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PCMCIA Glossary

PCMCIA Glossary

Here are some brief Palmtop-oriented definitions of some of PCMCIA terminology.

PCMCIA -- The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. A non-profit organization whose mission is to develop PC Card standards and promote adoption of PCMCIA-based products.

PCMCIA Card, PC Card -- A memory or I/O card compatible with the PCMCIA standard.

Memory cards (SRAM, Flash) -- PC Cards that can be used as memory or for file storage in a computer.

I/O cards -- PC Cards with communications capabilities, including LAN cards, fax/modem cards, ATA disk drives, and more.

PCMCIA Type I, II, and III -- Physical standards for the PC Cards.

  • Type I cards are the thinnest form factor a 3.3 mm thick. They are typically found as memory cards.
  • Type II cards are 5mm thick, and are typically found as I/O cards.
  • Type III cards are 10.5mm thick and are primarily used for memory enhancements or I/O capabilities that require more space, such as rotating media and wireless communication devices.
Release 1.0 and 2.0 -- The memory card standards released by PCMCIA.

  • 1.0 was released in Sept, 1990 and defined the physical and electrical characteristics of a credit card sized device that could be used as memory or file storage.
  • 2.0 was released in Sept, 1991 and added I/O capability and software support to the Release 1.0 standard. [The HP 95LX is Type II, release 1.0 and the HP 100LX is TypeII, release 2.0.]

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