Swiss semiconductor company Micronas is breaking new ground with its audio equipment technology based on MP3 technology.

Its developments include MP3-enabled mobile phones, CD players and car radios. Such technology is made possible by Micronas’ microdrives - miniature 340MB hard discs that can be integrated into CompactFlash memory cards.

The microdrives can be built into car radios and other portable devices, and can store 70 hours of music. The first Microdrive-equipped car radios will be available next year, along with MP3-enabled audio CD players and MP3 mobile phones.

Micronas is also working on audio home servers. These are small units capable of storing vast music collections in MP3 format on large hard drives and can be played back in any sequence.