Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » P »

PCMCIA

Short for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association, and pronounced as separate letters, PCMCIA is an organization consisting of some 500 companies that has developed a standard for small, credit card-sized devices, called PC Cards. Originally designed for adding memory to portable computers, the PCMCIA standard has been expanded several times and is now suitable for many types of devices. There are in fact three types of PCMCIA cards. All three have the same rectangular size (85.6 by 54 millimeters), but different widths

  • Type I cards can be up to 3.3 mm thick, and are used primarily for adding additional ROM or RAM to a computer.
    • Type II cards can be up to 5.5 mm thick. These cards are often used for modem and fax modem cards.
  • Type III cards can be up to 10.5 mm thick, which is sufficiently large for portable disk drives.
  • As with the cards, PCMCIA slots also come in three sizes:

  • A Type I slot can hold one Type I card
    • A Type II slot can hold one Type II card or one Type I card
  • A Type III slot can hold one Type III card or any combination of two Type I or II cards.
  • In general, you can exchange PC Cards on the fly, without rebooting your computer. For example, you can slip in a fax modem card when you want to send a faxand then, when you're done, replace the fax modem card with a memory card.







    TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
    DID YOU KNOW?
    The Great Data Storage Debate: Is Tape Dead?

    Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »

    Apple Pay Promises to Strengthen Payment Security

    Experts believe that Apple Pay and other competitive payment systems will be far more secure than cards, even cards equipped with EMV chips. Read More »

    Internet of Things Shaping IT's Future

    To make the IoT both work and pay off, IT is juggling upgrading and building app-centric networks, mapping out new data center architectures and... Read More »

    QUICK REFERENCE
    Webopedia Polls

    The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »

    How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website

    This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Read More »

    Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

    Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »