New memory card first with embedded wireless LAN link

Toshiba Corp. has announced the launch of the world's first Secure Digital High-Capacity memory card that is complete with embedded wireless LAN functionality.

The new card - named "FlashAir" - has a capacity of 8 gigabytes and supports peer-to-peer transfers as well as uploads to and do downloads from servers.

The company says samples of the new product are to be shipped to Japanese stores in November and the card will go on sale in February 2012.

The FlashAir card is on display at Toshiba's booth at the six-day IFA 2011 consumer electronics and home appliances trade show in Berlin, which opens to the public on Friday.

"At a time when digital cameras have achieved immense popularity, users want a quick and easy way to share photos with friends and to transfer them to and from online storage services and social networks," Toshiba said in a statement released from its headquarters in Tokyo.

"Toshiba provides the solution with FlashAir, the world's first SDHC memory card with embedded wireless LAN functionality that is fully compliant with the SD Memory Card Standard," it added.

The system permits uploads and downloads of photographs and other data from a server as well as other devices, including digital cameras that are compatible with FlashAir, as well as smartphones and personal computers that support wireless LAN.

All the transfers are completed wirelessly, the company underlined, and without the need for a cable connection.

The other key features of the new card - which measures 32 mm by 24 mm and is just 2.1 mm thick - include the ability to receive as well as transmit, in addition to lower power consumption that other cards with comparable functions.

The Secure Digital Extended Capacity format was unveiled at the CES event in January 2009, with cards having a maximum capacity of 2,038 GB and SanDisk and Sony announcing they would be carrying out joint development. Panasonic and Toshiba subsequently followed suit with similar versions before Lexar began shipping 128 GB Class 10 SDXC cards in March of this year.

Toshiba said the new product will be launched in Japan initially but that it is planning to secure certification for the device in the North American and European markets in the near future.

JR

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