The companies will start licensing for the development of ‘Memory Stick Micro’ compatible hardware next week. The card measures just 15 x 12.5 mm and is only 1.2 mm thick. This makes it about one quarter the size of the current Memory Stick PRO Duo.
Users will be able to insert the ultra-small storage card into an adapter for exchanging data to a Memory Stick PRO compatible device.
The companies say the latest format cards will reach the market sometime during the first half of next year, though they would not specify the storage capacity of initial Memory Stick Micro cards. Sony said the theoretical maximum storage space is 32 GB of data.
The Micro media's edges are slotted lengthwise to allow for more slim-line designed connectors to reduce space in host devices. The cards will run at 3.3V or 1.8V, and can shift data at 160 Mbit/s. They use Sony’s MagicGate copyright protection technology.
Just days ago SanDisk announced a rival very small format memory card, the Gruvi, also targeted at mobile phones. This features a different DRM facility.
The original Memory Stick format was introduced in 1998, since when Sony upgraded it with more compact versions, including the Pro version in 2003.