3 Examples of Flash Memory Devices and How They Work

We store and transfer a wide range of media files on our computers – from music files and digital photographs to PDFs and countless other documents. However, there are times when you want your information backed up on other portable devices. That’s where electronic memory or flash storage can help.

Flash memory, commonly known as flash storage, is widely used for data storage as well as data transfer in consumer devices, industrial applications, and enterprise systems. 


Based on electrically erasable programmable ROM technology, the flash memory devices wipe the data in units called blocks and rewrite data at the byte level. To know more about Flash Memory devices, read on! 

3 Examples of Flash Memory Devices and How They Work
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Flash Storage Technology At a Glance

The Flash storage technology was invented back in 1980 by Dr. Fujio Mauoka at Toshiba. While the company commercially introduced flash memory to the market in 1987, it was named after its capability to wipe off a block of data "in a flash”. 

The basic agenda behind its invention was to come up with a memory chip that can preserve data when there is no power. Today, this electronic memory is extensively used everywhere. 


From car radios to smartphones, digital cameras to PDAs, solid-state drives to tablets and printers, you name it and you will find it.

Memory Stick

Launched by Sony in 1998, Memory Stick is the removable version of the flash memory card. It is used in electronic devices as well as cameras and camcorders. As a marquee product from Sony, Memory Stick is nearly seen in all the company’s flagship gadgets. 

While it is most commonly used for easy and fast information storage, it is vastly distinct from conventional ROM. This means it cannot only edit and read data but also retain the data for a good period of time no matter if the device is powered on or off.


With more technological advancements, the family of Memory Sticks got an upgrade to the Memory Stick PRO, which is considered the fastest card ever made. While it is available in 8 GB, 16 GB, or 32 GB versions, you can expect a greater file transfer capability with a maximum transfer speed of 50 MB/s.

Memory Card

Also known as memory cartridge, a memory card is another form of electronic data storage that is fairly popular among masses. This portable device, a typical form of a flash memory system, is basically used for storing digital information. 

As it is a chip and does not contain any moving part, it cannot be easily damaged. A memory card is ideal for use in portable devices, such as digital cameras, tablets, MP3 players, mobile phones, digital pianos, and electronic keyboards, etc. 

How much data can a memory card can store, you may ask? It depends on its memory capacity that ranges from 1 GB to 256 GB and beyond. 

While there are many types of memory cards, such as MultiMediaCard or CompactFlash, the most common ones include SD cards or MicroSD. Having a micro card in your device enables you to store a sufficient amount of videos, pictures, audio, and other types of file formats. 


3 Examples of Flash Memory Devices and How They Work
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Widely known as a solid-state floppy disk card or SSFDC, smart-media card is another form of the flash memory device. It was developed by Toshiba in 1995 to give a tough fight to MiniCard, CompactFlash, and PC Card formats. 

SmartMedia hit the market as the successor to the computer floppy disk and was one of the first memory cards to be produced and used in digital cameras and other electronic devices. 

While the SmartMedia card is now considered obsolete and is no longer produced in the market, it had a smaller capacity, ranging from 2 MB to 128 MB. 

The Bottom Line 

Flash memory technology is one of the most important forms of semiconductor memory technology used today. New developments in this field are leading to low cost and more resistant products. The flourishing market is stretching its possibilities to keep your memory stored in the best possible way.