How Does An SD Card Work?

Referred to as the SD card, the Secure Digital memory cards work as a storage device with multiple useful features. It was innovated as a substitute for the memory sticks. With the advent of handheld devices, SD cards have become the need of the hour. Mostly used to extend the storage space on mobile devices, an SD card can make for a preferable choice to store text messages, music, photos, videos, games and more.

It can also use an SD card to transfer your files, data, and media between devices or to also store and give it to someone else for use on another device. Handy, small and light-weight make SD card a great electronic storage option.

While an SD card can range from 1 mm thickness to 2.1 mm in physical makeup, the highlight of this memory card format is its availability in different capacities and speeds.

How To Choose An SD Card For Your Device?

Before buying an SD card you must check for its compatibility with your device. The electronic device you use, whether a smartphone, laptop, camera or any other, first ensure that your device is capable of reading the selected memory card format.

Most electronic devices such as digital cameras and smartphones are designed with an SD slot. Some PCs include memory card slots that are enabled for SD or other formats such as USB memory card. Before buying your SD card, it would be best to read the device manually so that you know which SD cards it could read. Readers can be connected by USB, PC Card or FireWire also.

The Mechanics: How Does An SD Card Work?

The SD card functions by connecting itself to a device. Every SD card is enabled with a microcontroller that helps the card to communicate with the electronic device it is plugged into. The microcontroller is activated when it saves data or retrieves it. It is the absence of the moving parts on the card that protects the data from being lost easily.

SD Cards For Data Storage

One of the major functionalities of your data card is its ability to store data. It does so by saving it in a series of electronic components known as the NAND chips which enable the data to be written and stored on the card. These chips in the SD cards enable data to be transferred swiftly. You can expect an SD card to perform better in terms of speed as compared to your CDs or hard-drive.

These NAND chips aren’t movable and thus don’t wear out easily. This facilitates the possibility of writing and re-writing on the cards. Even if you write an SD card a thousand times, their longevity can be trusted to be more than that of a CD or USB memory card.

Protect Your Data With SD Cards

Most SD cards are equipped with a lock to protect the data stored on the card. This can prevent your data from being accidentally lost. There is a little physical switch that can be used to allow or deny any new data to be written over the old data contained on the card. When turned on, the card can read-only and you won’t be able to write or overwrite any data as it is write-protected. The host can either command the SD cards to be read-only or designate a password. If it is locked with an in-built password, the user can toggle the switch when required to unlock the card for use.

Sd Card Types

The SD cards to usb come in mini and micro sizes and can be categorized accordingly. The regular SD cards are designed with a capacity of 2GB data storage while the SD High Capacity cards can hold up to 32 GB of data. You will find standard, micro as well as mini SD cards. The SD Xtended (SDXC) capacity cards can be custom-ordered or purchased directly.

These are also available in standard and micro sizes and can hold anywhere between 32GB and 2TB of data. Most of the devices are designed as backward compatible which means that a device that asks for an SDXC card will also support SDHC or an SD card memory card.

With a range of flash memory technologies available, manufacturers can supply cards with varying speeds to cater to the user’s application requirement. The SD Association has assigned different classes to the speeds to help users identify and differentiate accordingly. For instance, when purchasing an SD card, along with the storage capacity, you can also look for the appropriate card with its speed labeled as 2, 4, 6 and 10.

These assigned classes represent the minimum write speed of the card and this is measured in Megabytes/second. If as a user you wish to use your SD card for recording and saving real-time media and videos, don’t miss on checking the speed class before purchasing the card.

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