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Flash Memory

Introduction

For sharing data with colleagues or transferring files between devices, a flash memory card is an excellent solution. Before purchasing a flash memory card however, you should consider what type of card best fits your needs. Below is a list of some of the more common flash memory card standards.

Types of Flash Memory Cards

CompactFlash® (CF)

flash_memoryCompactFlash is an older flash memory card format that is still supported by some DSLR cameras and is available in two variants, Type I and Type II. The primary physical difference between the two is that Type II Compact Flash cards are 5 mm thick while Type I cards are 3.3 mm thick. Both Type I and Type II cards are 42 × 36 mm in width and height.

Secure Digital (SD™) / Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC™)

flash_memoryFirst introduced in the late nineties, Secure Digital is a standard that includes three form factors. The original and biggest form factor for SD cards is 32 mm by 24 mm.

Secure Digital High Capacity is an update to the original Secure Digital format and is physically identical to it. The major difference with SDHC is that it supports larger capacities.

SD flash memory cards have speed class ratings that indicate minimum performance levels. They are Class 2, Class 4, Class 6, and Class 10. The minimum performance of each class is 2 MB/s, 4 MB/s, 6 MB/s, and 10 MB/s respectively.

MicroSD™

flash_memoryThe most compact variant for the Secure Digital format, a microSD card measures 11 mm × 15 mm. It is commonly supported by digital cameras, mobile phonesmemory card readers, and more. It conforms to the same speed class rating system as a standard SD flash memory card.

Wireless Flash Memory

flash_memoryA wireless flash memory card is a type of memory card that has a wireless transceiver and is capable of sending data over a wireless network. Some also have built-in flash memory storage to store data locally. Generally, Wi-Fi-enabled flash memory cards resemble SD cards.

Memory Stick PRO

flash_memoryMemory Stick PRO is a proprietary flash memory card format created by Sony. It is available in three different form factors, PRO, PRO DUO, and Micro. The Memory Stick standard is rarely supported by non-Sony devices.

Sometimes you may see the term MagicGate on Memory Sticks. It is a form of copy-protection and only MagicGate-compatible card readers and devices can read such cards.