SanDisk 128 GB storage card for the mobiles in wait

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SanDisk Corporation, the inventor of flash storage cards, is a vertically integrated manufacturer starting from research, manufacturing and product design to consumer branding and retail distribution.

Imagine the day when the mobile phone in your hand will become a virtual storehouse for videos, pictures, music and data. Days are not far when mobile phones will have expandable storage card with 128 GB (giga bites) capacity that will be able to hold 134 full-length Indian movies, close to 20,000 high resolution photos and 16,000 songs, or the same in any other combinations. SanDisk, one of global leaders in flash storage cards is developing a 128 GB microSD card for mobiles that will be ready by 2011. At present, the highest capacity in a microSD card is 8 GB.

Talking to Deccan Herald, Chief Operating Officer and one of the founders of US-based SanDisk Sanjay Mehrotra said “The tiny thumb-nail-size micro card will have storage capacity equal to today’s PCs. That is the power of digital flash memory which is faster, smaller and needs less power to operate.” On Thursday, Mr Mehrotra was in Bangalore which is the home for SanDisk’s India device design centre working on designing of flash memory chips and its controllers.

SanDisk Corporation, the inventor of flash storage cards, is a vertically integrated manufacturer starting from research, manufacturing and product design to consumer branding and retail distribution. Its product portfolio includes flash memory cards for mobile phones, digital cameras and camcorders; digital audio/video players (MP3 players); USB flash drives for consumers and the enterprise; embedded memory for mobile devices; and solid state drives for computers.

Ringing in money

Flash card for mobile, however, is now SanDisk’s fastest growing business that poured in $1.4 billion in the company’s total $3.9 billion revenue in 2007, said Mr Mehrotra. And there are good reasons for the focus. According to Gartner of the total 1.2 billion mobiles to be sold in the world in 2008, 700 million will have card slots for expandable memory.

Awareness campaign

This figure is expected to touch 950 million in 2010, as 80 per cent of world’s mobile phones will have card slots. SanDisk, which targets these handset owners as potential buyers of high capacity microSD cards, expects that nearly half the buyers will go for upgrades by replacing low capacity cards that come with the phone.

“We have started a consumer awareness campaign ‘Wake up your phone’ to tell users that they can open up to the world of entertainment by adding a SanDisk flash card to their mobile” said Mr Mehrotra.

Other important products for SanDisk are Flash memory cards for digital cameras and camcorders, USB Flash Drives for data storage, Digital media players for audio and video and Solid State Drives (SSDs) for laptops, PCs and servers.

In case of SSDs which will slowly replace lower-capacity hard disk drives in PCs and laptops, both SanDisk and Samsung of South Korea have developed 64 GB flash drives.

However, Mr Mehrotra thinks that adoption of SDD will be slower than microSDs in mobiles because it has to work with most demanding applications and needs a lot of expertise in controllers.

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