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PCMCIA Memory Card – Still Manufactured After All These Years

Posted by Samuel Nakhimovsky on Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014

Fortasa Industrial PC Card

PCMCIA Memory Card, also commonly known as PC Card, is an octogenarian by the Flash card standards. The original PCMCIA standard and the governing body, PCMCIA Association, was first established in 1989 to develop and promote a common standard for the new category of memory cards. The PC Card was the first removable memory form factor to benefit multiple generations of PC, Industrial Equipment and Digital Cameras. Offering substantial memory capacity in a portable 85.6mm × 54mm × 3.3mm standard, the PC card was ubiquitously used by consumers and industry alike. Multiple generations of note book computers integrated PCMCIA slot as a standard I/O connection. Subsequently this form factor was used as a de facto standard for Wireless Internet Access cards and other expansion functionality.

Over the years the PCMCIA form factor usage has declined as smaller size Flash cards such as CompactFlash, USB, MMC, SD and microSD cards offered a more compact version of removable memory capacity. Engineers also chose to integrate CompactFlash and other more popular memory card choices in the new designs instead of PC Card. The PCMCIA association was finally dissolved in 2009 due to lack of participation and end customer interest. To support the existing PC Card customer base, PC card to CompactFlash card extenders were widely used. However, the mechanical and environmental weakness of the extender solution proved to be mechanically inferior in many environmentally demanding Industrial Applications. Over the years, Fortasa Memory Systems, Inc. continued to support the existing demand for the PC Card while introducing larger capacity offering.