Sony developed the Memory Stick format in 1998 as a portable flash memory format for digital cameras and other portable devices. Since then the Memory Stick format has evolved to meet the growing needs of electronic media with larger storage and faster read/write times. After the Memory Stick, Sony developed the Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick PRO Duo and the Memory Stick Micro with various iterations of each model.
The original Memory Stick format was 2 inches long, 8/10ths of an inch wide and 1/10th of an inch thick allowing it to slide into relatively small spaces to provided memory for digital devices. This form factor was ideal in 1998 when the Memory Stick was created, but before long became too large for as devices continued to shrink. Conversely, the storage capacity of the Memory Stick capped out at 128 Megabytes (MB), which was soon found to be inadequate for higher mega-pixel cameras and other media devices.
Memory Stick PRO
In 2003 Sony collaborated with the memory manufacturer SanDisk to create the Memory Stick PRO, which allowed for storage sizes up to 32 Gigabytes (GB) using the same form factor so that many devices and readers could upgrade to the larger capacity Memory Stick PRO. Some devices required an update to the programing of the hardware and there are some devices that were not able to use the new card (see "Resources").
Memory Stick PRO Duo
The Memory Stick PRO Duo retains the increased storage capacity of the Memory Stick PRO but reduces the size from 2 inches long to just under 1.5 inches long. This allows it to fit into smaller devices such as the Play Station Portable (PSP) but the Memory Stick PRO Duo is not compatible with Memory Stick and Memory Stick PRO devices and readers without the use of an adapter and/or the upgrade of the device's software. The PRO Duo line has upgrades in speed with the Memory Stick PRO Duo HG line that provides three times the speed of the standard PRO Duo memory and the XC line, which increases the possible storage to 2 Terabytes (TB).
Memory Stick Micro
To facilitate the truly tiny sized mobile phones and MP3 players Sony and SanDisk developed the Memory Stick Micro which is just 0.05 inches thick, half an inch wide and 0.6 inches long. The Memory Stick Micro requires a special adapter to be read in a Memory Stick/PRO or Memory Stick PRO Duo reader.
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