Wi-Fi/Memory SD Card Ready

By Eric Griffith

May 24, 2004

Sixteen months after it was first announced, SanDisk says it will have a combo memory and wireless NIC card in Secure Digital format will ship in the next 30 days.

SanDisk said today that in the next 30 days it will finally ship its SanDisk Combination Secure Digital (SD) card, which will put 256 megabytes of digital storage and 802.11b Wi-Fi in the same postage stamp sized unit.

The unit was first announced over a year ago, in January of 2003. SanDisk spokesman Mike Wong said, "It was harder [to make] than expected. We are still the first, though."

Combo cards are considered important for PDA users that may only have a single slot available, but want both extended memory and wireless connectivity at the same time.

SanDisk has been shipping a Compact Flash (CF) version with the combo of memory plus wireless for about a year. Both the CF and SD cards are based on silicon from SyChip. The general form factor of an SD card is about the size of a postage stamp -- 32 x 24 x 2.1 millimeters. CF cards are slightly larger at 43 x 36 x 3.3 mm. Slots for SD cards have slowly been increasing on new PDAs over the last year due to their smaller size.

Many Palm-based PDAs have an SD slot, but at least for now the SanDisk SD Combo Card will only work in PDAs running Microsoft Pocket PC 2002, Pocket PC 2003 or Windows Mobile 2003 operating environments.

Wong says that SanDisk will make Palm drivers available for its original SD Wi-Fi card imminently. They're likely only to support Palm OS 5.0, however. In December of last year, SanDisk stated that units running Palm OS 4.1 or earlier would not get drivers for using the SD cards. Users with older Palms would have to use a portfolio product like that made by Enfora.

The Combo SD Card will have a suggested retail price of $129.

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