Microsoft has just started licensing the technology behind Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT)- a new flash memory format.
What is flash memory?
Flash memory is non-volatile, which simply means that it does not need power to maintain the information stored chips. Also, flash memory offers fast read-access times (though not as fast as volatile DRAM memory - or memory sticks - used for main memory in desktops or laptops) and better shock resistance than hard disk due to lack of moving parts. These outstanding characteristics explain the popularity of flash memory for use as storage chip in battery-powered devices like cellphones, PDAs and even netbooks. Right now, the most popular flash memory format is FAT.
What's hot about exFAT?
exFAT can work on far larger-capacity devices than its predecessor, FAT -- 256 terabytes, to be exact, as opposed to only 32GB for FAT.
"There has been an explosion in the use of rich audio and video files. ExFAT is an ideal file system that delivers fast and reliable use of audio and video files [...] Now that we are licensing this technology broadly to the industry, we want to encourage and support partners to build products that also contain this technology," shared David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property Licensing at Microsoft.
Other companies that have licensed exFAT include Sony, Canon, and Sanyo.