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SanDisk interview / Tanya Chuang

Avtor:Matjaž Intihar
05.10.2006 19:22

SanDisk interview / Photokina 2006


 

 

Tanya Chuang, Senior Retail Product Marketing Manager

Alan: SanDisk and Toshiba are the biggest players in flash memory card market. How would you estimate your market position?

Tanya Chuang: First of all, there are a few different manufacturers but the big three also include Samsung. Together with Toshiba they are both our partners and also our competitors.

Alan: You have a joint venture with Toshiba.

Tanya: The statement is not entirely correct but it is true that we share a factory in Japan. Currently we have three factories up and running. We announced the fourth one and it’s going online sometime next year.



A new plant built in cooperation with Toshiba should increase production output by 200% (2004)

Jernej: You announced the Extreme IV series compact flash cards which are currently the fastest cards available. What are your other new products?

Tanya: We announced Extreme IV series back in July together with two new fast card readers. USB 2.0 and firewire versions. Now, at Photokina, we announced a 12 and 16GB versions of Extreme III series compact flash cards.

Jernej: Will there be a 16GB Extreme IV card?

Tanya: No, our fastest cards will not always have the highest capacity. Extreme IV will have the highest speed available and Extreme III will have the highest capacity.

Jernej: How about other card formats? Will we see SD cards in Extreme IV series?

Tanya: SD is a different story. All current products were made according to the SD 1.0 specifications. In January they (Secure Digital Association) released the 2.0 specs. The new specs, which cover SD, SDHC, microSD and miniSD allow for higher capacity up to 32GB. Here at the show we’re introducing the 4GB SDHC Ultra II cards.

Jernej: So there won’t be an Extreme IV version of SD cards?

Tanya: In order for us to get up to higher speeds we will have to wait for the next version of SDA specifications which are currently being developed.

Alan: You’re co-developing Memory Stick format with Sony. When can we expect higher capacity MS cards?

Tanya: There will be higher capacities but Sony asked us to direct any questions regarding MemoryStick format over to them.

Jernej: Compact Flash Association (CFA) released version 4.0 of CF specifications only a few days ago. When can we expect adoption of the new UDMA 133 interface?

Tanya: Extreme IV series is based on previous specification, on UDMA 66 interface. What you have to understand is that it took over 150 engineers about a year and a half in development to commit to the previous specification. That’s very quick compared to our past.
I’m not sure there’s a market for even higher speeds. Even now, with Extreme IV people keep asking what aplications can take advantage of the speed increase. Medium format backs are pretty much the only market for it.
There are certain things SanDisk can do but there needs to be a market for it. I think Extreme III series is fast enough for most people. Extreme IV is even faster and there aren’t many applications that can take advantage.

Alan: Most people are familiar with your consumer products. Do you have a portfolio of industrial products as well?

Tanya: We used to have an industrial business but we no longer do. We still continue to run an OEM business though.

Alan: Are you also thinking about products like flash hard drives?

Tanya: Not right now but as pricing on flash memory comes down new applications will open up. So it really depends on the consumers and their demand. As long as there’s a demand for a product and there’s reasonable business, SanDisk will be involved in it. We got into MP3 a few years ago for example. That’s a market that Apple basically started and continues to dominate. USB flash drives were also invented by someone else and we got involved later on.
At the moment the answer to your question is no but we never really know what markets will open up in the future. As a major player in flash memory we will most likely be involved if there’s a reasonable business justification.

Alan: You mentioned MP3 players. Do you plan on working together with big record labels and music stores to sell content? Something like Apple is doing with iTunes?

Tanya: We do have some partners and we announced some new accessories recently. I appologize for not knowing enough about the issue but it’s a field I’m not very familiar with.

Thank you for your time

 

 


 

 

SanDisk intervju / Photokina 2006

 

Tanya Chuang, Senior Retail Product Marketing Manager

Alan: Kako ocenjujete svojo pozicijo na trgu proizvajalcev pomnilniških kartic?

Tanya Chuang: Poleg nas in Toshibe je zelo velik tudi Samsung. Oba sta nam tako partnerja kot tekmeca.

Alan: S Toshibo imate tudi skupno tovarno.

Tanya: Res je. S Toshibo si delimo eno tovarno na japonskem. Trenutno imamo tri, v naslednjem letu pa bo operativna še četrta.

Jernej: Vaša nova serija Extreme IV so trenutno najhitrejše kartice formata Compact Flash. Katere so ostale novosti?

Tanya: Serijo Extreme IV in dva nova, hitrejša čitalca (USB 2.0 in firewire) smo sicer najavili že v juliju. Tu na Photokini pa predstavljamo 12 in 16GB različici serije Extreme III.

Jernej: Bo tudi Extreme IV na voljo v teh kapacitetah?

Tanya: Ne. Naše najhitrejše kartice po vsej verjetnosti ne bodo hkrati tudi največje po kapaciteti. Extreme IV bodo najhitrejše, Extreme III pa največje.

Jernej: Kaj pa ostali formati kartic? Bo serija Extreme IV tudi v Secure Digital formatu?

Tanya: Vse dosedanje SD kartice so bile narejene na podlagi različice 1.0 SD standarda. V januarju je SDA (Secure Digital Association) obnovila specifikacije standarda na verzijo 2.0. Ta zaenkrat predvideva povečanje kapacitet do 32GB. Na Photokini predstavljamo 4GB SDHC Ultra II kartico.

Jernej: Je poleg povečanja kapacitet predvidena tudi pohitritev delovanja?

Tanya: Trenutna verzija standarda nam tega ne omogoča. Kot kaže bodo SD kartice nekoliko počasnejše od CF formata. Je pa v pripravi nova verzija standarda s katero se bodo popravile tudi hitrosti.

Alan: Kako je z razvojem formata Memory Stick? Lahko pričakujemo višje kapacitete?

Tanya: Odgovor je pritrdilen. Ker pa Memory Stick razvijamo skupaj s Sonyjem so nas prosili da vsa novinarska vprašanja na to temo prepustimo njim.

Jernej: CFA (Compact Flash Association) je na Photokini objavila verzijo 4 CF standarda. Kdaj lahko pričakujemo prve izdelke na podlagi vmesnika UDMA 133, ki ga ta verzija predvideva?

Tanya: Naše najhitrejše kartice Extreme IV so narejene na podlagi predhodne verzije standarda z vmesnikom UDMA 66. Prehod na ta vmesnik je zahteval dobro leto in pol razvoja ter trdo delo 150 inženirjev. Glede na pretekle izkušnje je bil ta napredek še dokaj hiter.
Zdi se mi da zaenkrat pravzaprav še ni potrebe po večji hitrosti. Že serija Extreme IV vzbuja veliko pozornosti in vprašanj glede smiselnosti. Katere obstoječe aplikacije sploh lahko izkoristijo take hitrosti? Trenutno je to samo trg kamer srednjega formata. Mi bi lahko izdelali marsikaj, če bi le obstajal dovolj velik trg.

Alan: Javnosti so dobro znani vaši izdelki za potrošnike, imate poleg tega v proizvodnji tudi industrijske izdelke?

Tanya: Pred časom smo bili dejavni tudi na tem področju vendar zdaj ne več. Še vedno pa smo obdržali proizvodnjo OEM izdelkov.

Alan: Razmišljate tudi o drugih izdelkih s flash pomnilniki? Trde diske naprimer?

Tanya: Zaenkrat ne. Toda z nižanjem cen flash pomnilnikov se vedno znova odpirajo nove tržne niše tako da nikoli ne vemo v katero smer bomo morda šli v prihodnje. Če je povpraševanje po določenem izdelku ga bomo verjetno tudi izdelovali.
Pred časom smo vstopili na trg MP3 predvajalnikov, ki ga je praktično začel in še vedno obvladuje Apple. USB ključi so drug tovrsten primer izdelka, ki so ga izumili drugi pa smo se potem vrinili še mi. Zaenkrat pa je odgovor na vaše vprašanje negativen. Vendar nikoli ne vemo kakšne bodo zahteve trga.

Alan: Imate na področju MP3 predvajalnikov namen sodelovati s kakšno od velikih glasbenih založb ali trgovin? Podobno kot to počne Apple z Itunes?

Tanya: Na tem področju imam nekaj partnerjev, poleg tega smo predstavili nekatere novosti vendar žal tega področja ne poznam dovolj dobro da bi lahko ustrezno odgovorila na to vprašanje.


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