SanDisk's new Connect cards allow users to
download files to their mobile computers while connected to e-mail
or the Internet. The cards are also said to solve a common memory
problem. In situations when the main memory of a computer is
already full, users can download their files to a Connect card
as an alternative, the company says.
The Connect(TM) product line includes four products - dual-function
128-megabyte (MB) CompactFlash (CF); 256-MB SD cards that combine Wi-Fi
and flash memory; and single-function CF and SD cards with Wi-Fi connectivity.
The windows/WinCE operating system (OS) recognizes multifunctionality," explains
David Smurthwaite, Retail Product Marketing, I/O Products for SanDisk. "The
card is seen by the host device as both a memory card and a Wi-Fi card.
It's simply two controllers talking to the OS as if they were in two
According to Mr. Smurthwaite, historically, there
have been some design obstacles in trying to develop cards with both
achieving the required space in the format and coordinated transfer
of data between controllers.
The new cards mark the supplier's entry
into the wireless communications market, which, according to SanDisk,
comes at a time when Wi-Fi, a
type of WLAN for wireless local area networks, is emerging as the
The new Connect combination cards can be used in
several consumer device applications and have been designed with low
battery drain, a key consideration for PDA and notebook users.
Mr. Smurthwaite says several proprietary methods were used to keep power
low, but that the company also used common techniques such as enabling
a low-power sleep mode and adjusting for power requirement based
on the range of access points.
The Wi-Fi cards are said to enable
end devices to transmit and receive data at speeds up to 11 Mbps (megabits
per second) at a
up to 300 ft from the nearest access point. Security encryption
with the products.
According to SanDisk, because the cards support
both WinCE PDAs and Windows laptops and notebooks, the CF Connect line
be used in
multiple devices. The SD Wi-Fi cards will support devices with
OS 4x and higher operating systems. In addition, the company
says several camera manufacturers are exploring the development
(with single-card slots) that would enable photographers to
use a Connect dual-function card to take pictures and then use wireless
to send the images to friends or business associates.