What Are Pretec Linear Flash Cards And How Are They Different From ATA Cards

Posted by franklintom289 on February 3rd, 2015

Pretec Linear Flash Cards

Pretec linear flash cards run on the PC card flash memory format and can be operated without any batter support. These are different from the usually faster SRAM which do use better support, but however, are capable of producing much faster read and write speeds as compared to the less expensive ATA-type cards such as CompactFlash and Memory Stick.

Pretec linear flash cards support execute in place (XIP) applications on mobiles, PCs and embedded equipment. These can be written on using laptops and desktops that have card slots. Pretec Linear Flash Cards are widely used for storing sensitive data because of the non-volatile nature of the media. It also does not degrade over time and the data stored on it remains intact.

There are many positives of using Pretec linear flash cards. They provide the option of removable disk emulation using file management softwares such as Flash Translation Layer (FTL) and M-Systems TrueFFS Flash File System.

Pretec linear flash cards come with a write-protect switch that prevents over-writing over already existing valuable data stored on them. There are linear flash cards that work well in standard temperature range of 0 degree Celsius to 70 degrees Celsius and extended temperature range of -40 degree Celsius to 85 degree Celsius.


The main drawback of linear flash cards is their inability to store large sized data since these are available in small card sizes. One can get linear flash cards up to 40 megabytes and less, though Pretec supplies linear flash cards in storage range of 256 kilobytes to 16 megabytes only. Linear flash cards are also costlier that the ATA storage cards available out there and tend to develop bad blocks on them after around 100,00 erase/write cycles. This can affect their long term reliability and one should be careful while purchasing them second-hand.

Specification of Pretec Linear Flash Cards

Physical Dimensions: 85.6 mm x 54 mm x 3.3/5 mm

Optional Attribute Memory: 8 KB E2PROM

Read Voltage: 5 V

Block Structure: 128 K or 256 K

Linear Flash Cards Vs ATA Flash Cards

At present there are two types of flash memory cards architecture being employed- ATA and Linear. Memory cards of either type can be used by the same card slots and drivers on desktops, laptops and mobile devices. In a linear flash card, data is transmitted in a linear manner. It uses a Flash File System to transfer data in blocks. ATA cards on the other hand have an on-card controller that facilitates error correction coding, bad-block mapping, dynamic adjustment of performance, self-te3sting, diagnostics and other functions.

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