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2 GB microSD
An SD card, miniSD card, and microSD card

microSD is a kind of removable flash memory card used for storing information. SD is an abbreviation of Secure Digital. The cards are used in mobile phones. They are also used in newer types of handheld GPS devices, portable media players, digital audio players, expandable USB flash drives, Nintendo DS flashcards, and digital cameras.

It is the smallest memory card that can be bought; at 15 mm × 11 mm × 1 mm (about the size of a fingernail), it is about a quarter of the size of a normal-sized SD card.[1] There are adapters that make the small microSD able to fit in devices that have slots for standard SD, miniSD, Memory Stick Duo card, and even USB. But, not all of the different cards can work together. Many microSD cards sold on the internet and in stores have a standard SD adapter, so that people can use them in devices that take standard SD but not microSD cards.

TransFlash and microSD cards are the same (they can be used in place of each other), but microSD has support for SDIO mode. This lets microSD cards do non-memory jobs like Bluetooth, GPS, and Near Field Communication.[2]

Some people have a hard time knowing the difference between the microSD and the newer microSDHC format. The SD and SDHC act the same, but not all devices are able to be used with the newer format. This is even true with devices that have been made by SanDisk like their e200 series of MP3 players. Using 3rd party firmware, SDHC reading can sometimes be done.[3]

TransFlash cards are sold in 16MB and 32MB sizes. microSD cards are sold in many sizes, from 64 MB to 32 GB, while microSDHC cards are sold in sizes between 4 GB to 64 GB. (This is the biggest microSD card so far, and the microSDHC format can not store anything past that amount. microSD cards with even more storage will be in microSDXC format.)

History[change | change source]

The microSD format was made by the company SanDisk. It was first called T-Flash, and then TransFlash, before being named microSD when it started to be used by the SD Card Association (SDA). Other flash card formats approved by the SDA include miniSD and standard SD card.

The SDA announced the microSD format at CTIA Wireless 2005 on March 14, 2005, and the final microSD details were announced on July 13, 2005. Then they were first sold, the microSD format was sold in sizes of 32, 64, and 128 MB. SanDisk made a 2 GB microSD card on July 2006, at first costing $99 (USD). Since then, the prices for flash memory devices have become much lower. At the time of April 2009, the same 2 GB card could be bought for as low as $12 (USD) at department stores, and by May 2009, for as low as $6 (USD) at online electronics stores. In January 2010, a 16 GB micro SD card class 2 cost about $40 (USD), and a 4 GB class 2 micro SD card about $8 (USD).

MicroSDXC cards up to 128GB exist[4].

Power Usage[change | change source]

Several manufacturers make microSD cards and they consume different amounts of electrical power. Most are in the range of 0-100 mA at a supply voltage of 3.3 V. TwinMos technologies says that the cards carry a maximum of 45 mA during transfer.[5] Toshiba lists 80-100 mA.[6]

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