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Old July 23rd, 2008, 07:43 PM   #1
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SanDisk introduces WORM cards (finally).

SanDisk Introduces Write-Once Memory Cards for
Applications where Recorded Data must be Unalterable


New SanDisk SD Cards Retain Data For As Long As 100 Years;
Once Recorded, Files Can’t Be Altered Or Deleted


MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA, July 15, 2008 – SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) today introduced the SanDisk® SD™ WORM card, a Write Once Read Many (WORM) digital memory card intended for professional uses such as police investigations, court testimony, electronic voting and other applications where data files must be protected from alteration or deletion.

Analog recording media such as film and audio tape are rapidly becoming obsolete, driving demand for a solution suitable for today’s digital devices. But conventional rewritable memory cards do not meet legal requirements to prevent data tampering.

Digital data written to SanDisk SD WORM cards is effectively locked as soon as it is recorded; there is no physical way to alter or delete individual recorded files. Yet viewing the data is simple, because the cards are readable in any standard SD slot attached to a computer or other SD-compatible device.

SanDisk SD WORM cards also offer 100-year archive life (1), when kept under appropriate storage conditions.

Applications for the SanDisk SD WORM card include:

* Police photography and witness/suspect interviews, where courts require proof that photos and audio recordings are genuine.
* Court proceedings, such as trials and depositions.
* Electronic voting, where recorded votes must be tamper-proof.
* Cash registers which record transactions for tax collection purposes.
* Event recorders, such as security cameras and “black box” flight-data recorders.
* Medical devices which retain individual patient treatment data.
* Personal digital assistants (PDAs) and similar devices used by physicians and other health-care professionals to track patient interactions.

“As digital media volume has grown and surpassed traditional analog media such as film and audio cassettes in the consumer market, law enforcement agencies and other professionals are facing rising costs and lack of supply,” said Christopher Moore, director of product marketing for OEM memory cards at SanDisk. “SanDisk’s new SD WORM cards offer professionals a one-stop solution for capturing and archiving critical data, along with many other benefits of moving from analog to digital.”

For example, the benefits for photography in these applications include eliminating the expense and delay of film processing, as well as subsequent scanning of negatives into digital files. With voice, in-field recorders become more reliable because they no longer have moving parts, and there are no more tapes that can tangle or break. SanDisk SD WORM cards also open up the possibility of unified storage, with all case data – text, photos, voice recording, etc. – stored on a single durable card that can be easily shared.

SanDisk is now partnering with manufacturers of cameras, digital voice recorders, medical equipment, electronic cash registers and other digital devices to add the firmware required for recording to SanDisk SD WORM cards. SanDisk is also working with the SD Card Association for approval of this new specification as an industry standard.

In addition, third-party resellers of SanDisk SD WORM cards can develop security enhancements for the cards, such as password protection and encryption. One enhancement now under development for the cards is the addition of TrustedFlash™ security technology developed by SanDisk that securely stores sensitive digital data and applications on digital media.

Pricing and Availability

SanDisk SD WORM cards are available now worldwide in 128-megabyte2 capacity and are expected to be available in higher capacities later in the year. Pricing is available on request.

About SanDisk

SanDisk Corporation, the inventor and world’s largest supplier of flash storage cards, is a global leader in flash memory – from research, manufacturing and product design to consumer branding and retail distribution. SanDisk’s product portfolio includes flash memory cards for mobile phones, digital cameras and camcorders; digital audio/video players; USB flash drives for consumers and the enterprise; embedded memory for mobile devices; and solid state drives for computers. SanDisk (www.sandisk.com/corporate) is a Silicon Valley-based S&P 500 company, with more than half its sales outside the United States.

(1) 100-year data life based on reliability data from internal accelerated lifespan testing for cards stored at normal room temperature, with humidity and static protection.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 09:17 PM   #2
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The press release above marks nearly one and a half years since SanDisk first announced the WORM card concept (see the DV Info Net discussion at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=87998 for the backstory covering its tremendous potential as a viable replacement for tape which makes it so appealing to to videographers). However I wonder if the price is really going to be as low as it was initially hinted at 18 months ago. And the first cards holding a capacity of only 128MB is somewhat disappointing to say the least.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 04:15 AM   #3
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Very interesting, but another key fact that remains to be seen will be write speed. The press release says a lot about "photos and audio recordings" but nothing about video, I suspect that's not accidental.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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Maybe they will be more useful as finished project storage rather than aquisition.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #5
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From the Press Release, it indicates that the initial WORM unit will be 128 Megabytes.

This is not useful for HD video. There is not enough capacity.

By my calculations, this is not even useful for two channels of 16 bit / 48K audio. I get a little over 80 seconds of audio.

For this to be useful, we need much higher capacities, in the Gigabytes, not Megabytes.

This is just to confirm what Chris said: "This is disappointing to say the least."
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Old July 24th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
By my calculations, this is not even useful for two channels of 16 bit / 48K audio. I get a little over 80 seconds of audio.
I think many of us (definately me) saw "record only" and assumed that like DVD-R/RW, that meant cheaper with capacities and speeds similar to rerecordable. The list of suggested uses shows where lower spec WORM cards may actually be worth a premium over current (and higher spec) flash, such as :
Quote:
* Police photography and witness/suspect interviews, where courts require proof that photos and audio recordings are genuine.
For a witness/suspect interview, mono 64Kbs mp3 should be fine, and then we can get quite a useful recording time even on a 128MB card.

Interesting to see how they make the cards tamper proof to stop simply reading the data off, modifying it, then rerecording on to another WORM card.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 05:57 PM   #7
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i do not think that the read-only (better word would be write-once) feature can be a base to make any recording legal.
after all DVD-R are write-once , plain photography is write-once, ink on paper is write-once and none of these support are considered legal by fact unless properly authentified.
it is a common mistake to mix authentication with identification. (who you are and what you are allowed to do , or in this case what it is and what it means)
anybody can write a tampered video on a write-once media and the only meaning of using a write-once media is you can not change the content written on the media, it does not qualify the content itself. You write a lie in stone, it still is a lie.
to be considered a legal, there must be a link between the content and the media that cannot be tampered. making this link part of the content is a weakness, so it must be either part of the card (independent of content) or a shared key between the card and the camera, including some data like date, time, and kind of checksum of the content.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #8
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Good point.

I could read data from one WORM, modify it and write it to another, and then call it "original." "Write once" is nice, but it's not guaranteed to be authentic.

However, given enough capacity, speed and lifetime, it could eventually be a great archiving solution. Archiving remains one of the biggest challenges of the industry.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 06:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
I could read data from one WORM, modify it and write it to another, and then call it "original."
I suppose it depends how complex you want to get, what level of absolute proof.

On a simple level, imagine I am called to a police interview, it is recorded on a WORM card, and at the end I am asked to sign the card with an indelible pen. The contents can't be altered (it's write once), and transferring, modifying, and recording on a second card wouldn't work as that wouldn't have my signature on.

May not be infallible to anyone determined and with the resources, but would make tampering far more difficult than if normal flash was used.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 07:17 PM   #10
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and again , this is a common mistake.
making it "difficult" is not a base for security or authentication in anyway.
what is difficult for you can be easy for somebody else.
what is difficult today will be easy tomorrow.

And you can sign a DVD-R , a photograpy or a paper, so the WORM memory would not be a be a break through technology in that domain.
The problem is when you sign a paper, you authenticate the content (that is obviously readable when you sign). But when you sign a memory card, we can imagin that you could not even know what is in the cartridge (it could have been swapped with a blank one or different content).
At full extent, you signing a memory card has no other meaning that you have signed it.
it does not give any other info about what it is , where it comes from, what is the content or the value of it.
authentication is a very tricky concept.
I am pretty sure that with GPS technology we will be able to embbed in the card (and in the video) some info like serial number of the cam, GPS position , date and time and other strong encryption code that can tell that this card was really there, at that time and that place, and each picture is the logical next one from the previous one, and this video really belongs to this card.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 03:14 AM   #11
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It now occurs to me that a more obvious answer is to have a unique serial number intrinsic to every card embedded in it - I think this may already be the case with standard current flash cards anyway.

In the case of my police interview, the procedure may be for the interviewing officer to read out the serial number at the start of the interview (my having verified it) and for the serial number to form part of the official paperwork - a copy kept by both sides.
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