San Diego Business Journal
March 14, 1994

Software rivals take war of words on-line - Larry Edwards

Electronics industry gets pat on back from mayor

Look, Ma, No Tape:  Norris Communications Corp. in Poway has developed a sound recorder that uses so-called flash memory instead of the magnetic tape common to most recorders.

Flash memory records sound digitally instead of magnetically, making it impervious to the problems of magnetic fields create for conventional recorders.

Known as Flashback, the recorder is smaller than the thickness of a half-deck of playing cards and weighs about 3 ounces.

Removable "sound clips," which can be reused hundreds of thousands of times without sound degradation, will replace magnetic tapes. The sound clips are also computer compatible, so recordings can be integrated with other electronic devices, including electronic organizers, e-mail, and multimedia systems.

The Flashback, to be rolled out mid-year, will sell for under $200.

The current U.S. market for portable recorders is about $500 million a year.

The device will be manufactured locally by Norris subsidiary American Surface Mounted Devices Inc., and could double ASMD's $10 million in annual revenues.

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