Complete guide to memory cards

Ever wonder what these little chips are? Confused by the names?

We are here to help you.

This article deals with the different memory components available on the market for mobile phones.

Memory card

MS Memory Stick is a removable flash memory card format, released by Sony in October 1998, and is also generally used to describe the entire Memory Stick family. This family includes Memory Stick Pro, a revision that allows for higher maximum storage capacity and faster file transfer speeds, and Memory Stick Duo, a small form factor version of Memory Stick.

50.0 × 21.5 × 2.8 mm

Memory stick duo

MS Duo

31.0 × 20.0 × 1.6 mm

The Memory Stick Duo, which is slightly smaller than the competitive Secure Digital format, was developed in response to Sony’s need for a smaller flash memory card for pocket digital cameras and cell phones, as well as for Sony PSP. Memory Stick Duos are available in the same variants as their larger cousins ​​(regular ones limited to 128MB, larger Pro Sticks, with and without high-speed mode, with and without MagicGate support) and a simple adapter (often sold along with the Memory Stick Duo) allows you to use a Duo on any device that can accept its larger cousins.

Memory Stick Micro M2

15.0 × 12.5 × 1.2 mm

In a joint venture with SanDisk, Sony announced a new Memory Stick format on September 30, 2005. The new Memory Stick M2 (“micro”) measures 15 × 12.5 × 1.2 mm and could theoretically have 32GB in the future. The maximum transfer speed is 160MB / s. It will come with an adapter, just like the Duo Sticks, to ensure compatibility with current Pro devices.

Multimedia card


32 × 24 × 1.5 mm

The MMC or MultiMediaCard was introduced in 1997 by SanDisk Corporation and Siemens AG. At the time, the MMC card was the smallest postage stamp-sized memory card on the market based on flash memory technology. The MMC card is very similar to the Secure Digital memory card; in fact, the SD memory card is based on the MMC card. They are almost the same form factor, the only differences being that SD memory cards are slightly thicker and have a write protect switch.

Since the MMC card had a slow transfer speed, 2.5MB / s, compared to other memory cards, mainly compared to the SD memory card, a new high-performance version of the card was introduced in 2005 MMC with the name MMCplus. The MMCplus today has the highest theoretical data transfer rate, up to 52MB / sec, in the entire memory card industry.

The MultiMediaCard Association announced that by the end of 2005 the secureMMC application will be available only for MMCplus and MMCmobile memory cards. SecureMMC is a copyright protection application that has DRM capabilities, VPN and digital rights management, virtual private network.

Small size multimedia card


16 × 24 × 1.5 mm

MMCmobile (RS-MMC)

RS-MMC, Small Size MultiMediaCard, was introduced in 2003 by the MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA) as the second form factor memory card in the MultiMediaCard family. The RS-MMC is a smaller version of the standard MMC card, about half the size, and was specifically designed to be used by mobile phones and other small portable devices.

Small size dual voltage media card


16 × 24 × 1.5 mm

In 2005 the dual voltage (DV) RS-MMC was introduced. It is basically the same card as the standard RS-MMC but runs on dual voltage, 1.8V and 3.3V, leading to lower power consumption, contributing to longer battery life of host devices. The DV RS-MMC and RS-MMC are fully compatible with each other, but since some mobile phones, mostly from Nokia, only work with 1.8V cards, the normal RS-MMC will not work. We recommend always purchasing the dual voltage RS-MMC to make sure your memory card will work with the electronic device.

MMCmicro card


12 × 14 × 1.1 mm

The MMCmicro, formerly known as the S-CARD introduced by Samsung, was adopted and introduced in 2005 by the MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA) as the third form factor memory card in the MultiMediaCard family. MMCmicro is the smallest memory card, the size of a fingernail, in the MultiMediaCard family and one of the smallest in the world. It was specifically designed for use in mobile phones and other small portable devices.

The MMCmicro memory card is available with an adapter, MMCplus. This makes it not only compatible with all MMC and MMCplus slots, but also with all SD memory card slots. It is important to note that music stored in MultiMediaCards cannot be played when inserted into an SD memory card slot due to the copyright protection functions supported by the SD slots.

Since MMCmicro is the latest memory card developed and introduced in the market, it is still not as compatible with many mobile phones and electronic devices. Still, it is expected to be one of the memory card formats that will dominate in the mobile phone industry between the leading microSD and the Memory Stick Micro in development.

Secure Digital Card

South Dakota

32 × 24 × 2.1 mm

The SD or Secure Digital memory card was introduced in 2001 by SanDisk Corporation, Matsushita (Panasonic) and Toshiba. The SD memory card was based on the MultiMediaCard, MMC memory card standard and has almost the same form factor, the size of a postage stamp, the only differences are that the SD memory card is a little thicker and has a write protect switch. Since MMC cards are thinner than SD memory cards, they can be used in all SD memory card slots, but not vice versa.

The SD memory card is the most widely used memory card today. It can be found in most digital cameras, PDAs, and many other electronic devices. The SD memory card slots can be used for more than just flash memory cards. SDIO, Secure Digital In & Out, is the general name for the many expansion modules that can be found in the SD memory card form factor. SDIO modules can be inserted into the slot and used for other functions like Bluetooth adapters, GPS receivers, digital cameras, TV tuners, etc.

miniSD card


21.5 × 20 × 1.4 mm

The miniSD was introduced in 2003 by SanDisk Corporation in cooperation with Matsushita (Panasonic) and Toshiba. Later that year, the SD Card Association adapted the miniSD format as the second form factor memory card in the Secure Digital family. MiniSD is a smaller version of the SD memory card format, about 60% smaller in volume, and offers the same benefits that the SD memory card expects from the write-protect switch.

MiniSD was specifically designed to be used in small portable electronic devices such as digital cameras and mobile phones. But since all miniSD memory cards always come with an SD memory card adapter, they are compatible with all SD memory card slots and thus provide compatibility with the increasing number of card-compatible devices. SD memory on the market.

MiniSD was the second, after the SD Memory Card, to be adapted by the SD Card Association, which today consists of three members. In 2005, the microSD was introduced as the third and smallest member of the Secure Digital family.

MicroSD card also known as Transflash


11 × 15 × 1 mm

rashFlash, formerly known as T-Flash, was introduced by SanDisk Corporation in 2004 as the smallest memory card in the world, about the size of a fingernail. TransFlash was specifically designed for use on mobile phones. Motorola was the first mobile phone manufacturer to adapt the TransFlash memory card standard.

In the third quarter of 2005, the SD Card Association adopted TransFlash as the third form factor memory card in the Secure Digital family, after the SD and miniSD memory cards. After adoption, TransFlash changed its name to microSD. The microSD has exactly the same dimensions and specifications as the TransFlash and therefore both memory cards are fully compatible with each other.

Today, microSD is the most widely used memory card in mobile phones and the goal of the SD Card Association is to make microSD a de facto standard memory card for all mobile phones. All TransFlash and microSD cards always come with an SD memory card adapter, making them compatible with all SD memory card slots. The microSD is about 10% in size compared to the SD memory card and about 30% compared to the miniSD.

XD-Picture Card


20 × 25 × 1.7 mm

The xD-Picture Card was introduced in 2002 by Fuji Film and Olympus as a replacement for the previous SmartMedia card. It is produced exclusively by Toshiba and can only be found under the brand name Fuji Film and Olympus.

The xD-Picture Card format was developed for use in digital cameras and is more or less only used in Fuji Film and Olympus digital cameras. Like the SmartMedia card, the xD-Picture Card does not incorporate a controller chip which allows it to have a small form factor, but at the same time makes it reliable for the host device controller chip.

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