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PC Card (formerly PCMCIA card) was a 16-bit peripheral interface standard used by early mobile devices. The specifications for PC Cards and its successor, CardBus, were developed by the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA).


PCMCIA cards were originally designed for memory-expansion cards for data storage, based on development by the Japan Electronic Industries Development Association (JEIDA).[1] Because PC Cards were based on the 16-bit ISA data bus standard, they also supported a range of other devices, such as hard drives, modems, and network cards. These were superseded by CardBus, based on the 32-bit PCI bus.[2]


Card types specify only the physical thicknesses of the card.[1]

  • Type I: 3.3 mm (0.13 inch) thick
  • Type II: 5.0 mm (0.20 inch) thick
  • Type III: 10.5 mm (0.41 inch) thick
  • Type IV: 16 mm (0.63 inch) thick, not officially standardized and only supported by Toshiba
  • CompactFlash: A subset of the PCMCIA standard that used 50 of the 68 pins to support the IDE interface. CF Type I adapters allowed smaller CF cards to be accepted in a PC Card slot.[3]


  • PCMCIA Standard Release 1.0/JEIDA 4.0 - June 1990, based on the form factor used by the Neo Geo game system, supported Type I and II sizes.
  • PCMCIA Standard Release 2.0/JEIDA 4.1 - September 1991
  • PCMCIA Standard Release 2.01 - November 1992, added the Type III form factor.
  • PCMCIA Standard Release 2.1/JEIDA 4.2 - July 1993
  • PC Card Standard Release 5.0 - February 1995, introduced the CardBus standard.
  • PC Card Standard 5.01 Update - March 1995
  • PC Card Standard 5.02 Update - May 1995
  • PC Card Standard 5.03 Update - November 1995
  • PC Card Standard 5.04 Update - March 1996
  • PC Card Standard Release 6.0 - March 1997
  • PC Card Standard 6.1 Update - April 1998
  • PC Card Standard 7.0 Release - February 1999
  • PC Card Standard 7.1 Update - March 2000
  • PC Card Standard 7.2 Update - November 2000
  • PC Card Standard 8.0 Release - April 2001, introduced the CardBay standard.

Apple models with PC Card support[]

Some newer Apple models supported CardBus, which were backwards compatible with PC Cards.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 PC Card Technology Primer, The Worldwide Organization for Modular Peripherals. Archived 1999-08-27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 PowerBooks with CardBus Support by Daniel Knight, Low End Mac. 2018-04-03.
  3. PC Card Primer, The Official PCMCIA Association website. Archived 2010-02-04.

See also[]

External links[]


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