xD Picture Card , the Fuji and Olympus memory card

The full title of the xD card, the xD-Picture Card, gives away its target market, it being squarely aimed at the digital camera market. And if that wasn\’t enough, the fact that it was developed by Fuji and Olympus, two camera firms, gives the game away completely. The xD card is designed to store pictures for safekeeping and to transfer them quickly and easily to a PC or photo-development system (such as an in-store kiosk). Announced in 2002 the format was intended to take over from SmartMedia cards, which had done an excellent job, but had an in-built 128MB size limit and were physically too large for the smaller cameras beginning to emerge at the beginning of the century. The format was based very closely on that of SmartMedia cards, being just an enclosure around a NAND flash memory chip with an interface very close to that of the chip\’s own pinouts, in the same way that SmartMedia had. This kept manufacture simple and cheap, there being no need for a separate controller as in some other formats, such as Secure Digital SD. From a marketing point of view, xD has not really delivered in the way that Fuji and Olympus hoped it would. CompactFlash, the venerable format that is a similar size to SmartMedia, has kept its position as the card of choice for high-end professional cameras. This is because camera size in that market segment is such that the larger physical size of the card isn�t a problem, and the bigger capacities that CF offers make a big difference to professional photographers. At the same time, SecureDigital...

Pin It on Pinterest