Intel Press Release

Miniature Card-To-PC Connectivity Enhanced By New Products

Ease of Miniature Card Data Transfer Demonstrated by Intel at Fall Comdex 96

LAS VEGAS, Nev., November 18, 1996 -- Intel Corporation today unveiled a host of Miniature Card-enabling products providing multiple options for data transfer of the new digital media to desktop and notebook PCs. The Miniature Card-to-PC connectivity solutions work for any flash memory Miniature Card-specified product including those from AMD, Fujitsu and Sharp Corporations, as well as Intel.

The low-cost, interoperable Miniature Cards are being integrated into upcoming digital imaging and digital audio recording products for PC-compatible photo and audio storage.

Among the products demonstrated by Intel at Comdex were a Universal Serial Bus (USB)-enabled keyboard that features a built-in Miniature Card socket for fast data transfer from the card to the PC, and passive adapters to facilitate Miniature Card data transfer via PCMCIA slots. Other connectivity products included USB- and parallel port-based PCMCIA reader/writers for bringing Miniature Card capabilities to legacy desktop systems.

Intel demonstrated the expanded capabilities in a digital photography application using a newly released Konica Q-EZ digital camera designed with the new small form factor Miniature Card. The Miniature Card, which stores digitized images in nonvolatile flash memory, transfers the data to the PC via the USB keyboard manufactured by Cherry Corp.

To extend Miniature Card capabilities to desktop PCs, Miniature Card reader/writers in USB and parallel port versions are under development by SCM Microsystems. As Miniature Cards accommodate up to 64-Mbytes of data, a high-performance, user-friendly data link provided by these reader/writers is needed for data transfer to PC applications.

FTL software, the data format that allows the PC operating system to read and write to a linear flash array, is now included in Windows 95* OSR-2 release to OEMs, according to Intel. M-Systems, SystemSoft and Phoenix Technologies offer FTL data storage solutions that enable lower cost and higher performance flash cards. FTL ensures data compatibility among Miniature Cards and host devices, such as digital cameras, digital audio recorders and handheld PCs, and is recognized by PCMCIA as the industry standard for flash data formats.

The Miniature Card specification is endorsed by the International Voice Association (IVA), the leading audio standards group. According to Alex Peeters, IVA chairman, "The IVA, having developed the standard for digital voice recording, is excited about the opportunities to professionally create voice files that can be connected to the PC platform. The foreseen storage capacity and the size of the Miniature Card enables the fast and dependable data and voice file transfer to and from a portable recorder to any PC that the professional world needs."

The Miniature Card specification describes a card that can be used to store and exchange image, text and voice data. The Miniature Card Implementers Forum (MCIF) counts over 47 members from consumer electronic, PC, software, memory components and related companies. MCIF information, including the design specification, is available through its worldwide web home page at

Intel is the largest supplier of flash memory products worldwide, according to market research firms Dataquest and Instat.

* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.