What is PCMCIA?

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PCMCIA is the short for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association. It is pronounced as separate letters. PCMCIA is also known as PC Card.

PCMCIA was 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. You can exchange PC Cards without rebooting your computer.

There are three types of PCMCIA cards, all of them are rectangular and measure 8.56 by 5.4 cm, but have 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 usually used for I/O devices as modem or 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.

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