Things to Know About SD Cards

In today’s digitally-advanced world, storing and managing digital files is a major concern for users of all devices and platforms. Some prefer cloud storage platforms for keeping their data safe, whereas others prefer physical, digital storage equipment such as external hard drives, servers, etc.

One of the most common storage components that tons of users all around the globe use are SD cards. This article will shed light on what SD cards are, their purposes, and numerous other aspects related to them. Let us begin:

What is an SD Card?

An SD card is a small thumb-sized memory storage card used for storing different digital files. The term SD stands for “Secure Digital.” A Secure Digital card is generally used to read and write heaps of data in an extensive range of mobile electronics, cameras, etc.

Earlier, SD cards were very commonly used with mobile phones. However, since the popularization of internal storage space on smartphones, SD cards are rarely used in them. There are numerous varieties of SD cards readily available in the market. The maximum capacities range up to a whopping 128 TB.

Different Types of SD Cards:

As mentioned earlier, different types of SD cards are readily available for users. Here is a look at some of the most popular types of SD cards:

  • SD – The original SD card was one of the first types of SD cards to be manufactured. Sadly, it is no longer produced, mainly due to better and more advanced types of cards. It featured a maximum of 2 GB memory and was based on the FAT16 file system.
  • SDHC – SDHC stands for Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC). SDHC cards came out in 2006 and are still popular. This type of SD card features up to 32 GB of storage space and is based on the FAT32 file system.
  • SDXC – SDXC cards or Secure Digital eXtended Capacity Cards came out in 2009. As its name suggests, an SDXC card can store up to 2 TB of data. These cards are based on the exFAT file system.
  • SDUC – Secure Digital Ultra Capacity cards originated in 2018. These ultra-capacity cards feature up to 128 TB of data and are based on the exFAT file system.

How to Format SD Cards:

Every individual who purchases any type of SD card is advised to format it before using it to store any type of data. Hence, before we get into what SD cards are used for, let us look at how macOS and Windows users can format SD cards without hassle:

Formatting SD Cards on macOS – macOS users need to follow different ways to format different types of SD cards. One of the quickest ways to format SD card on Mac is by using the native Disk Utility. All they need to do is connect the SD card to Mac, open Disk Utility, and click on the “Erase” option after choosing the desired card.

Formatting SD Cards on Windows – Windows users can format any type of SD card using Windows explorer. All they need to do is connect the SD card, open their computer’s File Explorer, right-click on the SD card they wish to format, select the “Quick Format” option and click on the “Start” option.

Uses of SD Cards:

SD cards have been catering to numerous needs of users for many years now. Here are some of the most prominent uses of SD cards:

  • Storage Component

Most types of SD cards are used for storing different types of digital files, such as videos, music files, documents, pictures, etc. For instance, users with smartphones featuring expandable memory use SD cards to prevent their device’s internal storage space from filling up.

Besides smartphones, SD cards are majorly used in digital cameras. Most professionals who use high-end cameras for capturing photos use SDXC or SDHC cards since the photos captured using the cameras feature gigantic sizes.

  • GPS Expansion Card

GPS systems are still widely used in different parts of the world as distinct units. However, they often run out of space, which is where SD cards come in. Individuals with GPS units that are compatible with SD cards often use them to download new maps and voices.

  • Boot Device

There are numerous instances when computers refuse to boot or start due to internal issues. This is where an SD card comes in. SD cards can be used as emergency boot devices to start a Windows PC.

However, to use an SD card as a bootable device, users need to turn it into a USB stick using an SD to USB converter. Once the user inserts the SD card into the converter, it will work like a flash drive.

Even though SD cards are not used in modern smartphones nowadays, they are a crucial part of digital cameras and multiple other electronic devices. Thanks to their top-tier features, SD cards are one of the most popular storage components globally.

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