Flash Memory Cards


Most of the electronic devices we use today such as digital cameras or cellular phones need some way to store and save data. The hardware that is used in these devices and many others is a flash memory card. These cards are small in size, but can be easily written to and save large amounts of data.

There are numerous types of flash memory cards and their cost has decreased over the past several years so that a normal person can easily afford one for their electronic device. PCMCIA was the original flash card that was designed as a peripheral interface on laptop computers. However, PCMCIA is not used as much today and has been put aside for the many smaller sized flash memory cards on the market.

One of the most common types of flash memory cards is secure digital (SD). These cards were first introduced in 1999 by Panasonic, Toshiba, and SanDisk and continue to be popular to this day. They are usually 32mm by 24mm by 1mm in size and have a shape that allows them to fit in an electronic device only one way. One end is composed of metal contacts and they have write speeds of 10 to 20 MB per second. SD has even been enhanced over 2GB in size today and is known as secure digital high capacity (SDHC).

Compact flash is another well-known type of flash memory card even though SD has replaced it in most digital cameras today. Although most digital cameras use secure digital, compact flash is still the card of choice for professional cameras such as Digital-SLR. This is due to its size and reliability.

In addition to these two types of flash memory cards there are many more. Some of these include SmartMedia, Memory Stick, miniSD, and microSD just to name a few. Each has its advantages and disadvantages compared to each other.

Even video game systems such as Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation have started using memory cards. With more and more people using these systems for online gaming storage and memory has become important and these consoles have different size flash memory built into them.