At a Flashpoint in Flash Memory

The two top names, SanDisk and Lexar Media are rocketing higher on Wall Street. Will that trajectory continue -- or flame out?

With music, photography, and video all going digital, demand for tiny but reliable storage devices is white hot. MP3 players, digital cameras, and digital camcorders all use "flash memory" cards designed to take a beating but not a lot of battery power. In addition, sales of flash memory drives -- thumb-size gadgets that plug into a computer's universal serial bus (USB) port and transfer large files between different devices -- could jump 30%, to 48 million units, next year, predicts iSuppli, an El Segundo (Calif.) market research firm that also expects the total flash memory market to expand 31% in 2004, to $12.6 billion.

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