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PMA2004: 80x CF from Pretec, 4GB CF and 7 more products from SanDisk

As expected, PMA just flooded potential buyers with the new Flash media announcements.

First, Pretec Electronics announced its fastest CompactFlash operating at 80x. According to the test results conducted with Kodak Professional DCS Pro 14n (latest firmware), Pretec Cheetah showed 4.9MB/s write performance (compare to 2.9MB/s of SanDisk Ultra II/Extreme and 4.2MB/s of Lexar Media 40X with Write Acceleration).

According to the press release, CF Pretec Cheetah provides sequential read at 13MB/s, and sequential write at 12MB/s. Pretec 80X Cheetah CF will start sampling next month to reach the retail late in March. It seems the Cheetah series will include 256MB to 6GB models. No pricing information was disclosed (as well as some higher-quality images).

Second, SanDisk announced new products for the inexpensive Shoot & Store series (MSRP >$15) for digital cameras. The series includes 32MB CF, SD, SM (it´s only the beginning, judging by the press release) marked "50 Pictures" (which actually stand for "hi-res" 1-megapixel images). By the year-end SanDisk plans to launch shipments of 64MB cards (also Memory Stick PRO and xD) marked "100 Pictures" that will cost >$25.

Besides, in a separate press release SanDisk announced two 2GB models for Ultra II CF and Extreme CF series designed for professional and prosumer cameras (>4 megapixels). These solutions will provide 9MB/s write and 10MB/s read (results from HDBENCH; actual performance might depend on certain cameras). 2GB SanDisk Extreme CompactFlash will go on sale late in February for $850. Similar SanDisk Ultra II CompactFlash will go on sale at the same time for about $800.

But that´s not all. Another CompactFlash SanDisk has 4GB capacity and a switch. The card is positioned as a universal solution for all CF Type I cameras. Using the switch, you can vary the capacity and thus use either FAT16, or FAT32. The model will be shipping in April for $1000.

To finish SanDisk´s announcements series, here´s information about the new Memory Stick products. Memory Stick PRO and Memory Stick PRO Duo series were extended by 128MB models (so now Memory Stick PRO offers capacities from 128MB to 2GB, while PRO Duo series offers 128MB to 512MB). SanDisk Memory Stick PRO will be available already this month for $60 (128MB) to $1000 (2GB). Memory Stick PRO Duo will be available in Q2 2004 for $65 (128MB) to $225 (512MB).

But the most interesting are Extreme and Ultra II Memory Stick PRO cards. They perform similar to Extreme and Ultra II CompactFlash and SD: 9MB/s write, 10MB/s read. Shipments are scheduled to the late February. 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB SanDisk Extreme Memory Stick PRO will cost $130, $330, $680, respectively, while 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB SanDisk Ultra II Memory Stick PRO will cost $120, $300, $600, respectively.

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