The Three Different Types of Memory Storage Cards

Storage cards are something just about all of us buy. Whether we need extra memory storage on our mobile devices or for our digital camera, SD cards are the way to go. But did you know that these highly compact and efficient flash storage cards are available in three different types? In fact, each type caters to the needs of the user.

Memory Storage Cards

Type 1: The SD Card

You know what’s great about classics? They’re original. There is something to be said for that very first, original creation. The SD card was the very first storage card. It was created in 1999 with a maximum storage capacity of 2GB, which was huge back then. It used Microsoft’s FAT-12 or FAT-16 file format.

The original SD card quickly replaced CD-Roms, and it spelt the bitter end for dinosaurs like the ZIP disk and eons older Floppy. For those of us who remember 1999, the first SD card seemed like something out of science fiction. It was compact, portable, and stored a ton more data than any other comparable device.

Type 2: The SDHC Card

Sometimes improvements are a good thing, and this was certainly the case when the second type of SD card, the SDHC, made its debut in 2006. By this time, the Internet was a global force. File sizes from standard to photo files has inflated dramatically as more detail was stored. As a result, flash memory storage needs rose.

The SDHC is a high capacity version of the original SD. It is capable of storing up to 32GB of data. It uses Microsoft’s FAT-32 format. But as quickly as this super storage device came out, our storage needs rose yet again.

Type 3: The SDXC Card

In 2009, we were on the brink of high definition. Videos were on their way from 720p to 1080p. Media files were taking up more and more disk space, as they became higher and higher quality. Three years after the high capacity SD card hit the market; it didn’t seem so “high capacity” anymore.

The new and improved SDXC hits the market. This extended capacity flash card was capable of storing up to 2TB of data, and it used Microsoft’s exFAT (or extended File Allocation Table) format.

Buying An SD Card Today

Today, we have access to all three of these SD cards. Thanks to the invention of the exFAT format in 2009, it’s likely that we will see upwards to 512TB cards in the future. But until then, the three SD (Secure Digital) card choices at our fingertips are viable options for most anyone’s needs.

An 8GB to 16GB card is big enough for most portable memory purposes. However, some choose to opt for a 32GB to 64GB card just to have extra space. Cards of this size are great for high-resolution digital cameras, MP3 players, and cell phones.

64GB to 128GB flash cards are available, but not all devices can support SD cards of this size. If you feel you need the extra space, be sure to check your device to make sure it is supported before making your purchase. Some cellular and mobile devices can support these cards.

SD cards with 128GB to 2TB of space are not supported by most cellular devices. If your portable storage needs are in the 1 to 2TB range, you should compare the SDXC card to an external hard drive. Depending on your needs and budget, an external USB hard drive may be the better purchase.

As we plunge ever forward into a digital world where higher quality files are continually created, we are sure to see new and improved SD storage devices. As more devices that are diverse become available, it’s up to us to choose the ones best suited to our individual needs.