Press Release


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April 13, 2000



Sony Announces Plans For Further Developing the "Memory Stick" Network
Development of "Memory Stick Duo" for miniature products at its core





(Tokyo, Japan)

Sony Corporation today announced plans to continue the evolution of the "Memory Stick" IC recording media in the network era. Sony has been actively and successfully promoting the widespread use of the "Memory Stick" in a variety of audio, video and IT products, and in licensing activities that encompass a broad range of industries. Sony will now work in the following areas to pioneer new types of applications for the "Memory Stick".


1) Development of "Memory Stick Duo (provisional name)":

Sony developed the basic specifications for the "Memory Stick Duo", which consists of an miniature media block (20 x 31 x 1.6mm) that can be detached from the cartridge block. In addition for use in Personal Digital Assistants and mobile telephones, the "Memory Stick Duo" will realize the development of new types of products and applications that benefit from its smaller media size. "Memory Stick Duo" is compatible with standard-sized "Memory Stick", and can be used in current "Memory Stick" compliant products. Sony is currently planning to commercialize the "Memory Stick Duo" in early 2001, to enable connection of miniature products to the current network of "Memory Stick" compatible products.


2) Expansion of the "Memory Stick" format for new applications:

A) Interface expansion format

In order to utilize "Memory Stick" slots in compatible products for uses other than recording media, Sony has created an interface expansion format that utilizes the form factor, connectors, and basic specifications of the "Memory Stick". For example, network devices (LAN, modem, Bluetooth, etc.) and audio/visual devices (CCD imager, GPS unit, microphone, etc.) that utilize the shape of the "Memory Stick" can be inserted directly into the slots to add new features to the hardware. This addition can be done easily by adding new software to the hardware, as the new format is based on the basic communication interface/protocol of the "Memory Stick".

B) Location-Information Exchange format

Currently, "Memory Stick" has a number of application formats for recording images, audio, music, and data. In addition to this, Sony is working to add a new format by this summer to allow the sharing of location information among various products. This format will give users new ways to enjoy products such as car navigation systems, where location-information can be attached to images, audio, and other data.


3) Continued efforts for the commercialization of "Memory Stick" compatible products:

Since the introduction of "Memory Stick" in 1998, Sony has commercialized various "Memory Stick" compatible products in areas like imaging, personal computers and music players, and worldwide cumulative shipments have reached approximately 2 million units worldwide. This figure, along with products from supporting companies, is expected to increase to 8 million units and 20 million units by the end of fiscal years 2000 and 2001 respectively.

Thanks to extensive licensing activities, Sony has gained support from 46 companies in a variety of industries such as electronics, computers, telecommunications, automobiles, etc. These supporting companies have started commercializing compatible products this spring, and this will certainly spur market growth.

In addition, "Memory Stick" related copyright protection technologies (OpenMG, MagicGate) and audio compression technology (ATRAC3) have also gained support from numerous companies that are actively involved in realizing new ways to enjoy digital music.

As part of industry-wide activities to discuss new types of "Memory Stick" applications, Sony has formed "Memory Stick Mobile Phone Study Group" and "Audio Study Group" with companies from the respective industries. Sony is will now work to consider similar types of study groups in other areas as well.


Basic Specifications of the "Memory Stick DUO":

Storage Capacity:32MB/64MB
Connector Type:10 Pin Connector
Interface:Serial Interface
Clock Speed:Max. 20MHz
Write Speed:Max. 1.50 MB/s
Read Out Speed:Max. 2.45 MB/s
Power Source (Voltage):2.7V to 3.6V
Outer Dimensions (W/L/T):Approx. 21.5 X 50 X 2.8mm (with cartridge)
Approx. 20 X 31 X 1.6mm (without cartridge)
Weight:Approx. 4g (with cartridge)
Approx. 2g (without cartridge)


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