Memory card reader

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Typical modern memory card reader, compatible with many common formats

A memory card reader is a device, typically having a USB interface, for accessing the data on a memory card such as a CompactFlash (CF), Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMediaCard (MMC). Most card readers also offer write capability, and together with the card, this can function as a pen drive.

Some printers and personal computers have a built-in card reader.

A multi card reader is used for communication with more than one type of flash memory card. Multi card readers do not have built-in memory capacity, but are able to accept multiple types and styles of memory cards.

The number of compatible memory cards varies from reader to reader and can include more than 20 different types. The number of different memory cards that a multi card reader can accept is expressed as x-in-1, with x being a figure of merit indicating the number of memory cards accepted, such as 35-in-1. There are three categories of card readers sorted by the type and quantity of the card slots: single card reader (e.g. 1x SD-only), multi card reader (e.g. 9-in-1) and series card reader (e.g. 4x SD only).

Some kinds of memory cards with their own USB functions do not need the card reader, such as the Intelligent Stick memory card, which can plug directly into a USB slot.

The USB device class used is 0x08.

Modern UDMA-7 CompactFlash Cards and UHS-I Secure Digital cards provide data rates in excess of 89 MBytes/sec and up to 145 Mbytes/sec,[1] which require memory card readers capable of USB 3.0 data transfer rates [2]

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