What’s the difference between one memory card and another? Part 1: Size matters!

They say that size matters, and it really does when it comes to memory cards.

We’re not referring to the physical size of a card here, although SD and microSD memory cards are small, very small, which makes them the perfect form factor for devices where space is limited.

The size that we’re more interested in is the data storage capacity of a card.

Just how much data can you store on something that is the size of a postage stamp or fingernail?

Plans, files, photographs, videos… all can be stored on SD memory cards. If your device/application generates a lot of images or video footage you’re going to need significant storage. Failure to secure sufficient storage could result in not all data being captured, inferior quality data being captured, data corruption and application failure.

Back in 1999 when the first SD cards came onto the market, the SD Standard Capacity (SDSC) specification offered capacities up to 2GB of data storage. SD cards offering this much storage weren’t actually available until the mid-2000s.

In 2006 that the SD Association announced a new storage capacity standard, SDHC (SD High Capacity), which went up to 32GB. This standard was established to meet the growing demand for High Definition (HD) video and high-resolution image recording.

Just three years later (2009), SD Extended Capacity (SDXC) was announced, offering storage up to 2TB.

Customers craving even more memory had to wait until 2018 and the new SDUC (SD Ultra Capacity) specification, under which capacities could reach up to 128TB. For now though Lexar’s 1TB SDXC (announced in January 2019) is the largest card in production. microSDXC cards courtesy of Lexar and SanDisk are expected in April 2019.

But size isn’t everything, and big isn’t always best.

There’s no point in having a card that can store a lot of data if the read/write transfer speed of the card can’t keep pace with the speed at which data is generated. More on this in Part 2 of our ‘SD cards – it’s what on the inside that counts’ – coming soon!

Got a data dilemma?

Worried about choosing the right memory solution for your application? Worry no more. Contact the flash memory experts at Cardwave today.

We’re leading experts in the sector, with 15 years experience working with top OEMs, our business is understanding your business. We have strategic partnerships with all the principal flash memory manufacturers and are perfectly placed to deliver the right solution, at the right price. We ask all the right questions to fully understand your requirements before making a recommendation.

Call +44 (0) 1380 738395 | Email

Related Posts

Part 1: Size Matters

Part 2: Need for Speed