Memory Stick

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Memory Stick

(1) Sometimes used generically for a USB-based flash memory drive. See USB drive.

(2) A family of flash memory cards from Sony designed for digital storage in cameras, camcorders and other handheld devices. Introduced in 1998 with 4MB and 8MB capacities, the original 2" modules looked like a short stick of chewing gum. Sony also designed Memory Sticks as I/O devices for cameras, GPS and Bluetooth modules, but they were not widely used.

Memory Stick Versions
The original Memory Stick reached a maximum of 128MB. A Memory Select version had two 128MB memory banks with a tiny switch for selecting one or the other. In 2003, the Memory Stick PRO came out with a little more transfer speed and increased storage capacity, eventually reaching into the gigabyte range. However, the major change was the Duo format, which is half as thick and a third shorter than the original module (see images below). See flash memory.

The First Memory Stick
The first Sony memory cards seemed compact in the late 1990s, but were superseded by the smaller Duo cards in 2004.

The Duo Format
With an adapter (bottom right), the smaller Duo could be plugged into a full-size Memory Stick slot. MagicGate refers to the copy protection used in Sony's ATRAC3 audio format and music players. (Image courtesy of Sony Corporation.)

PRO Duo, PRO-HG Duo and Duo HX
New Sony products use the PRO Duo format. With storage capacities up to 32GB, PRO-HG is faster than PRO Duo, and PRO-HG Duo HX is for HD camcorders. See also Video HD.

Smaller Yet
The Memory Stick Micro card (right) is used in smartphones and can be plugged into a Duo slot with an adapter (left).

Camera on a Memory Stick
Memory Sticks were also designed as I/O devices such as this camera that plugged into Sony's earlier Clie PDA. (Image courtesy of Sony Corporation.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Sony Corporate vice-president Mr Yutaka Nakagawa said the company does not plan to standardise specifications for its Memory Stick to make it compatible with SD Memory Cards and does not believe having two incompatible memory devices will inconvenience consumers.
SanDisk holds a right to manufacture Memory Stick PRO media, based on the January 2003 announcement.
The mid-range Sony Ericsson W300i clamshell phone stores up to 80 songs with a 256 MB memory stick and offers Web browsing, Bluetooth(R) capability, e-mail access, text messaging, a camera with 4X digital zoom, and FM Radio with RDS.
Sony Europe today announced a new generation of the Memory Stick format, Memory Stick PRO, which delivers data capacity up to a staggering 1GB, extremely swift data transfer speeds and new levels of security, all in a single memory card.
Sony Europe today announces the introduction of Memory Stick media with Memory Select Function, which increases the capacity of Memory Stick and enables users to store different types of material into separate categories.
Lexar Media plans to begin shipments of Memory Stick PRO this spring, in time for the future launch of Memory Stick PRO compatible products.
LOS ANGELES -- SanDisk(R) Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) today introduced RapidGX(TM), a high-performance Memory Stick PRO Duo(TM) Game card that offers a quick and easy way to capture and store movies, TV shows, games, digital images and music to the Sony PSP(TM) (PlayStation(R) Portable).
a leading designer, developer and marketer of award-winning high-performance digital media and accessory products, announces plans to manufacture Memory Stick(R) with Memory Select Function(TM) that increases the total storage capacity of a single Memory Stick to 256MB.
While cards like SD, MMC and Sony Memory Stick can only be used for relaying information, USB ports can also be used to connect portable music players and transfer power to portable devices," says report author, Clare Hughes, Analyst, Automotive Practice.