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July 30, 1998

Sony Announces "Memory Stick" Recordable IC Memory Card Products

New Format Supports Recording and Playback of Audio/Video Content

    Tokyo, Japan- Sony Corporation today announced plans to launch the first Memory Stick™ recordable IC 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 IC memory cards as a new standard for data exchange. A single 8MB Memory Stick™ offers storage capacity greater than that of 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 electronics products.

    Products scheduled to hit the Japanese market in September 1998 include the [MSA-4A] and [MSA-8A] Memory Stick™ IC memory cards with storage capacities of 4MB and 8MB, respectively, and the [MSAKIT-PC4A] PC Card kit (includes one [MSA-4A]) for using the Memory Stick™ with electronics products, such as the new DCR-TRV900, as well as notebook computers and other PCs.

    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.

    Moreover, a number of companies- including AIWA CO., LTD., Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Fujitsu Ltd., Olympus Optical Co.,Ltd., SANYO Electric Co.,Ltd., 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.

    Model Introduction MSRP Initial Production
    Memory Stick [MSA-4A] 4MB Sept. 10,1998 3,300 yen 20,000 units (Combined)
    Memory Stick [MSA-8A] 8MB 4,400 yen
    Memory Stick/ PC Card Kit
    [MSAKIT-PC4A]
    11,000 yen 5,000 units

    The [MSA-4A] and [MSA-8A] Memory Stick™ IC memory cards conform with the Memory Stick™ specification announced in July 1997. This format increases the PC friendliness of IC memory cards and enables the creation of a wide variety of compatible AV electronics appliances in the near future. Such products will be able to freely share data such as images, sounds, and music both with PCs and with one another. Furthermore, Memory Stick™ products can be used in conjunction with electronics products that send and receive content across digital networks such as the Internet in order to provide users with even wider enjoyment of their AV content.

    Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures and computer entertainment operations make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $51 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1998, and it employs 173,000 people worldwide.

    Main Features of the Memory Stick™

    1. The ultra-thin 21.5 X 50 X 2.8 mm (widthX length X thickness) shape of the miniature cards makes them ideal for use in miniaturized digital AV electronics products.
    2. The use of an erasure prevention switch helps prevent stored data from being accidentally erased.
    3. The Memory Stick™ format can be expanded to incorporate digital copyright protection features.*
    4. Sony's original serial protocol ensures forward compatibility with higher capacity models that will be developed in the future.
    5. The use of a 10 pin connector lowers the chances of a defect at the connection point and reduces the risk of one connector pin accidentally coming in contact with another. This increases the reliability of the product.
    • *To be incorporated in future, large capacity versions used for storing music or other protected content. The [MSA-4A] and [MSA-8A] models do not incorporate this feature.

    Basic Specifications of the [MSA-4A] and [MSA-8A]:

    IC Memory Type Flash Memory
    Storage Capacity** [MSA-4A] 4MB, [MSA-8A] 8MB
    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
    Power Consumption (Average) Approx. 45mA
    Power Consumption (Standby) Max. 130µA
    Outer Dimensions Approx. 21.5 X 50 X 2.8mm (W/L/T)
    Weight Approx. 4g
    • **Storage capacity will increase as internal flash memory capacity increases

    PC Card Kit [MSAKIT-PC4A] Contents:

    • 4 MB Memory Stick [MSA-4A] X 1
    • Memory Stick/ PC Card Adapter [MSAC-PC1] X 1

    Memory Stick/ PC Card Adapter [MSAC-PC1] Main Specifications:

    Interface Standard PC Card ATA/ True IDE
    PC Card Type PC Type II Compatible
    Power Source (Voltage) 3.3V / 5V
    Maximum Operating Current Approx. 75mA
    Dimensions Approx. 85.6X 54 X 5mm (W/L/T)
    Weight Approx. 30g

    Memory Stick™ is a trademark of Sony Corporation

    • Inquiries from potential customers should be directed to:
      Sony Corporation Customer Service Center
      Tokyo: 03-5448-3311
      Nagoya: 052-232-2611
      Osaka: 06-539-5111
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