|64Mb 3.3v SmartMedia card|
image by AWCam (Image rights)
SmartMedia is a form of flash memory card frequently used in digital cameras in the early 2000s. The format was developed by Toshiba, launched c. Summer 1995, based on NAND Flash technology. The package was a thin (0.76 millimetre thick) plastic rectangle 45x37mm, with a corner notch for orientation. One side carried a surface contact area, and a marked circle where a metallic sticker could be placed for write protection.
The original cards worked at 5volts; later technology ran at 3.3v. To distinguish these, the 3.3v cards had the top-right corner (as oriented in the photo, right) cut off; 5v cards have the top-left corner cut.
Capacities ranged from 512kb to 128Mb, and data transfer was limited to a rate of 2MB/s - small and slow by today's standards. Early cards could be read through a "FlashPath" floppy-disk adaptor, in a 3.5-inch floppy drive; this was a very slow method of reading, but was compatible with the many computers that in the 1990s did not have USB connections. Most cards are labelled "ID", meaning they have a unique serial number written in to the card, intended for rights management/copy protection, but this has been used only rarely.
The cards are no longer in production.
- SSFDC Forum formed in 1996 - group of companies formed to promote the format
- Wikipedia FlashPath has a photo