Taiwanese research institutes have developed a new memory-card standard called the miCard (Multiple Interface Card). This card has been designed to operate with both consumer electronics and personal computers. The cards are designed to be compatible with the MMC type memory cards used in many low end consumer electronics products as well as the USB standard which enables interaction with PC’s and laptops.
As you can see, the miCard is tiny and can be inserted directly in to a USB socket without the need to have a full-size USB connector. For use with MMC-compatible devices, the miCard is inserted into a small adapter. The miCard should be available from the third quarter of this year with twelve Taiwanese companies including Asustek, Ben-Q and RiChip ready to go in to manufacture. Officials estimate that Taiwanese companies will save over $40,000,000 in licensing fees by using the miCard standard.
Storage space will initially top out at 8GB but the maximum capacity is expected to increase to 2048GB over time (that’s 2TB!!). A major advantage of the miCard over traditional MMC cards is that a separate reader won’t be required to transfer data over to a computer. The miCard can simply be removed from its adaptor and inserted in to the computer’s USB port.
It’s nice to see this kind of innovation (particularly the use of a low profile USB header), but I wonder whether it’s just going to be another memory card format that ultimately ends up adding to the pile? I currently have to use CF memory in my digital SLR, SD in my satellite navigation, Sony Memory-Stick in my compact camera, and Sony Memory-Stick Duo in my PSP!