Matsushita to Release New Flash Memory Format
On June 30, Matsushita will release the first devices usings its Secured Digital (SD) Memory Card. The company is setting this new format up in direct competition with Sony's memory sticks. The postage stamp-sized SD Card, developed by Matsushita, Toshiba Corp and U.S.-based SanDisk Corp, is smaller than Sony's chewing gum-sized Memory Stick (MS).
Matsushita will roll out a flash memory card-based audio player, a next-generation audio system, and a recordable DVD player, all using their SD cards. Sony's MS cards are already in digital camcorders, "Walkman'' music players and the robotic pet "Aibo''.
The two companies have been in a grudge match for years, ever since Matsushita's VHS video tape format beat out Sony's Betamax. Both companies have enlisted allies in the fight, with Microsoft, Kodak and Toyota planning to use Matsushita's SD cards while Sony has enlisted General Motors and Palm.
Kazuharu Miura, an analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research, said, "The SD group will attain superiority due to its greater number of partners and Matsushita's strong position in the mobile phone market.''
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