Flash memory is a basic necessity of any electronic device these days.Â Today we will talk about MultiMedia Cards [MMC] and Secure Digital [SD] cards.
First, a bit of history.Â The MMC format was developed by SanDisk and Siemens back in 1997.Â SD media was developed, jointly, by SanDisk, Panasonic and Toshiba.Â The SD standard was developed to improve upon the MMC format.
The two memory card types look the same.Â They are both about 24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm in size, or about the size of a US postage stamp.Â The one obvious, physical difference between the two is the Lock/Unlock switch on the left side of SD media.Â MMC does not have a sliding switch.Â The switch is meant for users to put the media into a Write Protected state.Â A condition where the user could read from the card, but could not write to it, or delete content off it.
The other physical difference between MMC and SD media is on the bottom side of the flash card.Â The MMC has 7 copper connectors and SD had 9 copper connectors.Â MMCPlus has 14 connectors on it.Â For a more technical reason please read here.
The MMC media has a transfer rate of around 9MB/s.Â The SD media is much faster with write speeds of 10MB/s and higher [always improving].
Both MMC media and SD media, are for the most part, interchangeable when being used in electronic devices.Â Of course it is always best to check with the manufacturer of your device, but it’s a general rull of thumb, both are interchangeable.Â With MMC media, it is more likely a customized piece of hardware, like GPS or medical equipment will require the MMC format, where-as most MP3 players, cameras, and “retail” electronics will take both types.
DRAMeXchange published a market research paper stating that NAND flash memory will continue to flood the market at lower prices. NAND flash memory is primarily used for storing songs, photos and other data on gadget type devices like digital cameras, MP3 players and iPods. The biggest contributing factor on why the market will continue to see cheap NAND is lack of sales.
Since production forecasts run months ahead, the market has sitting inventory. To move this inventory prices are continueing to drop. For example, DRAMeXchange reported a drop of 20% in June for NAND memory related devices.
The NAND flash market has been so bad that the creator of the chips, SanDisk, on Monday reported a surprise loss of US$68 million for the second quarter. The company blamed the supply glut for its problems, pointing out that it sold a record amount of flash, 120 percent more than the same time last year, but that prices are down 55 percent compared to then.
SanDisk also reported the flash memory pricing might get worse [better for us] in the third quarter. So, it might be a good idea to start picking out your Christmas items now and make sure it’s some type of flash gadget.
On the flip side, with today’s surplus means these companies are cutting back production as well, so once this flood dries up, we could see a shortage for NAND and prices jumping up…and the cycle goes on.
Source: Network World.
As things unfold for the miCard today we find a picture of the first [actual] product.
Here we see the Pretec S-Diamond miCard which is the new memory card standard from the MMC Association. The new format is expected to house anywhere from 128MB to 2TBs!
Measuring only 21mmX12mmX1.95mm, miCard is the smallest USB flash drive in the world, with an area 40% smaller than miniSD (volume is about 18% smaller than miniSD).
miCard can also be an SD/MMC card with an inexpensive adapter. The specification of miCard should be able to be released to MMCA members later this year.
S-Diamond is the 2nd generation of Pretec i-Disk Diamond series, which has been the smallest USB flash drive for years, which can now also serve as an SD/MMC card, saving not only consumers cost, but also saving hassles by getting rid of card readers and carrying multiple flash cards in different form factors.