What is TF Card and How is It Different from MicroSD?

Since the introduction of the floppy disk as a storage device around two decades ago, tons of other storage devices have been created with increased capacities than the floppy disk to enable electronic device users more storage capacities that are offered by the built-in storage features of their devices.

We have seen the flash drive, MicroSD, and other storage devices that have been used in video game consoles, MP3 players, tablets, PDAs, laptops, electronic keyboards, computers, mobile phones, and what have you.

Now, there is the TF card, another form of storage device. But, what is a TF Card? What is the difference between microSD and TF Card? In this article, I will answer these two questions and highlight the features of the two cards as well. This is in addition to discussing the similarities between these two devices and why they are considered by a school of thought to refer to the same storage device.

What is a TF Card?

A TF Card or TransFlash card is a SanDisk-produced digital card with micro security and is regarded as the smallest memory card in existence, globally. The card was first introduced into the computer industry in 2004 and has continued to provide storage services for its owners.

Thus, you can use the TF card for storing your files such as songs, movies, and eBooks. It allows you to expand your mobile device’s memory to store your valuable files. You can use the TF Card with a card reader.

What is a TF card reader?

This is a simple device you insert the card in to enable you to connect it to whatever device that you want to use the card with.

What is a microSD card?

On the other hand, a microSD card is a Secure Digital card, a form of the flash drive that is easily removable from the device it is attached to. This storage device was launched by Panasonic in 1999. When this storage device was first introduced into the industry, it was primarily designed for use in smartphones and became popular due to the extra storage facility it offered smartphone users. Recently, however, some handheld GPS devices are using this portable storage device as well.

The SD Card Association designed this card to be non-volatile to offer the users the expected storage expansion facility. This device comes in four different types. These are the High-Capacity, Standard-Capacity, the SDIO, and the Extended-Capacity forms.

The card has a small footprint that makes the device the perfect storage device for thinner, smaller and more portable devices.  When the cards were initially created, they were available in different sizes from 1MB to a much higher 125 MB. At the moment, they are available in different storage sizes up to 32GB to enable them to offer larger storage space for storing your documents and files.

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The cards are also reusable. This gives you the flexibility of use. You can remove the content of any of the cards, perhaps from the card to a PC, and then use the extra space offered by the removal for storing other important files as well.

Both the microSD and the TransFlash share some outstanding similarities such as:

  • They share almost same storage capacity. Both devices support the 128MB to the 32GB storage capacity. Imagine what you can do with the 32 GB TF card.
  • They are both storage devices that were designed to offer more storage capacities to their respective users.

It can be seen that both of these storage devices provide good storage alternatives for computer and other devices users. In spite of the use of these devices for the same purpose: as storage devices, they are quite different in their modes of operation and other features. Let me give you a breakdown of the differences between the TF Card and the microSD card with a view to helping you make the right choice if you must choose between the two.

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Differences between microSD and TF Card

Their similarities notwithstanding, these are some of the differences between these storage devices:

  1. Different transfer speeds.
  2. SD card is bigger than the TF card if you take their dimensions into consideration.
  3. In terms of their areas of applications, TF cards’ use is restricted to mobile phones while SD cards can be used in media players and digital camera.
  4. SD cards have a higher number of transistors than the TF card.
  5. SD cards also offer more versatility of use. The multipurpose card can be used to perform some non-memory functions like Near Field Communication, Bluetooth, GPS, and the likes while TF cards are not designed to perform such functions. This extra functionality is made possible by the SDIO support function that is present in microSD cards.
  6. The SD card can handle a higher number of Read/Write than the TF card.
  7. Although they both support a wide array of storage capacities, the TF card can also support the 64 GB capacity while microSD cannot support that capacity.
  8. The SD card also allows the host device can make the SD card read-only due to the existence of both irreversible and reversible host that can make that happen.
  9. An SD card also has a write-protection switch to prevent writing on the card while the TF card doesn’t come with such security measure. The card also ensures that an unauthorized modification or erasure of its content is prevented. Its content also enjoys copyright protection, features that are absent in TF cards.
  10. In terms of security, TF card doesn’t boast the same degree of security offered by the SD card. The SD card comes with a security which to boost its security while the TF card doesn’t have such security switch.
  11. They are also available at different prices on the market. A look at both devices in the market will show a significant difference in their prices.

In some quarters, these devices are believed to be synonymous as some users are of the opinion that the difference doesn’t transcend beyond the naming. The supporters of this school of thought argue that TransFlash was the original name of microSD cards until the SD Association took over and renamed it microSD. However, I have successfully outlined some of the differences between microSD and TF card so that you can reach an informed conclusion on the two.

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