In a very interesting piece of news Lexar have received $2 million equity investment from Sony, in conjunction with a strategic partnership to apply their high-speed flash memory controller technology to Sony's Memory Stick. Sony wants their Memory Stick to be able to download 64MB of data in 10 seconds (that's 6.4MB/s boys...) As a part of the agreement Lexar has received license to manufacture and market Memory Stick under their own brand. Memory Sticks for the masses? Anyone else notice that the recently announced "Duo" Memory Stick would fit inside the CF form factor?

Here's the full press release:

Lexar Media Receives Equity Investment From Sony Corporation; Formalizes Strategic Partnership to Develop High-Speed Memory Stick Using Lexar's Technology

FREMONT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 18, 2000--Lexar Media, Inc. announced today that Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) has made a $2 million equity investment in Lexar Media in connection with a strategic partnership to apply Lexar Media's high-speed flash memory controller technology to the Memory Stick. The two companies signed definitive agreements formalizing their previously announced Memorandum of Understanding that Lexar Media will license its controller technology to Sony with the goal of improving the read/write speed of the Memory Stick to download transfer 64 megabytes of data in less than ten seconds. As part of the agreement, Lexar has received a license to manufacture and market Memory Stick media under Lexar's brand.

Sony's Memory Stick is an IC recording media that has been developed to share digital content among a variety of products in the network era. It serves as a key transfer media to connect products such as consumer electronics devices, computer/IT products, as well as future cellular phones, automobiles, and kiosk terminals for electronic distribution services. High-speed Memory Stick products will be backward compatible with current Memory Stick products and are slated for introduction in 2001.

"We are entering a time in which the speed of the storage media is critical for consumer electronics devices such as digital cameras and Internet music players," said John Reimer, President and CEO, Lexar Media. "This agreement illustrates the commitment of both companies to provide the best possible products for consumers."

"Sony is pleased to work with Lexar Media to enhance the potential of Memory Stick," said Yutaka Nakagawa, Corporate Senior Vice President, Sony Corporation. "Through our joint efforts to heighten the transfer speed of the Memory Stick, we intend to make it the best suited storage media for a variety of applications in the broadband network era, where large amounts of digital content are shared between products both on-line and off-line."

Lexar's expertise in high-performance storage devices stems from its experience in supplying flash memory controllers to CompactFlash card manufacturers and marketing its own line of high-performance digital film. The Company has a portfolio of intellectual property that includes 23 U.S. granted or allowed patents, 13 U.S. patent applications and numerous foreign patent applications, and holds patents on designs, processes and techniques that chip designers may need in order to build low-cost, high-speed flash storage products.