Memory Stick


Memory Stick is the proprietary memory card format used by Sony Corporation for all of its products. This memory card was released to consumers on October 1998. The Memory Stick family includes Memory Stick PRO, which has the same form factor as the Memory Stick. This updated card allows for more storage space and faster transfer speeds. Memory Stick Duo is a smaller form factor and this includes the PRO Duo cards. Memory Stick PRO-HG, a much faster card than the PRO. Memory Stick Micro (M2), small card to be used in cell phones.


 The Memory Stick products are designed to be used exclusively in all Sony and Sony Ericsson electronic devices. Despite it being manufactured by Sony, third party licenses have been offered to both SanDisk and Lexar.


Types of Memory Stick


Memory Stick

The original Memory Stick was released in 1998 and its size and thickness was comparable to a stick of gum. The card was available in capacities starting at 4 MB upwards to 128 MB.


The original Memory Stick is approximately the size and thickness of a stick of chewing gum. It was available in sizes from 4 MB to 128 MB. The original Memory Stick is no longer manufactured.


Memory Stick PRO

This Memory Stick format was released in 2003 as a result of collaboration between Sony and SanDisk. The form factor for the Memory Stick PRO was same as the original Memory Stick. Higher capacities were possible with these new memory cards. They state that Memory Stick PRO can have capacities up to 32 GB, even though only 4 GB are available. The Memory Stick PRO also allowed for a higher rate when it came to the transfer of data.


Memory Stick Duo


The Memory Stick Duo was developed by Sony as they needed a much smaller memory card that could work in the devices that had reduced in size. These cards would be used in Sony’s newer products, such as PSP, cell phones and digital cameras. The Duo is much smaller than the Memory Stick and it is about the size of a stamp. The Memory Stick Duo’s are available in High Speed mode and without. They also come with or without MagicGate support.



Memory Stick PRO Duo

Despite the Memory Stick Duo having a small form factor, it was limited to only 128 MB and had a slow transfer rate. Sony addressed this problem by releasing the Memory Stick PRO Duo. These cards were not limited by memory and they can reach capacities up to 32 GB. The PRO Duo cards are also available with and without High Speed mode, and with and without MagicGate support.



Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo


 The Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo was released in 2006 due to collaboration with Sony and SanDisk. The cards design allows it to be 3 times faster than the regular Memory Stick PRO format.


Memory Stick Micro


In 2006, a collaboration between SanDisk and Sony resulted in the Memory Stick Micro (M2). This new Memory Stick was close to the same size as the MicroSD memory card. At its release the card had capacities from 128 MB upwards of 32 GB. The M2 comes with an adapter that can allow it to be used interchangeably with devices that use the PRO Duo cards.


Use of Memory Stick

Since Memory Stick is a proprietary standard for Sony, it works in most Sony products. These cards are able to work in  mp3 players, cameras, video cameras and the popular Playstation 2 and now the Playstation 3.

Generally the Memory Stick is used as storage media that can be used to store data, pictures, video, music and more. Computers can also use them as storage, as many Sony VAIO computers have slots for Memory Stick.


Memory Stick Specifications

Storage Size

Memory Stick sizes vary from 16 MB – 32 GB

Transfer speeds


  • Maximum write speed: 14.4 (1.8 MB/s)
  • Maximum read speed: 19.6 Mbit/s (2.5 MB/s)
  • Up to 20 MB/sec – 133 X
  • WriteUp to 18 MB/sec – 120 X


Duo/Pro Duo:

  • Transfer: 160 Mbit/s (20 MB/s)
  • Minimum write speed: 15 Mbit/s
  • Maximum write speed: 80 Mbit/s (High Speed Pro Duo)

Micro (M2):

  • Transfer: 160 Mbit/s (20 MB/s)

Physical Dimensions

  • Inches: 50.0 mm (W) × 21.5 mm (H) × 2.8 mm (D)
  • Millimeters






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