Olympus, Fujifilm Develop Stamp-Sized, Next-Generation Small Media

Olympus, Fujifilm Develop Stamp-Sized, Next-Generation Small Media


Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. and Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. announced on July 30 that they have developed a new media device called “xD-Picture Card,” which they expect to be used for recording images for digital cameras.

They said they would release it this fall. The XD-Picture Card features a small size about that of a postage stamp — 22mm wide x 25mm deep 1.7mm thick — and recording capacity of 8GB at present. They will release four types of memory cards: 16MB, 32MB, 64MB and 128MB. The price is open.

“We expect the retail price will be same as the smart media with the same capacity,” said an official at Fujifilm.

It was developed as the next-generation media that is supposed to replace smart media with a 128MB memory. Downsizing media allows makers to develop smaller digital cameras than existing ones. Also, larger capacity can enhance resolutions of a digital camera. The two companies expect it will be used for personal digital assistants (PDAs) and audio players in addition to a digital camera. They will outsource production to Toshiba Corp.

After releasing four types of memory cards, they will release a new one with a 256MB memory in December and additionally new types with a memory between 512MB and 8GB after 2003. To read and write in xD-Picture Card, a special card reader and adaptor that will be released simultaneously are required.

The two companies will promote digital camera and printer makers to adopt the xD-Picture Card as standard, and at the same time they hope to form a league which can compete with “Memory Stick Duo” by Sony Corp., being focused as the next-generation small media. Fujifilm plans to debut a new digital camera employing xD-Picture Card this summer.

The main specifications of the xD-Picture Card are 5.0MB/s for reading, and 1.3MB/s (cards with a 16MB/32MB memory) or 3MB/s (more than 64MB memory) for writing. Its power consumption is 25mW, lower than that of smart media.