Sony to launch recordable memory card

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TOKYO -- Sony Corporation announced July 30 plans to launch the first "Memory Stick" recordable memory card products on the Japanese market this September.

Designed for use with both personal computers and a wide variety of digital AV products, the Memory Stick can be used to store, transfer and play back AV content such as images, sounds and music as well as computer information including data, text and graphics.

Sony's Memory Stick promises to establish memory cards as a new standard for data exchange. A single 8MB Memory Stick claims to offer more storage capacity than five 3.5-inch floppy disks.

Like other flash memory cards, the Memory Stick also offers high-speed data access. Unlike a floppy disk or tape cassette, it contains no moving parts and requires no separate playback device. This makes it ideal for use in miniature electronic products.

Sony plans to build on the Memory Stick format by producing new consumer electronics products that use it as a means of sharing and exchanging AV content, such as video and music, as well as IT content, such as data, text, and graphics. The Memory Stick is expected to play a key role in further expanding Sony's burgeoning AV/IT business.

A number of companies - including Aiwa Co., Casio Computer Co., Fujitsu, Olympus Optical Co., Sanyo Electric Co. and Sharp Corporation - have expressed support for the Memory Stick format. Sony plans to call for the broad adoption of the new format by the consumer electronics and information technology industries.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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