A PCMCIA card is
|“||slightly larger than a credit card but with a connector on one end, and plugs directly into a standard slot in a computer.||”|
Other types of PCMCIA cards can be used to provide extra and portable memory capacity and to provide communications capability.
PCMCIA cards can protect secret values adequately in most cases while still leaving room for additional physical tamper protection mechanisms. Disadvantages include a requirement for a PCMCIA card reader. Although common on laptop computers, PCMCIA card readers are not common in desktop computers. This imposes a significant added cost factor. The added expense of purchasing a card reader for every desktop workstation may be cost prohibitive especially in organizations with large numbers of desktop computers.