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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Sony to Market Chewing-Gum-Size Flash Memory Modules
  • August 4, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Sony Corp. said it will start marketing the Memory Stick, a small-size flash memory module that will hit the market on Sept. 10.
    It looks like a stick of gum, measures 21.5mm high x 50mm wide x 2.8mm deep and weighs 4g. Its connector is constructed to prevent users from touching it directly while ensuring easy handling.

    The model MSA-4A with an 4MB memory capacity and will be priced at 3,300 yen (US$20). The MSA-8A with 8MB memory is 4,400 yen (US$30). The total monthly production will amount to 20,000 modules at first.

    Along with the Memory Stick, Sony will sell the MSAKIT-PC4A, a PC card kit, for 11,000 yen (US$76), including a PC-card adapter that enables the module to be installed in a PC card slot.

    Data are transferred using the company's proprietary protocol through a serial interface. It has a maximum writing speed of 1.5MB per second and a reading speed of 2.45MB per second.

    Sony plans to release Memory Stick models with larger storage capacities in the future. These models can be used for record/playback of multimedia data such as music. Therefore, the company said it would install copy-protection functions in them.

    Personal computers, digital cameras, telephones, car-navigation systems, voice recorders and headphone stereo players were introduced as potential markets for the Memory Stick in a promotion video exhibited at a Sony press conference. The company will commercialize these multimedia products using the Memory Stick by the end of 1999.

    Sony will promote Memory Stick to the extent that it eventually will be known commonly in the industry by its initials, MS, within two or three years, said Yutaka Nakagawa, managing director of the company.

    Sony showcased a digital still camera with a Memory Stick module directly installed in it, although neither its detailed specifications nor shipping schedule was released.

    (BizTech Editorial Dept.)

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    Updated: Mon Aug 3 20:08:54 1998