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<Press Release>
The press releases on this website are provided for historical reference purposes only. Please note that certain information may have changed since the date of release.

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 StickTM 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 StickTM 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 StickTM promises to establish IC memory cards as a new standard for data exchange. A single 8MB Memory StickTM offers storage capacity greater than that of five 3.5-inch floppy disks. Like other flash memory cards, the Memory StickTM 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 StickTM 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 StickTM with electronics products, such as the new DCR-TRV900, as well as notebook computers and other PCs.

Sony plans to build on the Memory StickTM 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 StickTM 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 StickTM format. Sony plans to call for the broad adoption of the new format by the consumer electronics and information technology industries.

ModelIntroductionMSRPInitial Production
Memory Stick [MSA-4A] 4MBSept. 10,19983,300 yen20,000 units
Memory Stick [MSA-8A] 8MB4,400 yen
Memory Stick/ PC Card Kit
11,000 yen5,000 units

The [MSA-4A] and [MSA-8A] Memory StickTM IC memory cards conform with the Memory StickTM 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 StickTM 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.

Sony's Home Page URL:

Main Features of the Memory StickTM

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.

The use of an erasure prevention switch helps prevent stored data from being accidentally erased.

The Memory StickTM format can be expanded to incorporate digital copyright protection features.*

*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.

Sony's original serial protocol ensures forward compatibility with higher capacity models that will be developed in the future.

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.

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

IC Memory TypeFlash Memory
Storage Capacity**[MSA-4A] 4MB, [MSA-8A] 8MB
Connector Type10 Pin Connector
InterfaceSerial Interface
Clock SpeedMax. 20MHz
Write SpeedMax. 1.50 MB/s
Read Out SpeedMax. 2.45 MB/s
Power Source (Voltage)2.7V to 3.6V
Power Consumption (Average)Approx. 45mA
Power Consumption (Standby)Max. 130µA
Outer DimensionsApprox. 21.5 X 50 X 2.8mm (W/L/T)
WeightApprox. 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 StandardPC Card ATA/ True IDE
PC Card TypePC Type II Compatible
Power Source (Voltage)3.3V / 5V
Maximum Operating CurrentApprox. 75mA
DimensionsApprox. 85.6X 54 X 5mm (W/L/T)
WeightApprox. 30g

Memory StickTM 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