April 05, 1999 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Electronics Begins Mass Production of 32MB SmartMedia(TM) Card

Seoul, Korea - April 5, 1999 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced that it had begun mass production of the 32-megabyte SmartMedia card, considered as the next-generation portable storage medium.

The SmartMedia card is only one-third the size of a regular credit card (45.1mm x 37.1mm x 0.76mm), the industry's thinnest small form factor card, and weighs only 2 grams. As a memory device, it can store 140 XGA-quality (eXtended Graphics Array; 1,280 x 1,024 pixels) digital camera photos and 60 minutes of 64kbps audio or 30 minutes of 128Kbps CD-quality audio. The thinness of the SmartMedia card is especially significant for small portable MP3 players.

The SmartMedia card, produced by Samsung and Toshiba, consists of an overmoulded thin package mounted onto a thin plastic card; it provides the lowest overhead cost for card assembly.

"While previous generations of SmartMedia cards contained a single NAND Flash memory embedded in the plastic card, the new 32MegaByte version includes two chips of 128Mbit Flash memories. This not only doubles the capacity of the SmartMedia card, but also provides customers with the advantage of a lower bit cost," said Zareh Samurkashian, Associate Director of Marketing at Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. (wholly-owned US subsidiary of Samsung Electronics). The two-chip version SmartMedia card is fully compatible with the original one-chip version. Using this technology, the company plans to also introduce a 64-megabyte version in Q4 1999.

"We are very excited about the future," Samurkashian emphasized. "We plan on driving the market for SmartMedia cards by doubling their density every 9-12 months for the next 3 years."

Since its first introduction in 1996, the superiority of the SmartMedia card for high-density, low-power consumption and high-write data rate over other small form-factor cards has expanded its applications into a variety of platforms such as the digital camera, the voice-recorder and recently, the porktable music player. SmartMedia card demand has been growing at an exceptional rate of 60% per year, and Samsung expects this to continue over the next three years.

The market size for high-density storage with Flash memories is estimated at US$360 million this year, and is expected to grow to US$1 billion in the year 2001. Samsung plans to hold its leading position in this market with an annual growth of 60%. The company foresees sales to grow from an estimated US$160 million in 1999 up to US$350 million in the year 2001.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., with 1998 sales revenue of about 16.6 billion dollars (US), is a world leader in the electronics industry. The Korea-based firm has operations in more than 50 countries with 60,000 employees worldwide. The company consists of three main business units: Multimedia & Home Appliances, Semiconductors and Information & Telecommunications. For more information, please visit our website, http://www.samsungelectronics.com

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