The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given Toshiba approval to release a new Bluetooth SDIO card that is significantly smaller than the company's current one.
The company's current SD Bluetooth card is 1.95 by .94 by .08 inches, which is almost three quarter of an inch longer than a standard SD memory card. This makes it inconvenient to use with most handhelds, as it sticks out quite a bit. Generally, most people only insert the card when they plan to use it, rather than usually keeping it in the slot, because of the risk of accidentally breaking the card.
The new version is 1.6 inches long and lacks the bulge that is on the end of the current one. This is still longer than will fit inside of SD slots but is a marked improvement. Developers of Wireless Cards like these have reported that ones that fit entirely inside the slot, without an external antenna, have a very short range.
In addition to being smaller, this card uses about half the power of their current one. The new card uses, on average, 50 mA, with a maximum of 100 mA. The current one generally uses 100 mA, with a maximum of 150 mA.
The new card fully conforms with the SDIO Card Type-B specification for Bluetooth, while it already meets Bluetooth 1.1.
Toshiba has said it will offer it to other companies who will write drivers and other applications for it then market it under their own brand names. This is arrangement under which Palm Inc. sells the current version of this card.
Exactly when this card will be available in retail and what it will cost is not yet known.
Bluetooth is a short-range wireless networking standard used to allow devices to connect together without wires. It's frequently used to allow a handheld to use a mobile phone as a modem to connect to the Internet. An increasing number of Bluetooth-enabled devices are coming on the market, such as GPS receivers, hard drives, and keyboards.
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