Short for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association, PCMCIA is a trade association founded in 1989 that is responsible for the ongoing development of the PCMCIA standard. PCMCIA cards are hardware interfaces that are slightly bigger than a standard credit card and enable additional functionality for laptop computers and other portable devices.
If you're familiar with expansion cards in desktop computers, you can think of a PCMCIA card as an expansion card for a laptop. The first picture to the right is an example of a PCMCIA card inserted into the bottom slot of the computer. The second image is an example of a PCMCIA SMC EZ Card 10/100 wireless network card, which enables a laptop computer or other portable device to connect to a wireless network.
The term PC Card is being used as a replacement to PCMCIA card because of the ongoing changes in the technology and because it is much easier to remember. It also should not be confused with a PCI card, which is used in desktop computers.
Today, the PC Card is being replaced by the new ExpressCard standard.