Flash Memory Cards
What is Flash Memory?
Unlike hard disks that contains moving parts, flash memory is solid state electronics memory that has no moving parts inside it. When talking of data storage, hard disks are probably the most common medium. However, hard disks have platters where data is written to and read from. Flash memory is absolutely different with regard to the technology used. If you've lately used a mobile phone that has the provision for a memory card, you will notice that it will either use a mini SD, micro SD, or an MMC card. These are some of the most commonly used flash cards in mobile phones. Mainstream digital cameras mainly use SD (Secure Digital) cards but professional photographers prefer CF (Compact Flash) Cards. Watch out for the specifics in this article!
In the recent past, hand held devices such as mobile phones were primarily dependent on the internet memory of the device to store data. The scenario isn't very different today, except that internal data is mainly, if not solely, used for storing system information or software of a device. Today, most of the hand held devices are equipped with memory card expansion slots. There could be differences in the type of memory card supported, but the provision for one is unavoidable in a competitive market like ours. There are different types of memory cards with various sizes and storage capacities. They are mainly used in electronics portable devices, such as mobile phones, digital cameras, PMPs (Portable Media Players), laptops, game console such as Sony PS2, and MP3 players. Apart from that, the humongous list of applications includes external data storage, transfer, and exchange.
As far as size is concerned, some cards such as CF cards are large enough to cover one-fourth of the palm of your hand whereas cards such as micro SD cards are as small as the nail of your little finger. Storage space offered by memory cards ranges from a meaner 16 MB (probably not available any more) to a generous 32 GB.
Looking at their small size, it is hard to believe that so much data be stored on them. However, when you purchage a mobile phone or a digital camera, you might rarely or never check which memory it is using. This might result in purchasing a slower memory which takes more time to save images, video, or data. Checking the memory type used in the device can ensure hassle-free use of the device. Let's take a look at some of the memory card types and see what they offer in terms of speed, capacity, and form factor (size and shape).