The Difference Between a TF Card and microSD Card

In general terms the TF card and microSD card are the same. They are the same in physical size and same in most technical terms. The two devices may be used in exchange with each other.

There are some technical differences between the two which will be explained later, for now, the biggest difference between a TF card and microSD card is the history of the name.

The TF card came out first. TF card or T-Flash or TransFlash was first to market from SanDisk in 2004. SanDisk, in partnership with Motorola, created the TF card specification. The TF card was the smallest read/write memory form factor and was designed for mobile devices (thus the small size).

TF cards are based on NAND1 memory. The TF card did not last long. At the end of 2004 the Secure Digital Association, which is the governing body over Secure Digital media, absorbed the TransFlash technology and re-branded as: microSD.

This implies, the life of the TF card ended in late 2004 and the microSD card has been available ever since. This will explain why you cannot find a “TF” branded card today (2020). The other reason you cannot find TF cards today is the maximium size of only 16MBs or 32MBs at the time of production. Today you cannot find any memory device with that small of gigabyte capacity.

Here is the technical difference between the two: Micro SD cards can support SDIO mode, which means they can perform tasks unrelated to memory, such as Bluetooth, GPS, and Near Field Communication. Whereas a TransFlash card cannot perform this kind of task.

SDIO mode stands for Secure Digital Input Output, a type of Secure Digital card interface. It may be used as an interface for input or output devices.

The SD Association devised a way to standardize the speed ratings for different cards. These are defined as ‘Speed Class’ and refer to the absolute minimum sustained write speeds. Cards can be rated as Class 2 (minimum write speed of 2MB/s), Class 4 (4MB/s), Class 6 (6MB/s) or Class 10 (10MB/s). It’s important to note that these are the minimum, so it’s entirely possible a card can achieve faster speeds.

NAND is not an acronym. Instead, the term is short for “NOT AND,” a Boolean operator and logic gate. The NAND operator produces a FALSE value only if both values of its two inputs are TRUE. It may be contrasted with the NOR operator, which only produces a TRUE value if both inputs are FALSE.

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Short Review of Windows 10 Computer Stick

In 2015 Intel introduced the Compute Stick or Computer Stick – the item has been around from that point onward. The idea is simple and elegant. Intel wanted to create an HDMI dongle computer which can run Windows 10.

There is no confirmation, but our suspicion is that Intel wanted a ultra-cheap and portable solution to run Windows for embedded applications like set-top boxes (DVRs) and other IoT (Internet of Things) products. If our assumption is correct, it’s a wonderful product and is a great solution for its intended purpose.

PCWorld did an incredible overview of the Compute stick in 2016, and a connection link to that article is at the footer of this post. The PC World review outlined the specifications and performance levels of the Intel based product. We will let that article do the heavy lifting for the tech people out there, but today we want to talk about the applications one might have for a computer stick.

For only $120 (ish) off Amazon, this is an excellent solution to run Windows 10 for a host of specific applications.

computer stick

Several bullet points worth mentioning right out of the gate:

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The new iPad OS Supports Flash Drives and SD/microSD Cards

Today Apple announced the new iPadOS will support USB thumb drives. The iPad has long been toughted a workers tablet from Apple, but the relaity is their iPad didn’t provide much functionality. In addition, the devices have limited storage.

With today’s announcement the above argument could get a little muted.

Update: We learned the iPad will allow other storage devices such as external hard drives and SD or microSD cards (with USB adapters). The USB port will also allow for HID devices, such as a USB mouse and keyboard. We are not sure if the iPad will support Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, but we’ve got to assume, right!

There is no word about the connection. The connection could be one of three; an adapter, USB-C socket size or the classic USB type A socket size.

iPad accepts usb drive

Source: GetUSB.info News Site.

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The Micron c200 is 1TB of microSD Beastly Data Storage

Micron, with the corporate office based in Boise Idaho, introduces the c200 microSD card with a data storage range from 128GB to 1TB.  No that wasn’t a typo, One Terabyte of storage.  The card was designed to address the demand around 4K video recording and playback. 

The card has read speeds near 100MB/s and write speeds of near 95MB/s.  The c200 card collection can reach these speeds because of Dynamic SLC cache; which is intelligent maintenance during idle time for sustained peak performance.  The Micron microSD card uses the UHS-1 Speed Class 3 for capture and Video Speed Class 30 for support.  Meaning to get these transfer rates, the host device must also be UHS-1 compliant.

c200 microSD 1TB

In case you are wondering, the card uses Micron 98-layer 3D QLC NAND memory, which is cost effective for both consumers and commercial customers.

If you have an Android device, you can be even happier with the card meeting the Application Performance Class 2 specification which is built-in memory expansion for compatible Android devices.

The Application Performance Class 2 (A2) is defined by the Secure Digital (SD) Physical 6.0 specification. A2 makes SD memory cards higher performance devices than A1 devices by using functions of the Command Queuing and Cache framework. The Application Performance Class can be applied to UHS SDHC/SDXC Memory Card product family.

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How To: Turn Nook into Android Tablet – For Non-tech Peeps too!

If you have a Nook color or Nook tablet and have dreamed about hacking it into a full-on blown Android tablet, it’s actually possible! Take things into your own hands with the latest release from the fellows over at Nook 2 Android. It’s a lesser known fact among its general user base that the devices run Android at their core. Even less apparent to the B&N crowd is that you can make those tablets boot and run a stock Android experience. Previously limited to the Android 2.3 Gingerbread experience, Nook 2 Android (N2A) microSD cards now allow the aforementioned devices to boot directly to the same Android 4.1 Jelly Bean experience that comes with phones and tablets.  Specifically, this is a Cyanogenmod port of Android, or the preferred stock UI and features that many modders prefer to employ. In a nutshell, these cards turn the e-readers/tablets into Android tablets, complete with widgets and access to Google Play. If you own one of these two devices and wish to get in on the standard Android love, there are a number of options at your disposal. On one hand you can buy a microSD card already loaded with the bootable OS, with capacities ranging from 8GB ($29.99) up to 64GB ($69.99). On the other hand, you can opt for the $19.99 method which lets you download and install the image on your existing microSD cards. Note that not all cards and capacities may be supported. Whichever route you go, the process of booting to Android 4.1 is not far off! Continue Reading 5 Comments

SanDisk With 90MB/sec microSD Card

SanDisk is launching two new microSD memory cards today. They are officially called the “SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I cards.” What makes them special? They let you capture photos and videos at up to 90 megabytes per second which is incredible fast for any application. And as for the read speeds, they’re slightly faster at 95 megabytes per second, which isn’t going to max out a USB 3.0 connection (625 megabytes per second) anytime soon, but it’s still incredibly impressive. The 8 GB card will cost $60, while the 16 GB card will go for $100. Both should be in stores quite soon, and if you can’t wait you can buy them straight from SanDisk’s website today. Continue Reading

Read PSN From SD Media

GetUSB.info just posted a nice article on how to read the PSN from an SD card, or product serial number.  Some also call this reading the CID number from an SD card.  The CID number is a unique identifier number or serial number created on the SD or microSD media at the time of manufacturing.  This is a number which cannot be changed or manipulated by the host computer.
 
The CID number is most often used for vendors or manufacturers to lock in software to a specific device.  Since the CID number cannot be changed or modified, it’s a great way to prevent unauthorized distribution or content or software.
 
Some manufacturers require to read the CID number from SD media before the software is published and this is what GetUSB.info talks about.  For a full description of the article, make the jump:  How to read CID number from SD media.
 
Here is a snap shot of the CID reading tool for 20 SD devices:
 
 
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microSD Problems – Good Chance It’s the Media

Bunnie’s Blog had a great post about the different quality of microSD media.  I think he’s gone into more detail then any other I’ve seen on the internet.  What is worth noting in his article is the brand names that he investigated and the results that he found.  I don’t want to repeat what has already been said, but if you’ve ever been in doubt about a microSD card you’ve purchased, this article will shed some light. Take a read… . Continue Reading 8 Comments

microSD Now Interfaces With Any Microcontroller

This is a simple MicroSD adapter card. It allows you to interface with any micro-controllers. It is perfect for mass storage, WAV/MP3 player and data logging. The adapter breaks out the MicroSD socket to a standard 0.1″ 8-pin header. It can be plug directly into breadboards. This adapter features innovations that set it apart from other SD card adapter. Innovations feature like on-board card detect LED, Push-Push socket, and 3.3V regulator. Which mean either 3.3V or 5.0V micro-controller can be connected directly with the board. You can even use this 3.3V to power external circuits up to 250mA. MicroSD cards offer an inexpensive, flexible and reliable way to bring data logging and data storage solutions to your electronic design projects. Pinout:
  • VIN: Input power to the SD card (3.3V to 6.0V)
  • GND: Common (Connects to the housing of the SD socket)
  • 3V3: Output voltage from the on-board 3.3V regulator (250mA) 
  • CS: Chip select 
  • DI: Serial input data 
  • SCK: Serial clock 
  • DO: Serial output data 
  • CD: Card detect (active low)
Features:
  • On-board 3.3V regulator
  • Connect directly to 3.3V or 5.0V microcontroller
  • Card detect LED
  • Include 8-pin male header
  • Board dimension: 1.4”x0.8”
Source:  Gravitech. Continue Reading 1 Comment

microSD Card Integrated with NFC Technology From Netcom

Netcom is a Chinese company which is trying to carve out a niche market for themself by developing a NFC [Near Field Communication] chipset inside a microSD card. The technology gives the microSD card the ability to communicate via NFC as well as provide memory storage for the user.  The NFC chip sits inside the microSD slot of the host. The idea is bringing NFC technology for payment terminals to older phones which don’t have the NFC chipset or technology currently in them. The Netcom solution does require a bit of attention to make it all work.  First, the microSD slot of the host must be made of plastic.  Most are, but it’s worth noting to look before you buy. Next, the NFC chipset does require a small app loaded on the host so that communication can take place between the NFC chip itself and the host it’s sitting in.  Which makes sense, as typically that app is embedded on the phone RAM when spec’d out during production for a “certified NFC” device. Last, is the antenna coil required to sit inside the microSD card might be a bit small/short for communication of a distance more than 20mm from the terminal receiver.  Again, not a big deal as we are talking about NEAR field communication, but worth noting before buying. Source [image as well] Engadget.com. Continue Reading

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