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what are the merits and limitations of the different types of flash memory?

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Like most everyone these days I have a handful of USB drives that I use for all sorts of things, however I just bought a netbook to do a bit of stuff on and I was wondering why I couldn't use an SD card instead of my usual key.

I assume the internals are pretty much the same as USB keys, but the SD cards form factor is a bit more user friendly (it goes in the slot, out of harms way)

What I don't know is if there are any limitations on using these things like a 'normal' drive.  It doesn't seem logical to me that there would be, but then what do I know

I've had a hunt around and I don't seem to be able to find anything that discusses the relative merits of the different types of removable flash memory, though of course having said that, the first thing you guys will do is google the answer straight away  :mad:

Anyone able to shed some light on the subject (don't limit yourselves just to SD cards and/or USB keys either)

Down to the metal it's all flash memory inside, just the electrical interface and usually some controller to interface between the chips and the interface that makes the difference. Depending on memory and controller speed the storage speed will be different.
It's just that some form-factors are offered cheaper than the others, what makes them more popular amongst consumers, as well as the physical shape, a micro-SD card is rather annoying to take with you as it's so fragile and small, so a more robust USB stick with a keyring attached just feels better/safer. Except when it's put into a computer(-like) device. A Micro-SD card is much more convenient in a mobile phone then a USB stick...
And then there's the case of connectors: a USB plug is designed to be connected/disconnected quite often, while a micro-SD card wasn't designed for that. And where I wrote micro-SD you could replace with any of the other card-like memory devices, though the bigger sizes often have a bit more robust connectors.

I've got a Kingston MicroSD USB reader that's about as small as I imagine they can make it while still being large enough to actually handle.  Similar to:


It's on my key ring and has a 4GB MicroSD card in it so it can be used as an always handy USB memory 'stick'.  I also try to buy MicroSD cards for my cameras since they'll slide into a full size SD Card adapter for use in the camera, and the reader on my key ring is always available as a photo reader.

I imagine one day I'll upgrade the 4GB media with 16GB, but by the time I feel the need there will probably be some newfangled format that has made SD obsolete and I'll have to fork over my $20 for 512GB in the new format instead. Actually, I probably won't need anything since there will be free, unlimited storage in the cloud with unimaginable transfer rates.  Why, I won't even need a keyring anymore, since the RFID chip in my nasal cavity will let me into (and let me start) my car, as well as let me in my house.

Now, where did I leave my nasal cavity???

Why, I won't even need a keyring anymore, since the RFID chip in my nasal cavity will let me into (and let me start) my car, as well as let me in my house.
-mwb1100 (July 19, 2011, 03:04 AM)
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That would give 'putting your nose in' a whole different meaning ;D

the RFID chip in my nasal cavity will let me into (and let me start) my car
-mwb1100 (July 19, 2011, 03:04 AM)
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That's nothing to sneeze at!


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