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Memory formatting

Form, fit and function are all variable when it comes to removable storage. By Graham Pitcher.

Flash based storage is one of the fastest growing market segments. According to iSuppli's chief analyst memory analyst Betsy van Hees, demand has grown by 46% over last year.

Demand has grown particularly for NAND flash, used in removable data storage devices. Growth in demand for such formats as Compact Flash and Smart Media has increased by 84% this year. Meanwhile, NOR flash has seen more modest growth, with 64% of shipments consumed by mobile 'phones.

Survey the market for flash based storage and you'll find, amongst others, the following formats: CompactFlash; Microdrive; SmartMedia; Memory Stick; MagicGate; MultiMedia Card; Secure Digital; and the xD Picture Card. A crowded enough market, you might think, but two other formats – the universal transportable memory, or Fish card, and the ExpressCard – are in the offing. A rationalisation of the number of available formats is probably required.

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Graham Pitcher

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