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May 23, 2000



Sony to Establish Taiwan Memory Stick Forum


(Taipei, Taiwan) Sony Corporation today announced plans to establish a "Taiwan Memory Stick Forum" to discuss and promote the commercialization of "Memory Stick" compliant products with the IT/AV industry of Taiwan. Currently, Sony is having talks with more than one hundred candidates who manufacture PCs, motherboards, PC chipsets, card readers, mobile phones, digital cameras, etc., and is planning to have the first forum meeting at the end of June.

Taiwan is the manufacturing capital of key components and peripherals for the global IT industry. In 1999, Taiwan companies supplied 49% of OEM notebook computers, 64% of motherboards, and 45 % of chipsets to PC manufacturers around the world.* Through the efforts of the "Taiwan Memory Stick Forum", "Memory Stick" will strengthen its presence both in Taiwan and the global market by facilitating manufacturers' access to "Memory Stick" compliant motherboards, PC chipsets, card readers, etc. This will in turn spur commercialization of end products. (*Source: Market Intelligence Center, Institute for Information Industry, Taiwan)

Sony's "Memory Stick", a recording medium based on flash memory technology, can be used to record and transfer data among a wide spectrum of applications such as computers, digital still/video cameras, portable music players, LCD televisions, printers, voice recorders, etc. In fiscal year 1999, shipments of the "Memory Stick" media reached 3 million units worldwide, and are expected to increase to10 million units in fiscal year 2000. As for compliant products, cumulative shipments have reached 2 million units worldwide, and this figure is expected to increase to 8 million units and 20 million units by the end of fiscal years 2000 and 2001 respectively.

"Successful products in today's IT market are, in one way or another, supported by the manufacturers in Taiwan," said Victor Tsan, Director, Market Intelligence Center (MIC)/Institute of Information Industry (III). "We are excited to hear that Sony is going to cooperate with Taiwan and its industry on the Memory Stick business. As the core intelligence supporter of the IT industry in Taiwan, MIC believes that it is a wise decision. We hope the cooperation can enrich and develop the lifestyle of people in the Internet era."

"Sony is delighted to have this opportunity to work with Taiwan, which is now a key player in the global IT industry," said Yutaka Nakagawa, Corporate Senior Vice President, Sony Corporation. "With the support of companies in Taiwan, Sony is certain to enhance the presence of Memory Stick in the global market to make it a key transfer media for the digital network era."

As part of this effort, nine companies in Taiwan (Acer Incorporated, BEHAVIOR TECH COMPUTER CORP., CARRY COMPUTER ENG.CO. LTD., CIS TECHNOLOGY INC., ELITEGROUP COMPUTER SYSTEMS CO., LTD, First International Computer, Inc., PACIFIC TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD, PC Chips, and Quanta Computer Inc.) newly agreed to license the "Memory Stick" hardware/device specifications from Sony to manufacture and commercialize compliant products. The companies will now work to finalize definitive agreements. As a result, the total number of companies planning to license the "Memory Stick" has reached fifty-five. Together with previously announced Acer Laboratories Inc., DataFab Systems Inc., and Silicon Integrated Systems Corp., twelve companies in Taiwan now plan to license the "Memory Stick". The twelve companies have also expressed their intentions to become members of the "Taiwan Memory Stick Forum".

Quotes from Supporting Companies

"Compact storage media are now crucial for easily sharing digital contents between PCs and various devices in the Internet Appliance (IA) market," said Dixon Cheng, President of PCIA B.U., Acer Incorporated. "Memory Stick is the ideal media for this purpose, and Sony has already created a notable market of compliant products. Acer will work to integrate the Memory Stick into our new line of notebook PCs and PDAs."

"With the convergence of communications, computers, consumer (3C) electronics into the Internet Appliance market, there is an increased need for robust yet compact storage devices," said Dr. Chin Wu, President of Acer Laboratories Inc. (ALI). "Sony's Memory Stick addresses this requirement very well. It has high value in ALI's product development, not only in the current PC product lines, but also for the mobile and IA segments. The low-power, portability, reliability and convenience of the Memory Stick will enable ALI to deliver more diversified solutions that satisfy customer demands in the emerging IA arena."

"Memory Stick will be a very convenient and flexible Media for applying to Digital Cameras & Digital Music Players," said W.J. Liu, Product Manager of CARRY COMPUTER ENG.CO. LTD.. "It will enable Carry to offer the best connectivity (Card Reader) between Memory Stick and PC/MAC"

"Memory Stick has the most robust design with the most advanced technology," said Ron Shieh, President of DataFab Systems Inc. "DataFab has licensed Sony's Memory Stick technology and has been working with Sony in the design and manufacturing of various Memory Stick adapters and reader/writers with both USB and 1394 interfaces. After we learned the technology and the design details of Sony's Memory Stick, we are confident that Memory Stick would soon be widely adopted by the market and industry. I anticipate many more exciting digital electronic devices and PCs with Memory Stick technology would be released to market in the near future."

"The vision and motto of FIC is 'Bring Technology to Life', and our IA products, with support of the Memory Stick, form a key element of this vision," said Gene Sheu, President of First International Computer Inc. "We believe that the Memory Stick is the ideal media for a wide variety of applications, and will help FIC enhance these applications for the home and offices, as well as providing consumers with enhanced communication abilities in the mobile and wireless environment."

"PC Chips is committed to support the Memory Stick format," said Johnson Yang, Chairman of PC Chips. "Home market is important for PC Chips, as more than 50% of our motherboards are utilized for home PCs. Memory Stick is the ideal media to link digital entertainment to the home PC, which will provide the users with new and exciting lifestyles."

"We are very pleased to work with Sony to further expand the use of the Memory Stick' technology," said Barry Lam, Chairman and CEO of Quanta Computer Inc. "The fact that Sony has chosen Quanta Computer as one of their partners is a recognition of Quanta's commitment to innovation, technology and quality. We are looking forward to work with Sony to create the ultimate 'Personal Communication Computer' that will allow PC users to enhance their communication and computing needs."

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures, computer entertainment operations and on-line businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of more than $63 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000. Sony's Home Page URL: http://www.sony.co.jp/