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World's Fastest Flash Memory Card? 311

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the jay-garrick-barry-allen-and-wally-west dept.
ResQuad writes "Digital Photography Review has an article about what is claimed as the fastest MMC Memory Flash Card. Not only is this new card 200% faster than any current SD card (rating it at about 22.5MB/s read), its also 2GB. Does anyone need 2GB of memory for their PDA?"
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World's Fastest Flash Memory Card?

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  • Media Playing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by anamexis (753041) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @10:59PM (#9332134)
    Both these speeds and large capacities will become more and more important as we see better video capabilities come to the PDA market.
    • Music? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moberry (756963) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:13PM (#9332216)
      Mot only video, but with 2GB or more of storage. a PDA will make a fully featured music player. Windows Media player is fine for this. Quite possibly in the near future manufacturers will market PDA's not only for office, and email use but for portable auido.
      • Re:Music? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by irokitt (663593)
        If it costs less than the iPod, I know I would probably bite. Flash cards are inconvenient compared to a hard drive based player, but the niche is there. Right now, the chioce is between flash-based players like the Muvo (at 64-512 MB) and the iPod (more than 2 gigs but expensive). Something in the 2 GB range would close the gap. Make it 802.11 capable, and you could shop for online music right from the player.

        Of course, I'd assume it will play Ogg Vorbis, right?
        • Re:Music? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kbranch (762946)
          Flash cards are inconvenient compared to a hard drive based player, but the niche is there.

          How can a flash card possibly be more inconvenient than a hard drive based player? Is drawing more power and breaking after a fairly minor fall now convenient?

          Are you referring to the need to insert the card after you buy it as opposed to the iPod where it comes with the hard drive already installed? If so, how can the ability to easily upgrade the storage compare to the minimal effort of putting the card in
          • Re:Music? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by irokitt (663593)
            The "inconvenience" stems from the fact that 2 GB is nowhere hear large enough to hold much of my music collection (upwards of 10 GB, and some of my friends have more than twice that much on their computers). A hard drive player can hold your entire library. Since most transfer methods for PC-to-flash have yet to realize the full potential of the USB 2.0 or Firewire interfaces, I would have to spend quite a bit of time swapping that flash card in and out of my computer and waiting for files to transfer.

            Th
            • Re:Music? (Score:3, Insightful)

              by glesga_kiss (596639)
              upwards of 10 GB, and some of my friends have more than twice that much on their computers

              Twice that? I'm pushing 70 GB now, too big for even an ipod. Choosing what to convert to my 256MB SD-card is a major pain!!

              Of course, I only carry one device with me, that acts as a PDA, organiser, mobile phone and internet device. Despite being a complete gadget geek, I like to travel light and combining everything into my phone, which I've carried everywhere for 10 years anyway, makes perfect sense.

              I genuinely

        • Re:Music? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by chgros (690878)
          Of course, I'd assume it will play Ogg Vorbis, right?
          I actually play music on my Zaurus (it's mostly ogg), since my computer (though a laptop) is VERY noisy. I only have a 128MB card though, so I make a playlist (using Gjay) every night and have a script copy the files to the card. It works nicely (though the opie media player is buggy, notably it has what is probably a nasty memory leak, and is always killed when I turn the thing back on the next day. Also when it has a problem with a file, it stops inste
          • It works nicely (though the opie media player is buggy, notably it has what is probably a nasty memory leak, and is always killed when I turn the thing back on the next day. Also when it has a problem with a file, it stops instead of just skipping)

            I use xmms on my Zaurus, mostly because the whole display isn't the damned buttons -- I can actually see a decent ten lines of the playlist.

            xmms version 0.00005pre1 (yes, it's ridiculous to use ten-thousandths in versioning) works on the 5600 Sharp ROMs, but wi
        • Re:Music? (Score:2, Informative)

          by Snarph (596331)
          Of course, I'd assume it will play Ogg Vorbis, right?

          Depends on the application. I think the not-so-free version of PocketMusic will play Ogg Vorbis files.

          PocketMVP will definitely play them (I'm listening to one right now)
        • by yog (19073) on Friday June 04, 2004 @08:41AM (#9334073) Homepage Journal
          A Palm with multimedia features (Tungsten, Zire 72, etc.) works nicely. I have a 512MB card in my T|T that is good for a few CDs' worth of MP3 music, but I have a few other things that I like to keep on the card that take up a bit of space: my entire wedding photo album viewable with Acid Image, BackupMan backup images, a few documents, dictionaries, Voice Memo recordings of various events.

          I would love to put a few more CDs on the card. Actually, even 2G seems a bit small and I hope they bump it up to 4G in a year or so. That would start to be a serious library of music.

          Flash storage is a synergistic part of a PDA and can grow arbitrarily large as you think of more ways to virtualize your life onto the card. For example, physicians are already loading upwards of a dozen large medical references and databases. Lawyers are carrying electronic law libraries around, and I could see real estate agents putting hundreds of houses with images and stats into a nice handheld database that they sync with a desktop every day.

          Now combine this monster with an email-enabled phone and you have an all purpose personal information device. Bring it on!
      • Windows Media player is fine for this

        You must be new here :)

      • Re:Music? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nametaken (610866) on Friday June 04, 2004 @02:12AM (#9332766)
        I think the mp3 / pda hybrid concept isn't being worked like it should. It's a great idea that isn't getting pushed hard enough. On the email and browsing front however.. I think we need better, faster, cheaper connectivity options. I'll buy a new pda when pdas become small palmtops with fast, CHEAP wireless and tons of storage for my music. The storage part looks feasible now... so we just need way better connectivity. Seeing as you can't FIND a good cellphone company as it is, I don't see a serious wireless access option coming along any time soon. C'mon, streaming internet radio and complete mp3 library in one device would be pretty wicked if I don't have to mortgage my house to pay the wireless bill.
      • Re:Music? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by anonicon (215837)
        Call me silly, but outside of its possible use for video storage due to its high-speed transfer, this 2GB MMC card is completely frigging DUMB when compact flash cards are already available at 4GB and soon 12GB.

        Research and development into Compact Flash cards is already kicking any other flash format's butt, with low-cost, under-$200 4GB cards on the shelves today via the Muvo 2, and the recently announced 12GB compact-flash card that's finished testing and will move into the market by late 2004. That's 4
    • Indeed. I don't want to carry a phone and an iPod because I don't have three ears for two headsets. But I'd happily pay the money to put some decent storage on my next smartphone so I can listen to music on its hands-free headset.

      The division between a high-end phone and a smartphone/PDA is becoming one of expandability. My spouse's excellent Sanyo VM 4500 plays sounds, pictures, and videos, but has no expandability: Sprint doesn't support the phone's built-in Java and PC docking capability because t

    • Exactly. I have quite a large anime collection in divX and I'm waiting until I can get a handheld with decent battery life and decent screen that can actually deal with me needing to constantly install updated codecs *cough*xvid*cough*. Anybody have any suggestions? I know Archos makes a video player, but I don't know how well it would do with needing to have constantly updated divx codecs and such.

  • Good News... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Piranhaa (672441) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:01PM (#9332144)
    This is really good news for mini- formfactor systems. Some people just want to have a quiet PC without the noise and failure rate of a hard drive. The main thing holding people back is the performance of these cards, on top of the pricing. I wonder when entire computers will start switching to the fast access times of solid-state media like these!
    • Aren't there a set number of accesses that a flash memory device can handle before they're toast?

      I think that's what is holding back adoption of flash based PCs. Screw the expense, if the thing can't have a drive failure, some industries will buy it.
      • Flash wear leveling (Score:5, Informative)

        by tepples (727027) * <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:21PM (#9332262) Homepage Journal

        Aren't there a set number of accesses that a flash memory device can handle before they're toast?

        Isn't there a set number of revolutions that a hard drive's bearings can take before it's toast?

        An individual sector on a quality flash card will last for 100,000 writes. The competing "multi-level" flash technology, while slightly leading binary flash in capacity, lasts only about 10,000 writes. If you're curious, here's the difference [samsung.com]. Don't worry too much: CompactFlash cards perform wear leveling, which uses some spare sectors to make sure that no single sector gets overwritten overly often.

        • So there!

          (nice answer) :-)
        • by Erwos (553607)
          I suppose if you're really worried about write limits, you can also use JFFS (I think that's the one!), which also tries to minimize/spread the writing. I really doubt you'll have too much of an issue, especially if you use the CF for the OS and apps, and an ultra-quiet hard drive for data.

          -Erwos
          • by vadim_t (324782)
            since I'm quite interested in this I've investigated it a bit. Turns out JFFS is useless for CompactFlash, since it does its own wear levelling already. JFFS is something like what CF does internally, and is supposed to be used on raw Flash chips. I think some of the other memory cards are pretty much flash chips with a plastic case, and that's where you'd use JFFS.
        • Well, what gets you is swap. (from what I understand) Ideally a flash-based device will have enough RAM so it doesn't swap. Or perhaps a separate "swap/frequent access card" so if you do burn it out your data is still there on the other card.
    • Re:Good News... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rodgerd (402)
      What's wrong with a diskless client booting off a server? Especially in this day and age of NZ$300 gigabit switches...
    • Re:Good News... (Score:3, Informative)

      by bestguruever (666273)
      I'll buy the noise aspect, but flash is only good for a limitted number of writes so the failure rate is much worse.
  • Flash Memory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ctwxman (589366) <me@@@geofffox...com> on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:01PM (#9332146) Homepage
    Ask any digital photographer. Memory is like closet space. One can never have enough - never
    • Re:Flash Memory (Score:2, Interesting)

      by slutdot (207042)
      My wife is a freelance photographer. On any given shoot, She'll go through at least 5 GB of pitcures and this is just for shots of homes that people are looking to sell. I followed her along on one of these this weekend and in about 15 minutes, she went through two 2 GB cards. This was just the interior of an empty 1500 sq. foot home. I couldn't believe it. She said it's much worse when she's shooting portraits. But like you said, there's never enough memory. This is especially true if you choose to s
      • Re:Flash Memory (Score:3, Informative)

        by Silver222 (452093)
        A large RAW file on a Canon D10 is about 7 megabytes. She shot almost 600 images in 15 minutes?

        • yea, I think she is shooting waaaay to many pictures.. who the hell is going to look through all those photos? I have a 10D and I generally take the attitude, well if I just burst away, there will definately be some in there that are good pictures, but I have never taken 600 in 15 minutes..
          • A 10D takes more than 5 seconds to flush an image to the CF card...

            Assuming 5 seconds (which is faster than I'd expect to get in real conditions) and shooting without pause, it would take about an hour for the camera to shoot that many RAW files. I know photographers that shoot action sports with a 10D, they don't shoot RAW because the camera just can't keep up.

            Something just doesn't add up.
            • Where in the GPs post did he say she was using a 10D? The camera she owns may be able to keep up, the 10D isnt the be all and end all of cameras (despite what my work collegue would have you think).
      • Re:Flash Memory (Score:4, Insightful)

        by squaretorus (459130) on Friday June 04, 2004 @02:08AM (#9332758) Homepage Journal
        I'm not meaning to question your wifes abilities, but taking hundreds (maybe 500 if my maths is right) photographs of an empty home seems to smack of a 'shoot now think later' mindset. And the 500 assumes you are taking relatively high res shots - something I can't imagine being important on 'sell my house' shoots.

        Much better to spend those 15 minutes working out which 6 photos to take, then taking a small burst of each than to simply walk around being Miss Snap Happy.

        Portrait shoots are similar - spend a bit of time working out what your going to aim for - and then take aim. Don't just shoot until you explode.

        The Austin Powers piss-take of David Bailey isn't too far off the mark - apart from he misses the part where Bailey interviews and observes his subject for an hour before his 5 minute burst of 'yeah baby yeah'.
      • Re:Flash Memory (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Graff (532189)

        My wife is a freelance photographer. On any given shoot, She'll go through at least 5 GB of pitcures and this is just for shots of homes that people are looking to sell.
        ...
        In order to resolve this lack of space problem, she carries her laptop with her so she can clear the cards by dropping the pics on the laptop.

        She should get the 40 GB iPod and one of the Belkin accessories that allow you to transfer photos to an iPod without a computer. There's a media reader [belkin.com] and one that connects through USB [belkin.com].

        This

        • Re:Flash Memory (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jonhuang (598538)
          Look it up on the web---the ipod combo has horrid transfer speeds and user interface. Better to get a dedicated solution!
    • by blorg (726186)
      ...buying something like this [dpreview.com]. The FlashTrax is probably the nicest portable hard disk card reader but you can also get cheaper ones without the screen; for example I got a USB2 X-Drive 20gb, which reads all memory formats but xD card, for around €150. Which is a lot cheaper than 20gb in memory cards.
  • by ne0nex (612727) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:04PM (#9332163)
    .. is the fact that the article says that it is backwards compatible with older MMC devices. I don't think this will be the case, I have a cheapo mp3 player for my phone (Sony Ericsson mp3 hands-free, the OLD one not the bluetooth one) and the device came with a 32 meg MMC, when i tried to get a 128 meg MMC card, it didn't work. Sony Ericsson said that the device is so old, that 128 meg MMC cards weren't even thought of. I doubt this 2 GIG MMC would work with this "older MMC device". Anyone else have the same experience?
    • What they usually mean is that you will be able to use the card in older MMC devices, just not at full speed. You will be able to use the card at whatever speed your older device can attain. In your case though, it may have been a defect in that particular device. I have used newer memory cards with my older cameras and slot readers without any trouble.
    • Personally, I want to know if it's actually the thickness of an MMC card, or the thickness of an SD card. I've also got an MP3 phone, but it only handles the thinner MMC cards, I can't even get an SD card into the slot.
    • by Ark42 (522144) <slashdot.morpheussoftware@net> on Friday June 04, 2004 @12:12AM (#9332462) Homepage

      Honestly, this is why I stick to CF. Recently bought a new digital camera and my method of picking the camera out was to just walk in to circuit city and eliminate all the non-CF cameras. Ended up with the Canon Powershot G5. My very old 1 megapixel camera takes CF and it has no problem seeing any CF cards I have, even the brand new ones. Isn't the pin-out for CF the same as IDE, and the file system just a basic FAT16? Sure it might run into a limit at 2.1G if the device doesn't support FAT32, but I think most CF devices will use FAT32.
  • DNA (Score:2, Funny)

    by Yonkeltron (720465)
    Good! I am glad we have 2GB available. I am sick of carying a copy of the Human Genome on my Ipod.
  • i would love 2 GB (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SKPhoton (683703) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:05PM (#9332167) Homepage
    I run Familiar [handhelds.org] linux on my iPaq. My ipaq has a mere 32 megs of flash ram. While this is enough for familiar, X, and a few applications, it gets filled up quickly. Once you start adding lots of packages, that 32 megs gets filled up very quickly. In order to get more space, I move all the binaries to an SD card.

    Having 2 gigs available to store packages, not to mention music and even movies would be fantastic, especially for long trips.
    • I run Familiar linux on my iPaq

      Can you point me to a good summary of the status of Linux on iPAQ? WiFi support, all that? I'm drooling over a Linux PDA, but iPAQ hardware is more available - and I'll be damned if I use WinCE under any circumstances.

      I am an embedded linux developer, so am not afraid of hacking, just want a decent base to work from. Have one kernel port [uq.edu.au] up my sleeve, not ready to start another one yet! :-)

      Travelling to USA in just over a week will be a good opportunity to pick up a g

      • Can you point me to a good summary of the status of Linux on iPAQ?

        Sure, check out the FAQ's [handhelds.org] on handhelds.org. There's plenty of good [linuxdevices.com] sites [handhelds.org] out there to keep you reading.

        About WiFi support, I've had good success using a compact flash prism2-based 802.11b card. One of my roommates uses an orinoco gold pc card for wifi on his linux ipaq.
  • I liked the idea of using memory instead of a hard drive (esp. for a laptop), except that now I started using several Gb of hard drive :-( Although I suppose a system would work out that almost never uses the disk.
  • by saha (615847) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:06PM (#9332175)
    Not yet, but people are ripping out the 4GB Microdrive from the iPod minis for their digital cameras. One of the biggest bottleneck for digital photography is the write speed. The XD standard is an attempt to address this issue. This new fast memory is a step in the right direction. I'd like to see 25MB RAW images generated by a camera shooting 4fps writing without delay onto memory. Thats when I'll sell my Nikon 90s and fully convert to digital.
    • They arnt doing this w/ iPod minis, they are using CL muvos. The iPods HDs are modified physically to prevent this, the muvo's on the other hand, is not.

      So can buy a $400 mp3 player, for the $500+ hd for your DSLR, and then ebay off the mp3 shell for $50.

      If somebody has figured out how to rewire the iPod, it hasnt been on any of the photo forums, unlike the muvo guides.
  • by rodgerd (402)
    Unless, of course, you want to tote your PDA, iPod, PSP, and some sort of mobile video player.

    PDAs are no longer just about taking notes (and, indeed, haven't been for some time). They're general purpose computers.

    ALso note that you can now get 12 GB GF cards.
  • by hdd (772289) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:07PM (#9332181)
    Move on guys, this is nothing more than a press release. Unless someone one can provide more info on exactly whis is inside that is making it faster or some REAL benchmark results.
  • Large, fast flash cards like this are good for high-quality (no lossy compression) portable audio recording too. Right now the larger capacity devices are PCMCIA hard drives, but they have a larger form factor and are less convenient and probably more subject to mechanical shock too.

    • by tepples (727027) *

      Large, fast flash cards like this are good for high-quality (no lossy compression) portable audio recording too.

      Even at 24/96 stereo, live audio needs less than 600 KB/s sustained write speed. Recording in 3D Ambisonic surround [ambisonic.net] takes only double that. This page [robgalbraith.com] claims that a CF-compatible Microdrive cartridge can write at over 4 MB/s, so it should have no problem with data rates typical of live audio capture.

      You do still have a point about durability [fredmiranda.com] however.

  • Sure, I do.

    That way I could happily carry around over 500 high-quality oggs wherever I go, as opposed to the 60 or so I get with my current 256MB card.

    Great for those long car rides.

  • Oh yes, I want it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by orthogonal (588627) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:09PM (#9332194) Journal
    Does anyone need 2GB of memory for their PDA?

    I don't need, but i want it.

    Since my Archos broke down, and the "repair shop" "fixed" it -- "fixed" it so it will never work again -- I've been using my Zaurus PDA as an MP3 player.

    I can get about six or seven albums*, in MP3 format, on the 512 MB SD card, so the 2 GB would give me room for about 24 albums.

    And I see that this new card is faster, which will be nice: getting all those MP3s on the card does take a while.

    Any idea how much the 2GB card will retail for?
    *
    ./Opera/D'Oyly Carte Opera Company/H.M.S. Pinafore (1930) (update)
    ./Opera/D'Oyly Carte Opera Company/The Very Best of Gilbert and Sullivan (2 CD set)
    ./Opera/D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
    ./Opera
    ./Classical/Ludwig van Beethoven/Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 Eroica
    ./Classical/Ludwig van Beethoven/Symphony no 9 in D minor, Op. 125 Choral
    ./Classical/Ludwig van Beethoven
    ./Classical/Brightest Heaven of Invention Flemish Polyphony of the High Renaissance (New London Chamber Choir)
    ./Classical/Aston Magna/J.S. Bach_ A Musical Offering
    ./Classical/Aston Magna
    ./Classical
    • P> Since my Archos broke down [...] Any idea how much the 2GB card will retail for?

      Probably more than a replacement Archos.

  • by antimatt (782015) <xdivide0.gmail@ORG.NET.EDU.com> on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:10PM (#9332195) Homepage
    In five years, when everyone has a PDA with 50GB of solid state storage space, we'll look back at this and wonder why we ever wondered about it. Yes, we WILL eventually need (or at least perceive that we need) this much space.

    As things stand, it frustrates me that I can only store approximately one movie trailer on my PDA. This is just the expected step forward. There will be more to come; I anticipate it all with great anticipation.
    • by lingqi (577227)
      so, your hypothetical 50GB storage PDA of the future (let's assume for a moment that PDA has a future, which I doubt) costs how much in the future? and how much now?

      see you can't say "we will need it one day therefore we need it now." That's bullshit because the economics don't come out right. 2GB card costs a (hefty) premium today, and there are not so many conveniences that justifies this premium. After all, if the darn thing was free then we'll all stock up with hundreds! "What would I need this for" is
  • quick cards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SKPhoton (683703) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:11PM (#9332207) Homepage
    Is there a need for speedy memory cards? Absolutely!

    Think about sports photographers. They definitely need quick cards to save the last picture and be ready for the next play. Never underestimate the importance of timing in digital photography.
    • You're exactly right. For action photography, a lot of people like to shoot sequentials. This is especially true in skateboarding. With film cameras, sequentials were expensive, so now that digital is really becoming prevalent, photographers are eager to leverage the cost-benefits and shoot sequentials. Even with the buffer memory, the CF speed is a bottleneck to how many frames per second you can shoot and for how long you can shoot them. The goal is 9 FPS, but I think even the highest-end nikons are stu

    • The important part of this announcement for a sports photographer is the 18 MBps write speed.
  • by fembots (753724) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:13PM (#9332219) Homepage
    Recently I have been pondering about using my 512MB SD card as a permanent storage for my computer, so that I can install applications and games and run off it.

    However, after further investigation, and the stats from this article, memory card is still too slow for day-to-day computing usage.

    USB2.0 is about 480mbps (~60MB/s), so the bottleneck is now with the memory card.

    So I guess the fastest is still not fast enough.
  • That thing's almost as fast as a hard drive. I wonder if it would be possible to use it to store the journal file for ext3, to avoid writing data out to the hard drive twice. Or maybe it could be used to hold the swap partition (no seek time == fast page faults), though buying more ram would no doubt be cheaper.

    -jim

  • I could imagine plenty of uses.

    - Digital movies / replacement iPod
    - Complete Linux system for the iPaq or any other linux-capable handheld, including bunch of window managers, web browsers, the full deal...
    - uh... pictures?
    - Very detailed handheld games
    - Portable databases needed for business and whatnot
    ...

    The list goes on.
  • I work at a company that makes flash memory card components. Often the problem is not the card speed but that of the interface it plugs into. That USB 2.0 card reader may say it goes at 480 Mb/s but they never say anything about the media interface which is much slower. We really have to search hard to find a fast card reader.
    • Read the Pretec website, they also released an MMC 4.0 spec memory card reader. Wouldn't be a very useful memory card if there wasn't a compatible reader.
  • And i will freely admit to lusting after the cheapie 4 gig microdrives in the nomad mp3 player.... the greatest benefit to my IPAQ and the primary reason that i purchased it was the fact that it has both CompactFlash and SDIO expansion slots...

    i had planned to get the 4 gig microdrive for storage of media files (maybe a couple gigs of MP3s, a few hundred megs of ebooks and a few movies) and a SDIO wifi card for wlan. I hadn't thought of movie files, but you can get a 256meg rip of a dvd with stereo soun

  • by Ms.XingTianCai (785422) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:55PM (#9332398)
    So, will this mean that all the people out there who must have the best of the best of the best but have no idea how to use it will rush out and arm themselves with 2GB for a digital camera they never use thus creating a huge spike in sales, eventually driving the cost down and making them more accessible to us money-challenged digital geeks who can and will use 2GB?
  • Navigation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Captain_Chaos (103843) on Friday June 04, 2004 @12:15AM (#9332478)

    One more use, beside the many already mentioned, would be storing maps for satellite navigation devices such as the many Pocket PC / TomTom combo's, or my Garmin iQue [garmin.com]. 2 GB would allow me store the whole of Europe (at street level, with points of interest) on it.

  • People are still doing research on MMC and CF and all those others?...I thought they were all considered out dated for SD?

    And yet, SD is mentioned here, but I'd like more facts and evidence as to the supposed speed increase, because I was under the impression that SD was supposed to be superior to others in all ways (size, storage space, speed...but not $$$).
  • by davmoo (63521) on Friday June 04, 2004 @12:41AM (#9332559)
    Does anyone need 2GB of memory for their PDA?

    Actually, yes, as a matter of fact I do.

    I use my PDA (a Zire 71) as a portable music device. I do not like moving parts in standard players when I am also in motion. I'd love to be able to have 2 gig of tunes in my pocket with no hard drive or CD required.
  • I wonder... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pb (1020) on Friday June 04, 2004 @01:19AM (#9332650)
    As flash memory speeds and capacities increase, maybe we could start using them for swap partitions or something. As long as it's faster than a hard drive and cheaper than RAM, I think they'd be quite useful.
    • Flash has limited read/write cycles. At this point they are more expensive than RAM, and slower than HDD, so I dont see the point.
      • 22 MB/sec = 176 Mbit/sec, so faster than any IDE/ATA/"whatever they are calling them now" hard drive, but slower than modern SCSI drives.
  • Question? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Big Nothing (229456) <big.nothing@bigger.com> on Friday June 04, 2004 @02:30AM (#9332805)
    "Does anyone need 2GB of memory for their PDA?"

    Muahahahahahaaaa

    You're new here at /., aren't you?
  • As soon as FL Studio [flstudio.com] decides to release their Pocket PC version of the software, 2GB would be quite sufficient to be able to hold a sizeable sample collection for when you are on extended journeys and want to pound out some tunes.
  • by iamacat (583406) on Friday June 04, 2004 @03:03AM (#9332873)
    "Nano-iPOD" with two of those cards and small enough to fit in a pair of cute white headphones with a sports ear band. Yum!
  • by dcw3 (649211)
    Does anyone need 2GB of memory for their PDA?"

    I can't imagine why anyone would need more than 640k!?!
  • SecureDigital cards have SDMI built in. MMC are completely digital rights management free. You can use MMC cards in devices which can read SD cards.

  • Go flash memory! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TwistedSpring (594284) * on Friday June 04, 2004 @03:52AM (#9333023) Homepage
    I love this stuff. 2Gb at 22.5mb/s is incredible - you could easilly do a high-res movie on that.

    I'm yearning for the absence of all of the moving parts in my machine except for possibly CD/DVD drives. I can't bear the fact that my hard disk has spinning platters and incredibly fine-precision moving heads which could fail at any time (I leave my machine on all the time and consequently I'm now terrified to turn it off in case it'll fail when I power it up again). I want peltier coolers instead of fans, and I want solid state memory instead of hard disks. Once this happens, not only will my machine be ultra-silent, it'll also be much more robust.

    It's a shame flash memory still costs so much, but the prices are pretty much where similar sized hard disks were several years ago, so I'm confident that we'll get 40gb flash memory in the next four or five years. God knows where hard disks will be then.

    The world really needs a new storage paradigm. Mechanical magnetic storage is the oldest concept still alive in home computing, and is as archaic as the system BIOS. Intel are busy with getting rid of the currently outdated and rubbish BIOS and replacing it with something fancy and new, I just ooze over the same thing happening to data storage. For gods sake, the HDD is the biggest bottleneck in any modern home computer.
  • by amix (226257) on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:29AM (#9333111) Journal
    Does anyone need 2GB of memory for their PDA?

    No, since I don't have one.

    But CF is not a PDA/DigiCam only storage.
    I use it as IDE harddisk on generic ATX motherboards for both my media- and lan-server.

    For the media-server (512MB Kingston CF) it stores, read-only, all the system and applications. This means, that when I listen to internet-radio, CD, watch a movie (TV or DVD) I do not need to spin up the storage disks. Similar for my 24/ server (also 512MB Kingston), which only spins up the disks, when some action happens (fetchmail, logfile). When I am abroad the system is mostly idle, except for the fetchmail every six hours and my own SSH access.

  • by monopole (44023) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:08AM (#9333196)
    Project Gutenberg recently released a 4.7 GB DVD Image containing the 10,000 books scanned so far so i figure I should be able to squeeze at least 3,500 books on a 2 GB SD. i.e. 97 yards of books. A good start! Put this on a next generation e-ink unit like the sony libre and you have a "read or die" level bibliophiles dream.
  • Please Stop (Score:5, Funny)

    by esme (17526) on Friday June 04, 2004 @05:28AM (#9333240) Homepage
    Does anyone need 2GB of memory for their PDA?

    Please stop asking this question. The answer is yes. Until I can carry every version of every document/song/movie/computer program ever made in the history of mankind in my pocket, in lossless formats, no amount of storage on any device will ever be too much.

    And even then, I want a larger one to come out so the prices will come down.

    -Esme

    • by FreeUser (11483)
      Until I can carry every version of every document/song/movie/computer program ever made in the history of mankind in my pocket, in lossless formats, no amount of storage on any device will ever be too much.

      Indeed. I require a device so small it will fit between the molecular strands of my spinal column near the base of my skull, and be able to make the world's knowledge (as well as natural language skills, mathematical intuition, and the aggregate creativity of humankind) available in response to a singl
  • by torpor (458)
    Hell yeah. This means I can load up not only all my favourite utils, but the source as well.

    There is nothing quite so useful as the Sharp Zaurus PDA's, well set up, well configured, and running in your pocket.

    Having a complete Linux install, source and all, wherever I go, for any particular practical reason I have it, gives me what I've wanted since the day I unwrapped my first MIPS Magnum pizzabox and plonked it on my desktop: a portable, power Linux workstation.

    So yeah, please. I'll be getting a 2GIG
  • Yes, absolutely (Score:3, Informative)

    by bokmann (323771) on Friday June 04, 2004 @07:06AM (#9333443) Homepage
    > Does anyone need 2GB of memory for their PDA?

    Yes, absolutely.

    This weekend I was at Hershey Park, and practically filled a 4GB flash drive with photos from my Nikon D100 (photos in raw mode, shooting 3 a second of some action shots eats storage space fast).

    With my current camera, 16GB would be comfortable.

    I can remember, the year was 1984, and I was walking down a hallway in high school talking to a friend of mine about 'Apple's new Macintosh', which came in two flavors - 128k and the 512k 'Fat Mac'. I remeber, clear as anything, saying "Why would you need 512k? You can only fit 400k on one of its floppies...". I will never, ever make that mistake again. I can remember staring, dropjaw, at the first 400Mhz Pentium II we got in my office, thinking it was amazing. No matter how high I (realistically at the time) raise my expectations, they are always beaten.

  • 2GB = a good start (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Friday June 04, 2004 @09:30AM (#9334525)
    Does anyone need 2GB of memory for their PDA?


    A truly silly question on /. ! With PDAs playing MP3s and recording videos, 2GB amounts to a good start.

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