SanDisk stakes future on TrustedFlash

The TrustedFlash technology embeds digital rights management software directly onto the smart card instead of relying on the player to dictate where and when content can be played
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SanDisk has introduced new mini storage card technology it says will let people play or view secured content on multiple devices, including smart phones and portable digital players.

The TrustedFlash technology embeds digital rights management software right on the card instead of relying on the player to dictate where and when content can be played, said SanDisk, which helped pioneer flash memory storage cards used in phones and digital cameras.

The first batch of cards using TrustedFlash, due in November, will be pre-loaded with the Rolling Stones’ new CD “A Bigger Bang.” The card will feature 265MB.

Yahoo said customers who subscribe to its digital-music service could use a different version of a TrustedFlash card, which will be sold under the name Gruvi (pronounced groove-eye).

Samsung Electronics also said it would support Gruvi in its next generation of phones that support SD cards. More than 87 million phones with memory card slots were sold in 2004, according to IDC, which forecasts that 164 million will be sold worldwide in 2005.

Harari said the TrustedFlash card would behave in the same way current SD cards do, but the technology could also be extended to on-demand content such as feature films and online games.

Showing off how the technology works, SanDisk demonstrated how a consumer could purchase a video online, view it on their home PC, save it to the TrustedFlash card and then insert the card onto a personal digital assistant to view later.

TrustedFlash is expected to eventually be included in SanDisk’s array of flash-memory products, including its miniSD, microSD and SD card formats with a maximum capacity of up to 2GB.

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