The Difference: TF Card vs micro SD Card

TF Card vs micro SD Card

Help! Is a TF card or microSD card required for my device? What IS the difference?

When it comes to memory cards, the market offers a plethora of options aimed at various devices. TF cards and microSD cards are two of the most well-known of these options. These cards are used as primary or secondary storage devices in a wide range of devices.

Having said that, there is some misunderstanding about what a TF card is. Is there a distinction between a TF card and a microSD card? Is it the same thing? Which one should I choose?

What Is a TF Card?

In 2004, Motorola and SanDisk introduced TransFlash (TF) cards as a replacement for SD cards. Secure Digital cards (SD cards), as you know, are memory cards used in digital cameras and other devices which require portable storage. Although SD cards are the most widely used storage format, they are larger and more cumbersome than a TF card.

TF cards were designed to be smaller and more compact than SD cards while still retaining SD card functionality. This means you can use a TF memory card in your digital camera or any other device that accepts an SD card with the help of an SD card adapter.

What is a MicroSD Card?

MicroSD cards are simply rebranded TF cards. When Motorola and SanDisk released the TF card in 2004, it was released as a separate standalone product. Aside from the fact that TF cards supported the same standard specifications as SD cards (except for the size), they were a distinct, non-standardized product class.

The SD Association, which is the governing body over the Secure Digital specifications and compliance guidelines, adopted TF cards as microSD cards to standardize these flash memory cards.

So, microSD cards are TF cards in disguise.

TF Card vs. microSD Card: What’s the Difference?

There are no distinctions between TF cards and microSD cards. Both can be used interchangeably. For example, if you have a TF card but your smartphone only supports microSD cards, you can use your TF card. It will work perfectly because it adheres to the same standard.

Which Card to Pick Up?

If you need a memory card for your digital camera or older gadgets but don’t need one for your smartphone, a full-sized SD card is the way to go.

On the contrary, if you need a card for your smartphone alone, you have no other option than a microSD card.

Finally, get a microSD card with an SD adapter so that you can use your card in both your smartphone and other devices. Because MicroSD cards use the same standard interface as SD cards, they can be used in place of SD cards with the help of an SD card adapter.

TF Card vs micro SD Card, adapter

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SD Card Duplicator With Unique Data Streaming

You’ve heard the quote “the devil is in the details” and when it comes to duplication of data to SD cards, nothing can be more true. Today we talk about an SD Card Duplicator which provides the ability to data stream unique content to each card.

Typically a user would duplicate the same content to SD cards because they intend to make many copies of the same content. However, my companies who use SD media (or microSD media) want to not only copy the same content to each card, but also copy unique data to each card.

Let us dig a little deeper with an example:

It is very common for companies who generate map data also want to protect their mapping information. Maps are expensive to make and often times hold proprietary information that company wants to protect. So when it comes time to use an SD Card Duplicator to make hundreds or thousands of copies, it is required to have a protection scheme included with the duplication solution.

A common method to provide protection on SD card media is using the CID number of the card. The CID number is a value which is put into “read only memory” of an SD card and that CID number is unique to each card and follows the card around. It is not possible to copy or duplicate the CID number… it is a value which is designed to only be read. In addition to the unique number, there takes specific vendor commands to read the CID number from the card itself.

With an SD Card Duplicator from Nexcopy it is possible read the CID number because Nexcopy uses the special vendor commands to read the CID value.

So this is what a mapping company can do:

  • Encrypt the mapping data
  • Include a text file with the decryption code for the maps
  • Include the CID number of the physical card in the text file mentioned above
  • Since CID numbers are unique to each card, write the unique key code text file to each card

With the SD Card Duplicator the user can export the CID numbers in bulk during the duplication process. When the CID numbers are exported in bulk, the company can write a script to generate key code text files which can only be decrypted by the card which holds the correct CID value.

The final step of the SD Card Duplicator would be writing the encrypted map data to all the SD cards (or microSD cards) and make a second duplication pass to perform the unique data stream of the encrypted file which holds the CID number and key code to each individual card.

There is certainly some custom scrips or batch files which the end-user would need to write, but the bulk of the duplicator process would be done by the Nexcopy SD Card Duplicator.

SD Card Duplicator

Secure Digital (SD) is a proprietary non-volatile memory card format created by the SD Association (SDA) for use in portable devices.

The standard was introduced in August 1999 as an improvement over MultiMediaCards (MMCs) by a collaboration of SanDisk, Panasonic (Matsushita), and Toshiba, and has since become the industry standard.

In January 2000, the companies also established the SD Association (SDA), a non-profit organization, to promote and develop SD Card standards.

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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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Lexar Intro’s New 1TB SD Card 10 Years After 1GB SD Card

Almost fifteen years ago Lexar announced it’s first 1GB SD card. Today Lexar announces their first 1TB SD card. My, how times have changed. A one GB card ten years ago cost about $125 and difficult to find at that capacity. The 1TB card announced today is $499.

If the price difference isn’t a big enough shock to you, consider the storage capacity increased this much, yet the form factor of the SD card has not changed.

This new Lexar card is a Class 10 device with transfer speeds over 95MB per second. Ideal for newer cameras capturing video in 4K.

Lexard 1TB SD Card

About Lexar:

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Toshiba Cuts Flash Memory Output

Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it has slashed production of NAND flash memory for use in USB drives and memory cards by about 30 percent at its plant in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture. It’s the first output cut for the device in about three years. The electronics maker aims to work off inventory and see a recovery in the market amid falling prices for the memory devices due to oversupply. Toshiba last reduced production of NAND flash memories after the 2009 financial crisis touched off a global economic downturn. Continue Reading

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 15 Comments

Read PSN or CID From SD Media

GetUSB.info just posted a nice article on how to read the CID (or 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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CEO of Micron Technology Steve Appleton Dies

The head of memory chip maker Micron Technology died last week in a stunt piloting expedition. Steve was in a small kit plane and taking a steep bank turn when something went wrong with the plane and ultimately crashed. Micron is a world leader in flash memory technology, and a top brand we favor here.  Micron makes memory for various devices like computers, cell phones, cameras, cars and industrial application products.
“Zoe Keliher, air investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said the crash happened during Appleton’s second attempt to fly that morning. She said Appleton’s first take-off ended abruptly — witnesses said the plane only got about 5 feet (1.5 meters) off the ground — when he landed and returned to a hangar for about five minutes.”  Source – Associated Press.
Dan Francisco, the company COO, is taking responsibility until the Micron board of directors finds a suitable replacement Chief Executive Office. Continue Reading

Difference Between SD and MMC Flash Cards

Flash memory is a basic necessity of any electronic device these days.  Today we will talk about MultiMedia Cards [MMC] and Secure Digital [SD] cards. First, a bit of history.  The MMC format was developed by SanDisk and Siemens back in 1997.  SD media was developed, jointly, by SanDisk, Panasonic and Toshiba.  The SD standard was developed to improve upon the MMC format. The two memory card types look the same.  They are both about 24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm in size, or about the size of a US postage stamp.  The one obvious, physical difference between the two is the Lock/Unlock switch on the left side of SD media.  MMC does not have a sliding switch.  The switch is meant for users to put the media into a Write Protected state.  A condition where the user could read from the card, but could not write to it, or delete content off it. The other physical difference between MMC and SD media is on the bottom side of the flash card.  The MMC has 7 copper connectors and SD had 9 copper connectors.  MMCPlus has 14 connectors on it.  For a more technical reason please read here. The MMC media has a transfer rate of around 9MB/s.  The SD media is much faster with write speeds of 10MB/s and higher [always improving]. Both MMC media and SD media, are for the most part, interchangeable when being used in electronic devices.  Of course it is always best to check with the manufacturer of your device, but it’s a general rull of thumb, both are interchangeable.  With MMC media, it is more likely a customized piece of hardware, like GPS or medical equipment will require the MMC format, where-as most MP3 players, cameras, and “retail” electronics will take both types. Continue Reading

64GB and 128GB Lexar SDXC Cards

Digital SLR cameras are eating up flash memory like there’s no tomorrow.  With common DSLRs like the Nikon D90 from Costco you’ll find the average JPEG is 11MBs big.  You switch to RAW format and that will triple.  These examples are for a standard DSLR camera, now consider the high resolution of a professional series like the D5000 or D3X. This is why photographers will be rejoiced to hear Lexar’s new line of SD media is topping the range of 64GB and 128GB.  Granted the price isn’t cheap, but if you truly care about these higher capacities and can see how it will benefit YOU, then you’re probably a photographer who doesn’t care as much about price as you do about functionality and performance. The 64GB and 128GB SDXC cards guarantee a transfer rate of 133x or about 20MB+ per second. The Lexar branded SD media isn’t available until Feb or Mar so it’ll give you enough time to save up the money for Continue Reading 2 Comments

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SD Card Duplicator Equipment

GetFlashMemory.info has reviewed SD Card Duplicators by Nexcopy.  Our results found the product to be reliable, fast and accurate.

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