Rival memory, semiconductor and mobile device makers have joined forces to support the new Universal Flash Storage (UFS) specification, a standardised format for removable flash memory cards and embedded memory technology.

Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Micron, STMicroelectronics, Spansion, and Texas Instruments have jointly announced support for the fledgling UFS standard, which is being developed by the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association.

Work on the UFS standard is expected to be completed in 2009.

The new standard is expected to boost the performance and speed of flash card storage devices. For example, access time for a 4GB 90-minute high-definition movie would be cut from three minutes to a few seconds, according to officials at Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology.

Due to soaring demand for multimedia content and applications on mobile devices, memory capacities in removable cards or embedded formats are being pushed to the limit, according to supporters of the new standard. They said widespread support for UFS could enable faster access to large multimedia files and help buffer power drains on many consumer electronic devices.

Supporters of UFS and the standardisation of flash-based technologies say the specification should also lead to better designed products that are capable of harnessing simplified connectivity and higher density storage. Specifically, they envision the creation of a universal removable memory card that could be shared across multiple portable, mobile and consumer electronic devices without interoperability adapters.