The CompactFlash memory card comes in a mass storage device format and is being used in portable electronic devices. These cards come on two main sub divisions-Type I and Type II. Even though these cards are older they are the most successful formats.
Compact Flash memory card is typically used in portable electronic devices in a mass storage device format. It uses flash memory in a standard enclosure for the purpose of storage. It was in 1994 that the format was first produced by SanDisk. Nowadays the physical format is being used for a large range of devices. CompactFlash memory card became more popular than the Miniature Card, Smart Media and PC Card Type I. Mainly the cards are much smaller than Compact Flash memory card but are able to offer a comparable capacity and read/write speed. It is only the professional memory cards like P2 and SxS that are larger in a physical sense but are more expensive.
The CF cards come in two main sub divisions- Type I and Type II. The Type I CF cards are 3.3 mm thick whereas the Type II or the CF2 are 5 mm thick. It is the CF Type II slot that is being used by Microdrives or other devices like Hasselblad CFV Digital Back for medium formatted cameras. As of 2007 there are four main speeds of cards-the original CF, CF High Speed that uses CF+/CF2.0, a faster CF 3.0 standard and a more faster CF 4.0 standard. Compact Flash memory card is one of the most successful formats with a niche in the professional camera market. It has a better cost to memory-size ratio compared to other formats with larger available capacities.
The CompactFlash memory cards may be used in a PC Card slot directly with the help of a plug adapter-an ATA (IDE) or PCMCIA storage device and a passive adapter or a reader or other ports like USB/FireWire. The flash memory takes in a restricted number of erase/write cycles to a particular ‘block’ before the block can’t be written any longer. Therefore the controller of the CompactFlash memory card starts a process called wear leveling where it tries to prevent premature wearing out of the sector by selecting a location for a piece of data at write time which will result in spreading out the writing over the device.