CeBIT 2006: While this story may be of more interest to Sony PSP owners it should also be noted that the majority of new Sony digital cameras announced this year feature MemoryStick Duo slots (rather than the full size MemoryStick) which hints at the general future of MemoryStick. SanDisk has today revealed its highest capacity MemoryStick Pro Duo card to date, now a hefty 4 GB in a package which measures just 20 x 31 x 1.6 mm (0.8 x 1.2 x 0.1 in). To think that back in 2000 we were getting excited about 1 GB Microdrives.

Press Release:

SanDisk Announces 4-Gigabyte Capacity -- Highest Available -- For Its Memory Stick Pro Duo Standard Flash Card Line

Larger capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo card will save more images and video clips on new cameras with high-resolution digital still and video features

HANNOVER, GERMANY, MARCH 9, 2006 – SanDisk® Corporation today introduced a new 4-gigabyte (GB)* capacity, the highest available in the market right now, for its standard Memory Stick PRO Duo™ cards.   The announcement was made at the CeBIT Show in Hannover, Germany, where SanDisk is demonstrating its products in Hall 1, Stand C31 of the exhibition center.

The move to a larger capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo card is in response to the release of new high-megapixel cameras as well as hybrid models that combine digital still images and video.  For example, one new camera that takes both high-resolution still images and high-quality MPEG4 video clips, at 30 frames per second, can provide a user with up to three hours of video capacity with a 4GB SanDisk Memory Stick PRO Duo card.

“As consumers shoot more video on these new digital cameras, they will need more storage capacity,” said Susan Park, retail product marketing manager for SanDisk’s standard memory card line. “The SanDisk Memory Stick PRO Duo exceeds the minimum performance specifications for a Memory Stick PRO Duo card and is compatible with any device that uses the format.”

When inserted into an adapter that converts the Memory Stick PRO Duo to a Memory Stick PRO™ format, the card also can be used in any device that hosts a Memory Stick PRO flash card, including card readers, personal computers, television sets and some DVD players equipped with flash card slots.
 
The newest capacity of 4 gigabytes joins other capacities in SanDisk’s standard line, which includes 256 megabytes (MB), 512MB, 1GB and 2GB.*  Suggested retail prices range from $34.99 for the 256MB card to $299 for the 4GB card.  The card is expected to ship in April.

SanDisk also is making a color change for its Memory Stick PRO Duo line, from pale blue to deep blue. This gives the cards “a bolder, brighter look that makes them stand out,” said Park. 

Sony and SanDisk co-developed the Memory Stick PRO media format, and SanDisk manufactures its own Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.   “Sony is a clear leader in the digital camera and camcorder categories," said Chris Chute, senior analyst for IDC, a major digital imaging research company. “As Sony continues to develop next-generation video and still image capture technologies, the demand for high speed, large capacity, small form factor memory cards will grow as well."

SanDisk is the original inventor of flash storage cards and is the world’s largest supplier of flash data storage card products, using its patented, high-density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA and has operations worldwide, with more than half its sales outside the U.S.

* 1 megabyte (MB) = 1 million bytes; 1 gigabyte (GB) = 1 billion bytes.