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The following is an unedited press release, shown as received from the company represented. We've elected to present selected releases without editorial comment, as a way to provide our readers more information without further overtaxing our limited editorial resources. To avoid any possible confusion or conflict of interest, the Imaging Resource will always clearly distinguish between company-provided press releases and our own editorial views and content.

PRESS RELEASE: Reduced size MultiMediaCard standard approved by MMCA

Offering significant advantage in mobile phones and digital imaging devices

Cupertino, CA, November 11, 2002 - A reduced-size standard for the MultiMediaCard™ was approved at the MultiMediaCard Association's recent membership meeting in Boston, according to Andy Prophet, Executive Director of the trade organization.

The new Reduced Size MultiMediaCards (RS-MMCTM) will store data for mobile phones in a form factor that is approximately one-half the size of the standard MultiMediaCard. The new cards will be manufactured and marketed by various members of the MMCA with density ranges of 16/32/64 Mbytes available immediately, expanding to 128 and 256 Mbytes later in 2003. Both standard and RS-MMCs have seven pins and can be used in existing host platform. However, the MMCA believes the new RS-MMCs will find most acceptance in next-generation smart mobile phones. The RS-MMC proposal was cosponsored by Hitachi Ltd. and EEMS Italia SpA, Europe's leading provider of back-end manufacturing services for semiconductor memory.

Dimensions of the reduced size cards are 24x18x1.4 mm3, reduced from 24x32x1.4 mm3 in existing cards. The reduced size cards are supported by cell phone makers that understand the advantage for their next generation products where space and power are at a premium. In addition, compliance issues have been taken into consideration so that, for example, a card from a cell phone can be inserted in a digital camera.

According to Gennaro Massa, MultiMediaCard Program Manager at EEMS, "We thought, back in 1999, the MultiMediaCard could be a very good candidate for form factor reduction by 'chopping' the long side of the standard card in half, leaving the silicon portion intact and reducing the total volume by more than 40 percent. We pursued this even though the standard card was already the smallest form factor for any memory card. We are very proud that the MMCA, after serious discussion and evaluation, recently adopted the RS-MMC, validating the original concept. The first functional samples were produced by EEMS in August 2001, and we are committed to supplying design, assembly and test services to interested customers on both card standards."

Volume (in cm3) / Device type
5.14 / CompactFlash
3.01 / Sony Memory Stick
1.27 / Smart Media
1.08 / MultiMediaCard (Standard)
0.60 / MultiMediaCard (RS-MMC)

A reduced size card can be used in a full size MultiMediaCard with a simple mechanical expander that will make the card "regain" a full size format.

According to Takashi Totsuka, Department Manager, Memory Application System Department, Semiconductor & Integrated Circuits at Hitachi, Ltd., "The epoch-making small form factor of RS-MMCs allows the design of mobile devices such as advanced cell phones, digital cameras, silicon audio players and high density data acquisition systems that contain enormous content levels within restricted volume. RS-MMCs, with current density ranges of 16/32/64 Mbytes, use our multilevel flash memories and advanced MCM (Multi Chip Module) technology, and they also satisfy all compliance issues. We will achieve 128/256 Mbytes RS-MMCs next year, and this variety of choices will satisfy the needs of mobile handheld device markets all over the world."

About MultiMediaCards
MultiMediaCards are the world's smallest (24mm x 32 or 18mm x 1.4 mm) removable solid-state memory cards, designed especially for mobile phones and digital imaging, among other applications. These convenient, reliable, rugged and lightweight standardized data carriers store up to 256 Mbytes, or approximately 160,000 book pages. MultiMediaCards use ROM technology for read-only applications and Flash technology for read/write applications. The cards are fast for excellent system performance; energy efficient for prolonged battery life in portable products; and cost-efficient for use in systems sold at consumer price points. They also have an easy-to-install serial interface.

About The MMCA (MultiMediaCard Association)
The MMCA is the open standard memory card organization, promoting worldwide adoption of a postage-stamp size, removable storage card designed especially for mobile phones and digital imaging. Founded in 1998 with 14 companies, the MMCA has grown rapidly and now has over 100 members worldwide, representing all branches of mobile electronic applications, including semiconductor suppliers, software vendors and manufacturers of low power devices for storing and retrieving digital information.

The MMCA developed and regulates open industry standards that define all types of MultiMediaCards, ensuring full interoperability. The organization charges no royalties for using the membership-driven standard, except a license fee which is included in the membership dues. Specification are easily available from the organization's website. MultiMediaCards are becoming the industry standard for compact removable storage media across multiple host platforms and markets, including cell phones, digital cameras PDAs, MP-3 music players, portable video games, GSM and laptop computers. MMCA headquarters are located at PO Box 2012, Cupertino, CA 95015-2012. More information is at www.mmca.org.

MultiMediaCard is a trademark of Infineon Technologies, AG, and is licensed to the MMCA (MultiMediaCard Association). Company/product names mentioned may be
trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and are used for identification purpose only.

Editors Note: The term MultiMediaCards is always spelled out as one string, with the MM and C in caps. The MultiMediaCard Association may be abbreviated MMCA.

(First posted on Monday, November 11, 2002 at 00:00 EST)

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