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Sony, SanDisk move closer on Memory Stick

Posted: 19 Jun 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:sony? sandisk? memory stick? i/o card? bluetooth card?

Sony Corp. and SanDisk Corp. announced an expanded cross licensing agreement on Tuesday (June 17) that will make SanDisk the first full partner in Sony's Memory Stick business.

The two companies had been negotiating to expand their collaboration, which started in September 2001. Under the initial agreement, SanDisk was an OEM purchaser of Memory Stick technology. Now, SanDisk became the co-developer of the next generation Memory Stick.

The partners announced the results of their joint development at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The Memory Stick Pro card, which provides up to 32 Gbytes of storage capacity and data rate at 160Mbps, theoretically, allowing for the recording of high-definition moving images in real time.

SanDisk already has rights to manufacture Memory Stick Pro media based on the January 2003 announcement and has been selling the products since March. The latest agreement completed in May expands licensing of all Memory Stick products to SanDisk, including conventional Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, and I/O cards such as the Bluetooth card with a Memory Stick interface.

Under the agreement, SanDisk can manufacture and sell the cards under its own brand name. The company will begin manufacturing Memory Stick media under the new licensing agreement in Q2 of 2003.

Fujitsu Ltd. and Lexar Media Inc. are second sources for Memory Stick products. The new agreement gives SanDisk a broader license.

The company said this does not mean SanDisk would concentrate on Memory Stick in flash cards. "To expand [the] flash memory card market, each of the various formats should grow steadily," said a spokeswoman for SanDisk Japan.

The company has participated in other flash card format development, including SD and SD-mini cards with Toshiba and Matsushita and a MultiMedia card with Infineon Technologies AG. CompactFlash is SanDisk's own technology.

- Yoshiko Hara

EE Times

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