Flash Cards: When Size Really Matters

Few years back, we never really imagined how memory storage would evolve into flash cards we know today. It is ever harder to believe that the tiny rectangular piece of plastic could store thousands of pictures, hundreds of songs, and even movies. Remember few years ago when storing files could mean we have to settle for 3.5” and the outrageously large 5.25”? You know what I mean right? Those we have thought the future of memory storage- the floppy disks? With the amazing capacity to store as much as 1.44 MB of files, these floppy disks are really works of technology.


But as we all know technology would not stop to evolve. This is the reason why floppy disks are now the thing of the past. And as the years go by, we have received memory storage cards that are as size of post stamps. We even amaze old folks when we remove in from of them those tiny card out from digital cameras, cellular phones, and computers.


One of the earlier flash cards have the memory capacity not far from floppy drives. 2 MB is enough considering you have the reference point of 1.44MB. Shortly, the 4 MB came out. From then on, several more powerful, smaller, and larger storage flash cards came out. The 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 MB came out. Up to now, the 128 MB flash cards are still being used although much higher memory cards are now in the market.


Today, several digital devices are using 1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB, and even 8 GB and 16 GB flash cards. Those are the capacity of hard drives just year ago. While hard drives are as size of car stereo cut in half, flash cards can fit to your pocket just like having a penny. The benefits of flash cards could be seen more popularly on digital cameras where they can sit peacefully to the camera’s size. How about computers? Computers still use hard drives to store memory. And if you want some portable drives, the flash memory sticks are used. Like flash cards, they are small with large amount of memory capacity.


You might wonder how can a single tiny card hold such large files. Let us put it this way: your file cabinet could only store limited amount of files. And large cabinets are big. Big if you are going to store all these filed digitally, meaning using electronic codes, you can store as much files in one tiny storage just like the flash card. Another reason is that flash cards have removed unnecessary components that could enlarge the size of the card.


There are several types of flash cards used today particulry on digital cameras. These came in different sizes depending on the device it is designed to fit in. Here are several types of flash cards used: MultiMediaCard (MMC), Memory Stick (MS), CompactFlash (CF), Secure Digital (SD), SmartMedia (SM) and xD-Picture Card (xD).


The sizes also depend on the capacity of the flash card against one another. But the bottom line is, flash cards, no matter what the size is, still carry significantly large amount of files in one tiny square-shaped plastic card. Who knows, in the future we might se 80 GB flash drives that can record and store several hours of video.


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