Jun 25, 2018 in Technology

Flash Memory Card

What is a Memory Card?

A memory card is a non-volatile electronic device used for storage of data and in transferring data from one device to another. Memory cards are used in many electronic devices such as, cameras, desktops, PDAS, cell phones, laptops, game consoles, mp3 players, and printers. Memory cards are small, can operate without power and can re-record data therefore, making their use powerful and appropriate when using them. Flash memory is very durable when packed in a memory card because they are able to withstand the extreme conditions such as temperature, vapor, and water. It is easy and first to read data from memory cards than other volatile devices. It is because of those characteristics that the memory card has become a popular device all over the world (Baldridge, 2009).

How do memory cards work?

The memory cards work by storing information in memory cells made from floating gate transistors. The traditional memory cards had single level cell that could store one bit of information but the new flash memory has a multilevel cell that can store more than one bit of information per cell. The flash memory cards do not require any power to maintain the information stored in the chips because they are non-volatile. Memory cards have a high resistance to kinetic shock making them more effective for use by many consumers. This shows that there are  different formats of memory cards have been produced by memory card industries as a result of their high demand in the market. The PC memory card is the first memory card that was introduced in 1990 and used by laptop computers. The memory card was durable and consumed less power leading to its popularity and high-market demand (Imdad-Haque, 1996).


They are of three types namely, Type I used to add RAM to the computer and it is 3.3mm thick. There is the Type II, which is 5.5mm thick used for modern cards and fax. The third one is the Type III measuring 10.5mm thick used for portable devices. The Compact Flash, which is smaller than the PC memory card, was then introduced in 1944 to replace the PC memory card and was used in digital cameras. It can support 3.3v and 5v operation hence very effective to work with. The SmartMedia card then came to the market to compete with the Compact Flash in 1996 and was used in digital cameras, camcorders, handheld computers, mobile phones and audio players. They are 32mm x 24mm x2.1 mm measures and a weight of two grimes (Imdad-Haque, 1996).

In the beginning of 2000,the popularity of memory cards increased because they could be used in other electronic devices such as audio players and cell phones. The consumers needed smaller memory cards as compared to the previous ones in the market to facilitate their usage. The memory card industry then produced small memory cards that include, the MultMediaCard, SD Memory Card, and Memory Stick (Baldridge, 2009). This made use of memory cards become popular and as the devices that used them were made smaller, new smaller memory cards had to be produced. Such small versions included, RS-MMC or MMCmobile, Memory Stick Card, and the miniSD memory cards. They are very small and used by the resent mobile phones in the market. They have a capacity of storing data of around 16MB to 256MB. The third format of memory cards was that of the ultra small memory cards that could even be used in mobile phones. This included the microSD or TransFlash, microMMC, Memory Stick Micro, and the XD-Picture card used by digital cameras. Memory sticks are compact light memory cards made to serve many devices such as records, digital cameras, and mobile phones (Campardo, 2011).

Can I retrieve lost data from my memory card?

Memory cards are prone to damage and this can lead to loss of the information that is stored in it. Quick action to get the lost data can help save the situation and one is able to get the data back. In this case one needs not to add any other more data until the one lost is retrieved. This is possible by use of memory card data recovery software, which helps to recover, restore, and retrieve lost data from a memory card. Photos, audio video files, folders that have been deleted or formatted in a flash memory card can be retrieved by the memory card recovery software.

Data that has deleted, formatted, or damaged can also be retrieved by use of a Card Recovery software. This software is particularly effective for recovering digital pictures and photos deleted or formatted in the memory card. The memory card recovery software is the most appropriate software for recovering lost data because of it supports many memory cards such as SD card, XD card, CF card and the memory stick. Hand recovery is the other software that is used to recover deleted data from mobile phones and digital cameras. This software is not effective because it is limited to devices manufactured by certain companies. Hard disk repair programs such as, Norton Disk Doctor, Disk First Aid, and Scandisk can be use to get back the data that was deleted or formatted in a memory card (Baldridge, 2009).

Why does my memory card show less capacity than listed?

It is possible that a memory card can show less capacity than that listed by the manufacture because of the different formats of the operating systems. In this case some space is set aside for system files and data sectors to facilitate the performance of the memory card making have less capacity than stated. The other reason why memory cards have less capacity than listed is because they loss capacity after being manufactured. Loss of capacity arises when the device and card reader used is not made in a manner that it can support a memory card of high capacity. It is therefore essential to get the full information on the device you are to use in order determining the capacity of the memory card to purchase (Campardo, 2011).

Where can a memory card be used?

Memory cards are used in various devices to store and transfer data from one device to another. They are used by mobile phones, digital cameras, desktops, laptops, game consoles, PDAs, audio players and printers. The memory cards are used in these devices to store information in a save and easily available manner. The memory cards are easy to operate hence increasing their demand in the market by the consumers. They are also small in size, cheap, and easily available in the market facilitating their use by many individuals (Kleiman, 2007).

What should I consider before purchasing a new memory card?

When purchasing a memory card first identifies the device you are to use it in. Select a memory card that is compatible with your device for better results. The devices are limited to a number of memory cards depending on the format of memory card. For example the digital cameras are limited to certain memory cards such as the SmartMedia, xD  and Compact Flash memory cards. The other factor to consider is the speed of the memory card you are to purchase. High-speed memory cards are only effective when a professional model is being used but otherwise a memory card with moderate speed is recommended (Campardo, 2011).

Uses Of Flash Memory Cards

Flash memory cards are used to transport  and store an individual’ personal data such as pictures, documents, and videos. There is flash memory cards used to store data such as the Medic Tag Flash that alert an individual in case of emergencies or upcoming disaster. Flash memory cards are used to secure stored data, software files, and applications of an individual. This ensure that there is no interruption of the information stored by other parties or unauthorized individuals. Systems  are administered by flash drives, which inform administrators of the performance of their systems. The software of flash memory cards can help recover any deleted data or even tell any upcoming problem with the system.


Flash memory cards are very important because they contribute to the advancement of our technology. They serve a great purpose in our electronic devices, which could have not been possible without them. They are durable to work with if maintained well by the user. In case  they are not handled well when using, one can loss stored data or even the card can be damaged. For effective use the consumer should always go by the manufacturer’s conditions.

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