Posts Tagged ‘microsd card’

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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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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