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USB Flash Drive Alliance Unveils Change in Focus


SAN JOSE, CA -- 12/09/2004 -- The USB Flash Drive Alliance (UFDA) today unveiled plans to evolve from a marketing organization to a technical standards body. As a technical standards body, the UFDA endeavors to reach beyond just educating consumers about the benefits of USB flash drives (UFDs) and establish standards that complement the work of today’s existing standards bodies while perpetuating the growth of the USB flash drive market.

The personal computer market is successful today due in part to recognized standards affording consumers the assurance of ubiquity and interoperability. By implementing similar standards for the UFD market, consumer confidence is established through continued ease of use and increased portability. The UFDA will focus its efforts on a USB flash drive device specification with the following areas:

-- Mechanical form factor: To establish a USB card form factor and develop a specification that encourages OEMs to incorporate USB slots that support interoperability between PCs and various consumer electronics devices such as digital cameras and music players.

-- Environmental specification: Establish specifications for the environmental conditions required for different applications such as consumer, industrial and others.

-- Application interface: To establish standard Application Program Interfaces (APIs) that enable applications beyond simple storage, with a special focus around security solutions. To work with system and operating system vendors to establish integrated plications e.g. for security solutions.

“The USB Flash Drive Alliance has made outstanding progress towards establishing the USB flash drive category and educating consumers about these easy-to-use devices,” said Steffen Hellmold, president of the UFDA. “As a result, this very young market has enjoyed unprecedented growth over the last year -- even without device standards. In order for the category to continue such growth, it is necessary to develop standards that encourage innovation, enable new applications as well as open up other markets where the devices can be used.”
The USB Flash Drive Alliance intends to create open and royalty free industry specifications to facilitate the introduction and adoption of USB flash drive device standards. “The USB flash drive format is expected to be the fastest growing removable solid-state format in terms of revenue and unit shipments through 2008,” said Joseph Unsworth, senior analyst for Gartner Dataquest. “The development of a royalty-free technical trade association for USB flash drives is a necessary step for the progression of the standard.”

About The USB Flash Drive Alliance:

The USB Flash Drive Alliance (UFDA) was formed to educate consumers about the benefits of these portable, easy-to-use, powerful devices. A USB flash drive is about the size of a pack of gum, requires no additional software or connectors, and is powerful enough to store up to 2 GB of data -- providing consumers and businesses with a fast and easy way to store and transport digital information. Sponsor members of the UFDA include Lexar Media, Inc., Phison Electronics Corp., PNY Technologies, Inc. and Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. Associate members are Add On Technology, Alcor Micro, Corp., Corsair Memory, Crucial Technology, DataFab, Genesys Logic, GlobalWare Solutions, Inc., Infineon Technologies Flash GmbH & Co. KG, Kingston Technology, Memory Experts International, Microsoft Corp., Peripheral Enhancements Corporation, SimpleTech, Inc., and Viking Interworks. For more information about UFDA, please refer to its Web site at


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