Good news (Sony hopes) for the MemoryStick is that 19 more companies have licensed its flash storage technology... Interesting are the numbers of motor manufacturers (memory keyfob anyone?)

TOKYO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Sony Corp said on Thursday it added 19 companies including General Motors Corp to a list of firms it has licensed to develop gadgets using Sony's Memory Stick as a data storage device.

Sony hopes to popularise the chewing-gum sized Memory Stick as a data storage device for use on video camcorders, digital cameras andpersonal computers.

The 19 new licensees included General Motors (NYSE:GM - news), Adam Opel AG, Holden, Saab, Vauxhall, Hitachi Ltd , Mitsubishi Electric Corp , Compaq Computer Corp (NYSE:CPQ - news), Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , Texas Instruments Inc (NYSE:TXN - news) and Acer Laboratories Inc .

As a result, Sony has licensed 44 firms to develop and make hardware devices using Memory Sticks. It has also licensed two firms including Fujitsu Ltd to make the Memory Stick.

The world's second-largest consumer electronics maker is hoping to avoida repetition of its Betamax fiasco.

Sony-developed Betamax as a rival to the VHS video format which has come to dominate the global market for home videotape players and cameras after Sony failed to promote the Betamax format, which is considered to be technologically superior, by licensing the technology to other manufacturers.

Sony also said Texas Instruments will develop LSI (large-scale integration) based on the Memory Stick, which will make it easier for hardware makers to develop Memory Stick-based products.

Other major electronics makers such as Sharp Corp , Sanyo Electric Co Ltd , Pioneer Corp , carmaker Volkswagen AG (quote from Yahoo! UK & Ireland: VOWG.F) and Audi AG have already been licensed by Sony to make devices which can use the Memory Stick.