If I understand your question right here is what I think may be the answer...
When shooting in RAW the camera saves all info produced as a RAW file allowing you to make adjustments later to things like WB and other things.
When you shoot in jpeg the camera automatically makes these adjustments for you and compresses the file thus not taking up as much disc space allowing you to A) store more media on a disc and B) allow for faster and longer continuous shooting. The images saved in jpeg dont let you make the adjustments after-the-fact that RAW files do.
As far as I know each manufacturer uses a different format for their RAW files and also in converting them to jpeg in camera.
The final question pertaining to this is if shooting in RAW is even nessessary creates a huge debate and is one which has been discussed before both here and on other forums. At the end of the day this final question is one you will need to answer for yourself after studying the topic more.
Canon 7D + 50D + EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM + EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM + EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Pelican // Black Rapid // Think Tank // Manfrotto // Garmin
Reflections On Canadian Wildlife