Flash memory

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A memory card or flash memory card is a solid-state electronic flash memory data storage device used with digital cameras, handheld and Mobile computers, telephones, music players, video game consoles, and other electronics. They offer high re-record-ability, power-free storage, small form factor, and rugged environmental specifications. There are also non-solid-state memory cards that do not use flash memory, and there are different types of flash memory.
There are many different types of memory cards and jobs they are used for. Some common places include in digital cameras, game consoles, cell phones, and industrial applications. PC card (PCMCIA) were among first commercial memory card formats (type I cards) to come out in the 1990s, but are now only mainly used in industrial applications and for I/O jobs (using types I/II/III), as a connection standard for devices (such as a modem). Also in 1990s, a number of memory card formats smaller than PC Card came out, including CompactFlash, SmartMedia, and Miniature Card. In other areas, tiny embedded memory cards (SID) were used in cell phones, game consoles started using proprietary memory card formats, and devices like PDAs and digital music players started using removable memory cards.
From the late 1990s into the early 2000s a host of new formats appeared, including SD/MMC, Memory Stick, xD-Picture Card, and a number of variants and smaller cards. The desire for ultra-small cards for cell-phones, PDAs, and compact digital cameras drove a trend toward smaller cards that left the previous generation of "compact" cards looking big. In digital cameras SmartMedia and CompactFlash had been very successful, in 2001 SM alone captured 50% of the digital camera market and CF had a strangle hold on professional digital cameras. By 2005 however, SD/MMC had nearly taken over SmartMedia's spot, though not to the same level and with stiff competition coming from Memory Stick variants, xD, as well as CompactFlash. In industrial fields, even the venerable PC card (PCMCIA) memory cards still manage to maintain a niche, while in cell-phones and PDAs, the memory card market is highly fragmented.
Nowadays, most new PCs have built-in slots for a variety of memory cards; Memory Stick, CompactFlash, SD, etc. Some digital gadgets support more than one memory card to ensure compatibility.
Data table of selected memory card formats
Name	Acronym	Form factor	DRM
PC Card
PCMCIA	85.6 x 54 x 3.3 mm	None
CompactFlash I
CF-I	43 x 36 x 3.3 mm	None
CompactFlash II
CF-II	43 x 36 x 5.5 mm	None
SM / SMC	45 x 37 x 0.76 mm	None
Memory Stick
MS	50.0 x 21.5 x 2.8 mm	MagicGate
Memory Stick Duo
MSD	31.0 x 20.0 x 1.6 mm	MagicGate
Memory Stick PRO Duo
MSPD	31.0 x 20.0 x 1.6 mm	MagicGate
Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
MSPDX	31.0 x 20.0 x 1.6 mm	MagicGate
Memory Stick Micro M2
M2	15.0 x 12.5 x 1.2 mm	MagicGate
Multimedia Card
MMC	32 x 24 x 1.5 mm	None
Reduced Size Multimedia Card
RS-MMC	16 x 24 x 1.5 mm	None
MMCmicro Card
MMCmicro	12 x 14 x 1.1 mm	None
Secure Digital card
SD	32 x 24 x 2.1 mm	CPRM
Universal Flash Storage
miniSD card
miniSD	21.5 x 20 x 1.4 mm	CPRM
microSD card
microSD	11 x 15 x 0.7 mm	CPRM
xD-Picture Card
xD	20 x 25 x 1.7 mm	None
Intelligent Stick
iStick	24 x 18 x 2.8 mm	None
Serial Flash Module
SFM	45 x 15 mm	None
u card
ucard	32 x 24 x 1 mm	Unknown
NT Card
NT NT+	44 x 24 x 2.5 mm	None
In computing, PC Card (originally PCMCIA, or PCMCIA Card) is the form factor of a peripheral interface designed for laptop computers. The PC Card standard (as well as its successor ExpressCard) were defined and developed by a group of industry-leading companies called the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA). The United States computer industry created the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association to challenge the Japanese JEIDA memory card devices by offering a competing standard for memory-expansion cards. In 1991 the two standards merged as JEIDA 4.1 or PCMCIA 2.0 (PC Card).
PC Card was originally designed for computer memory expansion, but the existence of a usable general standard for notebook peripherals led to many kinds of devices being made available in this form. Typical devices included network cards, modems, and hard disks. The cards were also used in early digital SLR cameras, such as the Kodak DCS 300 series. The original use, as memory expansion, is no longer common.
Many notebooks in the 1990s came with two type-II slots with no barrier in between (allowing installation of two type-II cards or one, double-sized, type-III card). With the removal of legacy ports, most contemporary notebooks only feature a single type-II card slot, and an increasing number of less expensive notebooks feature no PC Card slot at all
CompactFlash (CF) is a mass storage device format used in portable electronic devices. For storage, CompactFlash typically uses flash memory in a standardized enclosure.
The format was first specified and produced by SanDisk in 1994.[1] The physical format is now used for a variety of devices.
CompactFlash became a popular storage medium for digital cameras. In recent years it has been widely replaced by smaller cards on the consumer end, but it is still a preferred format for D-SLR cameras, for its superior capacity and

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