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How To Buy
The Battle for Miniature Memory

Many digital cameras provide removable memory through PC Cards. These cards, which can be slipped into a notebook's PCMCIA slot or a card reader hooked up to a desktop PC, pack ample storage (from 2MB up) into a tiny package (about half the size of a matchbook). Although no industry standard yet exists, two groups are competing to gather support for their specifications.

Four of the largest flash manufacturers in the world (AMD, Fujitsu, Sharp and Intel) collaborated to create the Miniature Card Implementers Forum (MCIF). The MCIF (http://www.mcif.org) developed a new memory standard called the Flash Memory Miniature Card, also known as the minicard. At least 50 companies already support the MCIF standard for solid-state memory cards.

CompactFlash (CF), a standard introduced in 1994 by SanDisk Corp., is a flash memory technology. CF cards (http://www.compactflash.org)come in 2MB, 4MB, 10MB and 15MB capacities. CF cards have connector pins; the minicard is pinless. The CompactFlash Association (CFA) has over 60 member companies. Some companies, such as Eastman Kodak, Ricoh and Nokia, support both MCIF and CFA specifications.


Windows Magazine, September 1997, page 256.

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