Image Number 7 for United States Patent #6208044.
A media ejection system includes a peripheral unit having a housing, an ejection mechanism, and a memory wire coupled to the ejection mechanism. The system further includes a digital processor for issuing ejection commands, and a controller responsive to the ejection command for controlling a current flow through the memory wire. When sufficient current flows through the memory wire, it contracts to activate the ejection mechanism, thereby ejecting a removable medium (such a PCMCIA card) from the housing of the peripheral unit. A method of the invention includes the steps of receiving an ejection request, issuing a ejection command in response to the ejection request, where the ejection command includes parameters for controlling current flow through the metal alloy, and electrically energizing the memory alloy in accordance with the parameters such that the memory alloy undergoes a dimensional change to activate a removable medium ejection mechanism.