Sony's Memory Stick Attracts More Supporters

HANOVER, GERMANY (02/24/2000) - Sony Corp. today announced more support from major electronics companies for its chewing gum-sized Memory Stick memory card.

The news, announced here at the CeBIT trade show, increases the stakes in the battle to become the dominant memory card format. The proprietary Sony format, which was announced by the company last year, counts Smart Media, Compact Flash and the recently launched Secure Digital card among its competitors.

Among the new licensees are Acer Laboratories Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Texas Instruments Inc. (TI), Sony said.

TI will also adopt Sony's ATRAC3 (adaptive transform acoustic coding) compression system and MagicGate copy protection technology for use in its own semiconductor products, according to Sony.

The chances of Memory Stick becoming a cross-platform format between portable electronics devices and automobiles was further increased with the naming of a host of auto industry backers. Auto makers General Motors Corp., Holden, Opel, Saab and Vauxhall joined Audi AG and Volkswagen AG as licensees, and auto electronics makers Fujitsu Ten Ltd. and Xanavi Informatics Corp. also announced support for the format, Sony said.

With the new licensees Sony will have 46 companies supporting Memory Stick, although none of the makers has yet to produce products featuring support for the storage device. Sony itself is busy promoting the system and has since last year been including drives for Memory Stick in everything from notebook computers and digital still cameras to digital audio players.

Here at CeBIT Sony is demonstrating a range of prototype devices based on the storage format including video and image viewers. The video viewer allows users to watch videos stored on the Memory Stick, although with a current maximum capacity of 64M bytes, the card can only store six minutes of MPEG-1 (moving picture experts group) format video.

The image viewer not only accepts Memory Stick cards but also almost any other media card format with a PC Card adapter, Sony said. In addition it included a recordable compact disc drive to allow users to create their own discs of images.

Sony, in Tokyo, can be found on the Web at

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