There are dozens of flash memory formats on the market and that's not really positive for the consumer. Thousands of users must be frustrated every week when they discover that their old memory card(s) don't fit anymore in their new digital camera or cell phone.
Fortunately this may soon change. Big manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Micron, Spansion, MTMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments are working together on a common flash memory card format:
The new memory card type, called Universal Flash Storage (UFS) aims to remove some of the confusion and need for adapters to accommodate the market's current clusterfuck of memory card sizes.
Today's electronics consumers have the unhappy task of distinguishing between CompactFlash I, CompactFlash II, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Micro M2, Multimedia Card, Reduced Size Multimedia Card, MMCmicro Card, Secure Digital Card, miniSD Card, microSD Card, PC Card, xD-Picture Card, Intelligent Stick, Serial Flash Module, µ card, NT Card, and the out of commission SmartMedia card. Each card, of course, is physically different and not interchangeable. This is why your aunt Gertrude had to be taken to the hospital.
Sweet relief, however, lies well beyond the horizon. UFS isn't expected to be finalized until 2009. And if you take the viewpoint of a Negative Nancy, this could turn out to be just another format to chose from.