Delkin Breaks 400MB Flash Memory Barrier for MP3 Players.

By Richard Menta

Delkin announced a new milestone this week with the introduction of its new 448MB CompactFlash card.

This is welcomed news to MP3 portable owners who wish to upgrade their players and have been waiting for larger memory cards to appear. Last January, Delkin broke the 200 MB barrier when it released a 224MB card. The new card approaches the 1/2 GB mark. Delkin also announced the release of a 256MB CF card.

Delkin's new 256MB and 448MB flash memory cards

"For Delkin to manufacture the highest capacity CompactFlash and CompactFlash Type II cards to date, our engineers needed to use flash memory chips larger than 256Mbit in the design," explains Arthur Blanck, Chief Technical Officer, Delkin Devices. "Therefore we implemented a 512Mbit AND-type flash memory created from a Double Density Package, or DDP, which contains two 256 Mbit chips. These revolutionary 512Mbit flash chips gave us the necessary technology to reach such a high capacity in a single card."

The company did not give a price for the new card, but it will no doubt be expensive. The company's 224MB card lists for about $600 and the 448 may indeed cross over the $1,000 line. The good news for consumers is there is considerable pressure to force the cost of flash cards down in the near future.

IBM's 1GB MicroDive sell for about $500 and is designed to fit into CF memory slots. The disadvantage of the drive is that it has an enormous thirst for battery power. The first Iomega Clik! drive units have also hit the market (this includes the excellent RaveMP 2300 which we are presently wrapping up a review on). These units use 40MB Clik! memory cards which retail for $10 each. $100 buys you 400 MB, $250 buys you 1GB.

Flash memory cards have a distinct advantage when it comes to weight and size not to mention power consumption, but as you can see a bigger flash memory card is only half the way there. While these cards will serve owners of MP3 portables that use CF cards, their cost needs to drop further to encourage new MP3 player buyers to consider a CF unit. Look at this new card to push the prices on all cards down, probably to about 1/2 their present level. That would make them more competitive with the competing memory configurations manufacturers are adopting for their players.

This includes laptop drives that presently give Remote Solution's Personal Jukebox and Creative's Nomad Jukebox a 6GB capacity. Both units are big and heavy relative to flash memory portables. They also sell for less than Delkin's 224MB card does alone. That may be why the Nomad Jukebox is the best selling MP3 unit on Amazon right now despite a $500 price tag.

Copyright 2000 MP3 Newswire. All rights reserved.

Creative's NOMAD Jukebox can be ordered from Amazon for $499. Available in Blue and Silver.

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