There’s a complicated number of reminiscence playing cards in use at the moment. There are SD playing cards, there are microSD playing cards, there are miniSD playing cards, and there are SDHC playing cards.
On this entire lineup of SD card variants lies a curious outlier – the TF card. With a very totally different naming scheme than utilized by most reminiscence playing cards, it begs the apparent query:
What’s a TF card and the way is it totally different from a typical SD card?
Why Do SD Playing cards Have So Many Names?
Allow us to first deal with the query of why there are such a lot of forms of reminiscence playing cards within the first place.
As you may know, SD playing cards (or Safe Digital Playing cards) are storage gadgets developed by Safe Digital Affiliation (normally shortened to SD affiliation or simply SDA). Shaped as a three way partnership between SanDisk, Panasonic, and Toshiba, SDA is tasked with growing semiconductor flash recollections ().
However because the know-how developed over time, these flash reminiscence playing cards began getting used with all kinds of gadgets, from MP3 gamers to iPhones. Consequently, newer variations of the SD card acquired bigger capacities. These capacities had been denoted by suffixes like HC (Excessive Capability), XC (eXtended Capability), and UC (Extremely Capability).
As this consists of all playing cards with space for storing in extra of two GB, most SD playing cards you see in use at the moment may have one in all these suffixes connected to their names. MicroSDHC playing cards are essentially the most prevalent, with the top-capacity variations being SDXC playing cards.
TF Card: SD Card for Cellular Telephones
As cell gadgets grew an increasing number of widespread, it turned clear that the way forward for computing needed to goal that phase. However SD reminiscence playing cards, even miniSD playing cards, had been too giant for the quickly shrinking cellular phone. So a brand new normal needed to be developed.
SanDisk and Motorola labored collectively to create T-Flash playing cards, boasting capacities as much as 512 MB in a measurement smaller than a fingernail. A trademark dispute with T-mobile led to the identify changing into TransFlash card, which was typically shortened to simply TF card.
As the primary Motorola telephone rolled out with the model new TF card, curiosity rose within the know-how. The SD Affiliation in the end acquired the usual, rechristening it to the MicroSD card.
This resulted within the launch of the world’s smallest reminiscence playing cards, appropriate to be used with devices of all types. Other than Android and iOS smartphones, microSD playing cards had been adopted by issues like online game consoles and dashcams.
So Are MicroSD Playing cards Totally different?
MicroSD playing cards and TF playing cards have the identical performance. A lot of the SD playing cards in use at the moment are literally microSD playing cards, because of the recognition of smartphones and digital cameras.
A TF reminiscence card is solely an older model of the microSD, with typically decrease capability. They use the identical SD card slot – any card reader (together with inner card readers in laptops) that accepts a microSD card.
MicroSD playing cards will normally reveal higher efficiency than TF playing cards, simply because they’re nonetheless being repeatedly developed by SDA. Be it storage capability or read-write speeds, microSD playing cards have come a good distance, leaving the older TF playing cards within the mud.
Can You Nonetheless Purchase TF Playing cards?
It is extremely troublesome to seek out an SD card with out the official microSD branding at the moment. The introduction of HC and XC reminiscence playing cards fully remodeled the market, and most reminiscence playing cards you should buy at the moment have storage capacities in extra of 8 GB.
As such, there’s no purpose for any producer to proceed promoting outdated TF playing cards, which had been launched earlier than high-capacity reminiscence playing cards had been a factor. The one solution to get a TF card at the moment is for those who already personal one from its preliminary launch.
How Do TF Playing cards Differ From an SD Card?
TF playing cards are simply the identify of an early iteration of the microSD card. It makes use of the identical slot, works the identical manner, and even has an analogous type issue.
The one distinction lies in technical specs. It is because microSD playing cards have continued to get updates by the SD affiliation, whereas the one TF playing cards in circulation are those bought within the early days.
Should you nonetheless possess a TF card, you may proceed utilizing it with any smartphone or card reader with none trouble. Bear in mind although that their efficiency shouldn’t be going to be on par with any trendy microSD card, and it will be.