SUNNYVALE, CA, SEPT. 12, 1996 -- Eastman Kodak Company will market Kodak-branded CompactFlashTM (CFTM) storage cards manufactured by SanDisk Corporation (SNDK:NASDAQ) and a PC card reader/writer for CF cards along with the new KodakTM DC25 Digital Camera, the world's first CF-based digital camera (see related press release). All three products, the camera, card and card reader/writer, will be announced Sept. 17 at Photokina in Germany.
The reusable and removable, matchbook-sized CompactFlash cards, which weigh only a half ounce, will be sold under the Kodak Picture Cards brand name. The card reader/writer can be quickly attached to a PC to allow camera users to easily transfer images from the camera to a computer where pictures can be viewed on the PC, transmitted to other PCs, inserted into newsletters, reports and other documents, be used to set up Internet pages or printed out as standard, hard copy pictures.
"The picture cards and card reader/writer provide a great way for people to easily take advantage of digital imaging either at their desktop at home or on-the-go in a mobile work setup," said Greg Foust, worldwide category manager, still and motion digital systems, Kodak. "These products provide a strong link between digital cameras, computers and the digital imaging services of our Image MagicTM retailers."
Nelson Chan, SanDisk vice president of marketing, said, "The Kodak DC25 is the world's first digital camera designed exclusively to use the CompactFlash storage standard for removable media, and we are delighted that Kodak selected SanDisk as its CompactFlash supplier. Kodak already sells SanDisk-produced, standard Type II flash storage PC cards under the Kodak label for its Kodak Digital ScienceTM DC50 Zoom Camera. We expect that other major camera manufacturers soon will follow Kodak's lead and introduce their own CF-based cameras. The card reader, along with the DC25 camera and the CompactFlash Picture Cards, provides a complete solution for the consumer that is convenient and very user-friendly."
Kodak Picture Cards will be sold in a 2MB (megabyte) capacity and will be widely available in popular retail outlets and catalogs starting in November, 1996. Kodak will consider marketing higher capacity cards in the future. The 2MB cards can store either 13 or 26 images, depending on resolution selected. The rugged, solid-state cards can be reused repeatedly for many years to take hundreds of thousands of pictures. They can operate dynamically on a single supply voltage of either 3.3 or 5 volts making it easy to use the device in 5-volt computers and 3.3-volt cameras and move images between 3.3 and 5-volt devices. The card uses power supplied by the battery of the host digital camera or computer to write or read images. At all other times, no battery is required to store digital images indefinitely, without any degradation in the quality of the stored images.
As an added feature benefit, DC25 users soon will be able take their Kodak Picture Cards to any retail location offering compatible Kodak Image Magic Picture Maker workstations. There, digital camera users will be able to insert the cards into the workstations to create instant digital prints using the workstations. This service will be available in the U.S. later this year and in selected markets worldwide during the first quarter of 1997. The DC25 will have an expected retail price of under $499 in the U.S.
CompactFlash cards were developed by SanDisk in cooperation with Kodak and other major photographic companies and were introduced by SanDisk in October, 1994. Since that time, CompactFlash has become the global, de factor standard for small, removable storage devices. The CompactFlash Association (CFA) was founded in October, 1995, to promote adoption of the CompactFlash standard. Kodak, Canon, Polaroid, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and other industry leaders were among CFA's founders. Today the CFA has 53 member companies including numerous industry leaders in computers, communications, consumer electronics and semiconductors.
Because CompactFlash is a PCMCIA-ATA industry-standard product, people can use the cards and reader/writer "plug and play" with many desktop and laptop computer peripherals without special drivers or software. Although Kodak will market the cards with imaging products as a way for people to store and share pictures, the cards can also be used to capture, store and transport audio and computer-generated data. For those who wish to take their images to an electronic platform with standard PC card slots, Kodak will offer a passive CF adapter card. The CF slides into the adapter, and the adapter can be inserted into any Type II or Type III PC card ATA slot. When placed in the adapter, CompactFlash can be used to take pictures in any industry standard, ATA-based digital camera with a Type II or Type III card slot.
Kodak's Picture Card Reader/Writer is a portable, lightweight desktop device that can be easily installed to give people quick access to their digital pictures for use on computers. It has slots for both CF and standard-sized PC cards. Both CF and the PC cards are compatible with PCMCIA standards.
The card reader/writer plugs into the parallel or printer port of any Windows PC using its own standard cable. To the computer, the unit looks and performs like a DOS drive. People can employ CF or Type I and Type II PC cards just like floppy disks by using all of the standard commands and facilities for accessing files. And because it supports the ATA standard, the card reader/writer will support current and future CompactFlash, Type I and Type II ATA cards.
Image transfer rates using CF and the card reader/writer are four times faster than cabling directly from a digital camera to a PC. Also, the reader/writer has a pass-through port to allow connection to the printer, eliminating frequent plugging and unplugging of wires or cables.
The card reader/writer will be available worldwide in the first quarter of 1997.
SanDisk Corporation designs, manufactures and markets industry-standard, solid-state data, image and audio storage products using proprietary, high density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk has strategic alliances with Seagate Technology, Matsushita Electronic Corp., NEC Corp. and LG Semicon. Seagate holds a 25 percent equity stake in SanDisk. The company is based in Sunnyvale, CA.
CompactFlash and CF are trademarks of SanDisk Corporation.
Kodak, Image Magic and Digital Science are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company.
SanDisk's web site/home page address: http://www.sandisk.com
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