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Pretec's 8GB SDHC card. Courtesy of Pretec, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Pretec announces 8GB SDHC card
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Friday, September 1, 2006 - 07:24 EDT)

Taiwanese storage and peripherals company Pretec Electronics Corp. has announced a new flash memory card which it says offers the world's highest capacity in the Secure Digital format.

The company is no stranger to such records - past products include a 12GB CompactFlash card that has yet to be matched over two years later, let alone surpassed. The company also set benchmark highs with its 8GB USB flash drive, and 4GB Secure Digital / MultiMediaCard products.

It should be noted that the new card is an SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) type, otherwise known as Secure Digital 2.0. The original Secure Digital card specification has a limitation of a two gigabyte maximum capacity, but the SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) standard extends this to a theoretical 32GB. Hence, the new card can only be used in an SDHC-compliant device - few existing SD-based devices support SDHC, although recent product announcements show that the new standard is quickly being adopted.

SDHC also establishes classes that guarantee minimum sustained transfer rates of two, four or six megabytes per second. Burst transfer rates can be significantly higher, up to 20 megabytes per second. Pretec has yet to disclose the sustained transfer rate for the new 8GB SDHC card.

Unlike the whopping 12GB CompactFlash card, the new Pretec 8GB SDHC card looks set to reach market at an affordable pricetag. Even two years after its launch priced at $10,000, the CF card still commands a rather steep US$8,000 - and that's if you can actually find one to buy. The Pretec 8GB SDHC card is available for key customer sampling at a much more reasonable $299. Mass production is slated for the last quarter of this year, with retail pricing as yet unannounced.

More details can be found in the official press release below.

Original Source Press Release:

Pretec 8GB SDHC Card, The Highest Capacity SD Card in the World

FREMONT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 31, 2006--Pretec, the world record keeper of highest capacity flash memory cards of CF card (12GB, March 2004), USB Flash Drive (8GB, January 2005), SD card (4GB, July 2005) and MMC (4GB, September 2005), has now released 8GB SD card, the highest capacity SD card in the world.

Pretec 8GB SD card is fully compliant with SD 2.0 (SDHC) specification with access speed up to 20MB/sec. The maximum capacity of SD card is 2GB under SD 1.1 of Secure Digital Alliance (SDA) specification; however, by using file format of FAT32, many SD 1.1 host devices can use 4GB SD card which Pretec pioneered since 2005. SD 1.0/1.1 uses traditional "Byte Addressing" scheme which limits the maximum capacity to 4GB while SD 2.0 adopts "Sector Addressing" scheme which is the same with the technique applied by Mu-Card Alliance in 2004 to reach the maximum capacity of 2TB (2048GB). Pretec is one of the major founders and main contribution member of Mu-Card Alliance, who joined forces with MMCA in June 2005 (www.mmca.org/press/Mu_Card_Final.pdf). With capacities of 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB, Pretec 8GB SDHC is now available for key customer sampling at unit price $299. Mass production is scheduled by Q4/2006.

SDHC cards are recognized by new SDHC host devices differently than standard SD cards and are not backward compatible with legacy SD format host devices; in which, SDHC cards can only work with SDHC compatible host devices. Since Pretec is the 1st in the world to offer 4GB standard SD cards, and now also offers 4GB SDHC cards, Pretec will provide patent-pending SD-Tuner(TM) technology for customers to have an easy transition between the incompatibility of SD 1.1 and SD 2.0.

About Pretec
Pretec (http://www.pretec.com) offers a complete spectrum of small form factor memory cards and card readers such as CF, SD MMC, and USB Flash Drive for digital imaging, mobile communication, and industrial flash markets. As the 2nd company who was capable to offer CF card since 1995 in the world, Pretec has consistently demonstrated the pioneer engineering in highest capacity cards first available in the world: such as CF card 80MB, 128MB, 160MB, 320MB, 640MB, 1.5GB, 3GB, 6GB and 12GB CF card; the first 1GB and 4GB MMC card; the earliest to reveal the largest size 8GB USB Flash Drive; and now the highest capacity of SD card in 4GB and 8GB. With more than 100 patents granted or filed, Pretec has also been offering the highest speed cards in the world such as CF 80X (2004), MMC 4.0 150X (2004), USB 166X/266X (2005), SD 133X (2005), MMCplus(TM) 266X (2005), i-Disk Tiny ("Best Gear of 2003" by TIME Magazine), and smallest size USB Flash drive in the world such as i-Disk Diamond (also known as Cu-Flash) (2005).

For more product information, please visit www.pretec.com.

-- Note: i-Disk, i-Disk Tiny or Diamond, and SD-Tuner are trademarks of Pretec Electronics Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned herein are recognized as the property of their respective holders.

Pretec's 8GB SDHC card. Courtesy of Pretec, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

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