Seven of the world's top mobile phone technology companies are backing the development of a new flash memory standard, dubbed Universal Flash Storage (UFS), in a bid to create a unified removable memory card that can be shared among mobile phones, digital cameras, and other electronic devices without adaptors.

The proposed specification is being backed by Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Micron Technology, Spansion, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments and will be standardized by the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association. Companies involved in the project expect to have a standard finalized by 2009 and claim that UFS will greatly speed up the time it takes to access data on a mobile device, cutting down the transfer time for a 4GB file from three minutes to just a few seconds.

The proposed Universal Flash Storage specification is good news to mobile device and card manufacturers who will see reduced costs for the development of their products. Consumers, in turn, won't have to deal with the confusing selection of memory cards available in the market - assuming this doesn't turn out to be just another format to choose from.