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Types Of Memory Cards

Updated on October 22, 2011

Memory card are storage mediums which are used in many electronic devices to store extra memory. Even when the memory card is removed from the device the memory remains the same inside the card and this memory can also be transferred to another device.

Memory card have been in use for more than a decade now and today all the major devices such as digital cameras, cell phones, laptops and personal computers have memory card installed or inserted in them.

There are many types of memory cards. Below are some of them:

Secure SD Cards

The secure SD cards were introduced in 1999 and since then are being used in small portable devices. They are mostly used in digital cameras, hand held computers, mobile phones and audio players.

The original card weighed 2 grams approximately and mostly measures 32 mm x 24 mm x 2.1 mm. Now smaller SD cards with the capacity to hold more memory are available.

Mini SD card with adapter
Mini SD card with adapter
8GB Micro SD card
8GB Micro SD card

There are two types of SD cards:

  • Mini SD Card:

    The mini SD cards are much smaller than the original SD cards are and were invented with the intention to be used in mobile phones and miniature electronics such as MP3 players. Some mini SD card packages also include an SD card adapter they can also be used in other SD card devices. These cards have the capacity of up to 4GB and increasing.
  • Micro SD Cards:

    The micro SD cards are smaller than the mini SD cards and also have more capacity for storage of memory. They are also used in mobile phones and MP3 players.

    The micro SD card like the mini SD cards can be used in an SD slot via an adapter. These cards were introduced by the SanDisk in 2004. they can hold the memory from up to 2 GB and increasing.

Compact Flash Disk
Compact Flash Disk

Compact Flash Disk

The compact was invented by the SanDisk Corporation in the year of 1994.

These cards are used in cameras, mobile phones and MP3 players. There are two types of compact flash disk called as CF type I and CF type II.

The CF type I cards 42.8mm x 36.4mm x 3.3 mm thick whereas the CF type II cards are 42.8mm x 36.4mm x 5.5 mm thick.

Initially the compact flash disk were designed for a PMCIA slots and could accommodate using an adapter.

But now the compact disk have modified and the two types of flash disks are now designed to fit different type of slots and have different capacities.

Sony 16 GB Memory Stick PRO Duo
Sony 16 GB Memory Stick PRO Duo
32 MB Smart Media
32 MB Smart Media
1 GB X-D Picture Card
1 GB X-D Picture Card

Memory Stick

The memory stick is a very reliable memory card invented by the Sony. The memory stick works by using a serial interface for transferring data between the device and the stick.

The initial memory card invented by the Sony had the maximum storage capacity of 128MB.

There are two types of memory sticks:

  • PRO Memory Stick:

    The PRO memory cards have the capacity of storing memory up to 32 GB.

    These however like the SD cards can not be accommodated in the devices made for the initial 128 MB memory stick.

    But on the other hand PRO memory stick devices can bee compatible with original memory stick.
  • Duo:

    Just like the PRO memory stick the Duo is the smaller version of the original memory stick.

Smart Media

The smart media was invented by the Olympus and Fuji and proved to be a great challenge for the compact flash cards.

It became very popular amongst the manufacturers and consumers when it was released.

These cards are smaller than the compact flash cards and they also have contact pins directly on the surface unlike the compact flash cards.

However when used over time, the design proved to less reliable than the compact flash cards.

With time the popularity of smart media started to fade and that not only because of its design but its limitation to store 128MB memory. It is still used today in some devices.

X-D Picture Cards

The XD pictures cards were invemted by Olympus and Fuji. The term XD is an abbreviation of extreme digital and is designed for digital cameras. the XD picture cards are ultra compact with a size of 20mm x 25mm x 1.7mm.

Despite of their unique design the XD cards did not gain much popularity as it was expected from them. The reason for it was that these cards were only compatible for the digital cameras of Fuji and Olympus.


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    • hassam profile image

      hassam 6 years ago from Pakistan

      I am not selling any products, this is just an academic article meant for knowledge! :)

    • profile image

      ijaz 6 years ago

      dear sir/madam,

      i am a wholesale dealer working in pakistan, kindly provide me the details of your products and their prices.

      best regards

    • hassam profile image

      hassam 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Yes, SDXC memory cards are the new charm of the market as they can scale upto 2 TB. I will be definitely looking to update my articles, as technology changes so rapidly and its really tough to keep up with the pace! :)

    • charlemont profile image

      charlemont 6 years ago from Lithuania

      Quite simple information but I've never heard about xD or Smart Media types previously. I think you can add a paragraph on SDXC type, while it is an expensive storage yet, it is definitely gaining popularity and the prices are to lower in a couple of years. Video cameras recording 1080p HD or even 3D cameras require plenty of storage with fastest sustainable write rate possible.