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Toshiba Corp announced the "FlashAir," an SDHC memory card featuring a wireless LAN function.

Toshiba will start to ship samples of a model that has a memory capacity of 8 Gbytes in November 2011 and begin volume production in February 2012. There is no manufacturer's suggested retail price, but the expected retail price of the memory card is about ¥6,500 (approx US$84.6). The company plans to obtain certification related to wireless communication in Japan, North America and Europe from now.

For example, Toshiba expects that the FlashAir will be used for exchanging image data between two digital cameras via wireless communication without using a PC. Also, with the SDHC memory card, data can be uploaded into and downloaded from a cloud service. The wireless communication function is activated only when image data is transmitted or received so that power consumption can be reduced.

To use the FlashAir for those purposes, a camera supporting the FlashAir is required. Currently, several digital camera makers are considering releasing cameras supporting the FlashAir, Toshiba said.

When the FlashAir is inserted in a digital camera that does not support the FlashAir, it can be used as a normal SDHC memory card, and it is possible to display and copy pictures stored in the camera on a smartphone or a PC that has a wireless LAN function.

As a wireless LAN standard, the FlashAir is compatible with IEEE 802.11 b/g/n. Its transmission range is a few to 10 meters and its data transmission rate is up to 10Mbps though it depends on the environment.

As security functions, the FlashAir supports WEP, TKIP and AES (WPA, WPA2). Its speed class as an SDHC memory card is "Class 6," ensuring a data transmission speed of 6MBps.