The demand for portable data storage, and lots of it, has increased along with the number of portable electronic devices easily available. Kingston offers a card that answers that need -- but DMOS finds that the solution comes with an important trade-off.
These days, many people are carrying more and different types of electronic devices with them, everywhere they go. This has led to an increase in the porting of data, in the form of music contained in devices like iPods, USB keydrives, PDAs, MP3 players and photo/video cellular phones. All of these various devices for the most part have the capability for expandable flash memory of one type or another. One of the most common is the Secure Digital format, which is small, thin, and now finally, dense enough in memory size. Today on DevHardware we are taking a look at a 512MB model of these cards, from Kingston.
Of memory found in cameras, PDAs and MP3 players, the two options are usually divided between SD and Compact Flash (CF). Some even are capable of handling both (like my Toshiba e830 PocketPC), but usually only support one of the two memory formats. The obvious difference is in physical size, SD being much smaller in every dimension. The packaging benefits have seen SD take over in devices where there isn't room for a CF card without altering the design to accommodate something that size.
Where SD faltered previously was in terms of cost and actual storage area. As with most things, there are always compromises to be made; what you gain in packaging with SD you lose relative to CF by not being able to get 1GB+ of storage, and paid significantly more for an equal amount of memory. Previously CF was the only format to allow for "I/O" activities; you could attach camera, WLAN, Bluetooth, and other modules through it's interface. SD has now added that to the specification, but only some newer devices support that, and there is right now a smaller base of modules for it. That's a minor detail in most situations now, as other than GPS, all of the above devices are available internally on many PDAs, where you would have the software support to use them.
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