Atech Totalsolution, a company based in Taiwan, says that it is going to begin making a smaller version of CompactFlash cards later this year, according to DigiTimes. These will be about a third of the size of standard CF cards. Devices can be made with slots especially designed for the new format and the cards can be used in regular CF slots with an adapter.
Of course, anyone can plug an SD card or Memory Stick into a CompactFlash slot with the right adapter. The major innovation in the Compact USB Disk (CUD) is that it has a built-in USB interface. This means that these can can connected to the USB port on a computer with a simple cable, rather than a full card reader.
Whether a new small memory card format is needed is another question. The market is already crowded, with Secure Digital (SD), MultiMedia Card (MMC), Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, SmartMedia, and XD all fighting for market share.
Regional rivalries appear to be coming into play. Leo Yao, Atech’s chairman and CEO, pointed out that Japan controls much of the market and he urged other Taiwanese and Chinese companies to support CUD. At this point he appears to be having some success. Altech says companies making handhelds, smartphones, digital cameras, and notebook computers have all expressed interest in the new format.
CUD cards will be 1.2 by .9 by .12 inches. For comparison, a Memory Stick Duo is 1.2 by .80 by .06 inches.
Atech plans to begin producing CUD cards in the third quarter of this year. It is not yet known what capacities these will be. It is hoping to make 10 million of them next year.
More Than Just Memory
The company is also working on other peripherals in the new format. It is also developing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking cards that can be plugged into CUD slots. It is not yet known what these will cost or when they will be available.