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Lexar announces 40X CF, speeds up 1GB cards
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 04:26 EST)

A press release today from Lexar Media Inc. announces that the company has increased the speed of its CompactFlash card product line significantly.

The press release, originally scheduled to go live at 6AM Eastern Time but already available both on Lexar's site and elsewhere, announces two new CompactFlash cards rated at 40X in capacities of 256MB and 512MB. Lexar's speed ratings are based on the standard used for CD-ROM drives, where 1X is equal to 150KB per second write speed. By that standard, the new 40X cards are claimed to have sustained write speeds of 5.8MB per second.

At the same time as the announcement of the 40X cards, Lexar also announces that its 1GB CompactFlash card has been improved from a 16X card to a 32X card (equating to an increase from 2.3 to 4.7MB / second).

All of these cards also feature Lexar's proprietary write-acceleration technology, which was announced at the Photokina show last year. Write speeds depend strongly on the device in question, so not all cameras will get the full speed benefit of these cards. Lexar don't state what devices these speeds have been tested in.

The new cards will be demonstrated at PMA, and retail shipments will begin in March. Pricing will be set at $139.99 for 256MB, $249.99 for 512MB and $399.99 for 1GB.

Lexar's 512MB 40X high-speed CompactFlash card. Courtesy of Lexar, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.

Original Source Press Release:

Lexar Media Breaks Speed Record With New CompactFlash

Speed Rated at 40X and Capable of a Minimum Sustained Read and Write Speed of 6MB per second

FREMONT, Calif., February 25, 2003 -- Lexar Media, Inc. (Nasdaq:LEXR), a leading designer, developer and marketer of award-winning high-performance digital media and accessories, announces it will boost the speed of its Professional Series CompactFlash cards to 40X, further solidifying the company's leadership position in high-speed digital media. The new 40X cards will be available in 256MB and 512MB capacities and will feature the company's Write Acceleration technology (WA), which further increases write speed in WA-enabled digital cameras. Completing its Professional Series line upgrade, Lexar Media will increase the speed of its 1GB Type I CompactFlash card to 32X.

Lexar Media, known for its rigorous speed-rating standard, has nearly doubled the speed capability of its Professional Series product line, previously rated at 24X for 256MB and 512MB cards, and 16X for the 1GB card. The X-speed rating is a standard pioneered by Lexar Media for solid-state memory cards where 1X equals 150KB per second write speed. Under this testing standard, the new 40X-speed cards are capable of 6MB per second minimum sustained write speed.

"Lexar Media has become known for its speed rating standard for CompactFlash and 40X, or 6MB per second write speed capability, is quite an achievement. What makes this even more significant, Lexar Media speed rating measures the minimum sustained write speed capability of the CompactFlash. Other companies' speed claims are often burst or read speed and may not reflect the typical performance of the product," said John Omvik, director, product marketing, Lexar Media.

Write Acceleration technology is the result of a Lexar Media proprietary high-speed flash memory controller and the cooperation of major digital camera manufacturers to increase write-speed performance by simplifying the way a camera and card communicate with each other. With WA, the camera can transfer more data, and command overhead is reduced. A significant performance advantage can be seen in high-resolution cameras that produce large image files and the increase in write-speed becomes even more noticeable when several images are shot in burst or continuous mode. Actual performance data will vary between cameras, resolution and shooting mode.

Lexar Media introduced Write Acceleration in its Professional Series CompactFlash cards in September 2002 and to date, three major camera manufactures are supporting the standard: Kodak, Nikon and Sanyo. Write Acceleration cards also function in standard mode in cameras that do not support Write Acceleration.

All Lexar Media Professional Series cards include a free copy of Lexar Media Image Rescue. Image Rescue is a unique and revolutionary file recovery software that recovers 'perceived to be lost' image files from Lexar Media-brand USB-enabled CompactFlash memory cards. The most common causes of image loss include removing the card from a camera or reader before the image has been fully stored, accidentally deleting a picture, reformatting a card or low camera battery power. Image Rescue goes to the root-level of the data structure to identify and retrieve lost images, even if the computer does not see the card. In most instances Image Rescue can identify and retrieve JPEG, TIFF and many RAW file formats.

The new 40X Professional Series CompactFlash cards will be demonstrated at PMA 2003, booth number H152, in Las Vegas on March 2. Estimated retail pricing for the 256MB, 512MB and 1GB cards is expected to be $139.99, $249.99 and $399.99 respectively, with retail shipments beginning March 2003.

Cameras that currently support Write Acceleration include:

  • Kodak DCS 14n, Kodak DCS 760, Kodak DCS 760m, Kodak DCS 720x, Kodak DCS Pro Back Plus, Kodak DCS Pro Back 645
  • Nikon D1x, Nikon D1h, Nikon D100
  • Sanyo DSC MZ3
About Lexar Media, Inc.
Lexar Media, Inc. (Nasdaq: LEXR) is a leading designer, marketer and licensor of award-winning removable flash-based digital storage media, card readers and ATA controller solutions for the digital photography, consumer electronics, industrial and communications markets. Lexar Media brands digital memory cards in the industry's most popular formats including CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, MultiMediaCard and SD. As a digital storage innovator, Lexar Media was the first to develop and advance proprietary read-write speed standards for its USB-enabled CompactFlash cards and holds over 50 memory and controller patents. Licensees of Lexar Media's technology include Olympus, SanDisk, Samsung Electronics and Sony. Headquartered in Fremont, California, Lexar Media also has offices in London and Tokyo. Lexar Media is a member of the Russell 2000 Index. For more information, please call 1-800-789-9418 or visit www.lexarmedia.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and is subject to the safe harbor created by those sections. These forward-looking statements include statements related to the benefits of and consumer demand for Lexar Media's high performance CompactFlash products. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. These risks include that the growth and success of Lexar Media's business depends on its ability to achieve and maintain technology leadership, and sell and market products that are commercially accepted.. Readers should also refer to the risk factors described in Lexar Media's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2002. Lexar Media assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this news release.

Lexar Media, JumpDrive and the Lexar Media logo are trademarks of Lexar Media, Inc. Lexar Media Inc. is an authorized licensee of the CompactFlash trademark. All other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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