate 2.6 - 4.2 MB/s 2.0 MB/s
Price $499 $895
Price / MB $0.50/MB $1.99/MB
Availability Approx. September Approx. September

Todays press release:

Hitachi Introduces Industry's Highest-Density Flash Cards, Meeting Needs of Applications such as Network Servers and Professional Digital Cameras

The 448-MByte CompactFlash(TM) card and 1-GByte PC-ATA Flash card offer high-speed programming and fast data transfers for maximum system performance

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 26, 2000-- Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc. established new industry capacity records for Flash cards by introducing today a 448-MByte CompactFlash(TM) (CF(TM)) Type-II card, the HB288448E5, and a 1-GByte Type-II Flash PC-ATA card, the HB2881000A5. Both solid-state devices address the growing need for extremely high density, high-performance, rewriteable program and data storage in leading-edge products and systems. Key applications include the network servers that power the Internet and corporate intranets, and the high-resolution digital cameras used by professional photographers and amateur enthusiasts.

Convenient and rugged, the new CF and PC-ATA Flash cards are also ideal nonvolatile storage solutions for many types of consumer electronic products and industrial equipment. In MP3 players, for example, the compact 448-MByte CF card provides up to seven hours of CD-quality recording and playback, while the larger 1-GByte PC-ATA card stores and plays up to 16 hours of content. In remote monitoring systems for factories, environmental research and other applications, the cards deliver expanded storage capacity for increased utility.

To reduce the programming time needed to store large amounts of data, the Flash cards have fast programming speeds: up to 2 MBytes/second. Their fast data transfer rates -- as high as 10 MBytes/second -- further helps to maximize the performance of the systems in which the cards are used.

The HB288448E5 and HB2881000A5 Flash cards conform to popular industry standards and are interchangeable with other devices that conform to the same standards. Thus, the removable, transportable cards allow easy, plug-in memory capacity upgrades for many systems.

Cards are built with Hitachi's 256-Mbit Flash chips and DDP packaging:

To obtain the new Flash cards' record-setting capacities, Hitachi bases the cards on its HN29W25611 256-Mbit AND-type Flash memory chips, which employ Multi-Level Cell (MLC) process technology and are fabricated in volume with a proven 0.25-um process, and on optimized Flash card controller ASIC devices that use a SuperH® RISC engine core uses a proven double-density package (DDP) technology that allows two die to be stacked in the same space as one TSOP-packaged chip.

Expanding a successful product line

The 448-MByte Type-II CF card and 1-GByte Flash PC-ATA card expand Hitachi's broad product line and reinforce the company's commitment to this exciting market. Other products in the line include 8-MByte to 192-MByte Type-I (3.3-mm thick) CF cards, 8-MByte to 640-MByte Flash PC-ATA cards, and a 16-MByte Secure MultiMediaCard. These Flash cards serve a broad span of applications, including handheld PCs, PDAs, solid-state recorders, external storage devices, digital cameras, digital camcorders, and much more.

According to Mark D'Arcangelo, product manager, nonvolatile memory, ``Hitachi is one of the top five Flash card manufacturers, per the IDC 1999 Flash Card Market Share Report. We take full advantage of our advanced Flash device technology, extensive design and manufacturing expertise, and high-volume production facilities to deliver to customers reliable, high-performance, high-quality Flash cards in quantity. We are continuing to develop our Flash component and controller technology with forward and backward compatibility to ensure customer satisfaction and to meet the changing needs of the Flash memory market.''

Price and availability

The Hitachi HB288448E5 Type-II 448-Mbyte CompactFlash(TM) card is $895 in 1,000 quantity, and the Hitachi HB2881000A5 Type-II 1-Gbyte PC-ATA card is $2,000 in 1,000 quantity. These high-capacity Flash cards will be available in 3Q2000. At that time, new lower-capacity Hitachi CompactFlash cards, the HB288320E5 (320-MByte) and HB288256E5 (256-MByte) Type-II CF cards, will also become available.