SanDisk and Sony have today announced the development of the new 'Pro-HG' Memory Stick format which is designed to deliver faster continuous write speeds (up to 60 MB/sec) and larger capacities. This new format appears to be aimed more at future flash based video recorders. It would appear as though this new format will only be available in the 'Duo' size.

Press Release:

SANDISK AND SONY DEVELOP "MEMORY STICK PRO-HG" FORMAT
IC recording media with high-speed writing and data transfer capability

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) and Sony Corporation today announced the development of the "Memory Stick PRO-HG" format expanded from the "Memory Stick PRO" format.

The continuing increase in the capacity of IC recording media has broadened its usage as a practical way to store high-resolution digital photos, music and video content (from the Internet or TV programs) on portable devices that are designed to handle digital entertainment content. The demand for real-time recording and transfer of multiple gigabytes of data using IC recording media is expected to increase rapidly, due to the growing popularity of high resolution video and digital still image applications.

"Memory Stick PRO-HG" media offers high performance to meet the stringent demands of end users. This new media format uses an enhanced, 8-bit parallel interface in addition to a conventional serial and 4-bit parallel interface. The interface clock frequency also increases to 60MHz from 40MHz. This means that maximum data transfer speed increases up to 480Mbps, or 60MB/s (theoretical value), three times as fast as that of "Memory Stick PRO" media. The minimum write speed at 8-bit parallel transfer is 120 Mbps, or 15MB/s*1. These enhancements allow large data amounts of up to several gigabytes to be quickly transferred, as well as the real-time recording of high-resolution video and still images.

Since "Memory Stick PRO-HG" is an extended format of the "Memory Stick PRO" format, "Memory Stick PRO-HG" compliant host devices support the conventional "Memory Stick PRO" media as well as "Memory Stick PRO-HG" media. In addition, the "Memory Stick PRO-HG" media can be used conventional "Memory Stick PRO" compliant host devices as well as "Memory Stick PRO-HG" compliant host devices. *2

Licensing for the development of "Memory Stick PRO-HG" compliant host devices is scheduled to commence in January 2007.

"Sony and SanDisk share the common goal of providing exciting new digital audio and video applications to consumers," said Eli Harari, Chairman and CEO of SanDisk Corporation. "This is the driving force that is behind our relentless efforts to leverage our expertise and extensive intellectual property in flash memory cards to develop the Memory Stick PRO-HG. I am proud of the close cooperation we have with Sony over the years and look forward to seeing the exciting new products that Memory Stick PRO-HG media enable."

Akira Kubota, President of Core Component Business Unit, Sony Corporation said "Sony has successfully collaborated with SanDisk Corporation in promoting the Memory Stick formats. Significant milestones have been the Memory Stick PRO format in 2003 and the Memory Stick Micro in 2005. I am delighted by today's joint announcement of the Memory Stick PRO-HG format. This new IC recording media allows the speedy sharing of high definition video and digital still camera data between products." Through the introduction of this new format, Memory Stick will greatly expand its entertainment applications.

Since the September 1998 market introduction of Memory Stick, cumulative shipments of media have achieved 200 million units as of September 2006*3. The Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo media will be made available in 2007.

Major Specifications of Memory Stick PRO-HG

Major Specifications of Memory Stick PRO-HG
Dimensions Duo size (31 × 20 × 1.6) mm
Connector Pin 14-pin
Capacity 32GB (format maximum) *4
Max. Data Transfer Rate 480 Mbps (theoretical)
Min. Write Speed
 
120 Mbps *1 (As of 8-bit parallel transfer)
  40 Mbps *1 (As of 4-bit parallel transfer)
Operating Voltage 2.7 to 3.6 V
Interface 8-bit / 4-bit parallel I/F and Serial I/F
Max. Clock frequency 60MHz *5
Copyright Protection Technology   MagicGate

For licensing information, please visit www.memorystick.org

*1: In the case of optimized compliant host devices.
*2: When using "Memory Stick PRO-HG" media with "Memory Stick PRO" compliant host devices, "Memory Stick PRO-HG" media functions as "Memory Stick PRO".
*3: The cumulative number includes Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO and Memory Stick PRO Duo media.
*4: This data does not guarantee that Memory Stick PRO-HG 32 GB media will be introduced to the market. Memory Stick PRO-HG product lineup is not yet fixed. Memory Stick PRO-HG recording capacity, transfer speed etc. will depend on specifications of compliant host devices.
*5: 8-bit parallel transfer specification.

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