What is a TF Card? Everything You Need to Know!

Deyan Georgiev
Deyan Georgiev

Updated · Jul 19, 2022

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With so many different types of memory cards available today, you may be wondering which are the most suitable for your devices. You’ve also probably come across the name “TF card”.

So, what is a TF card? What are its applications, and how does it differ from an SD card?

Let’s dive in and find out!

What is a TF card?

The TF stands for TransFlash and is basically the previous name of what is now known as a microSD card. It was developed by Motorola and SanDisk and released in 2005. 

At 11mm x 15mm x 1mm, it’s the smallest customer-oriented memory stick available. It’s much more compact than the SD card while also preserving its functionality.

Additionally, TF memory cards can work with an SD adapter and are compatible with all SD card readers. The SD Association officially renamed it microSD at the end of 2004, making it a member of SD products.

What’s an SD card?

The SD card is a memory device launched by Panasonic, SanDisk, and Toshiba. 

It’s used various devices like multimedia players, digital cameras, and video game consoles. Its transmission speed is quite fast. It’s also small-sized and hot swappable, meaning you can insert or remove it from a device without shutting it down first.

TF card vs SD card

Now that we know what each card is, let’s check out the top seven differences between them.

Size and appearance

Both come in different sizes. The SD card is bigger (24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm), while the TF is smaller (15mm x 11mm x 1mm).

Application

While the SD is most suitable for portable devices – like cameras and multimedia players – the micro TF memory card finds most of its application in mobile phones

However, people have begun using it in GPS devices, drones, and portable music players as well.

Conversion

Due to design and size differences, there is no way to use an SD card in a device that only has a TF card slot. However, converting a TF into an SD card is possible with the help of an adapter.

Security

The SD memory stick usually has a write protection lock switch, while the TF doesn’t. By sliding the switch to the "Lock" position, you can protect your data from accidental deletion or modification.

Price

The SD card is usually more expensive than the TF memory stick.

Origin

Panasonic, Toshiba, and SanDisk developed the SD card in August 1999.

TF is the next generation memory stick, launched by Motorola and SanDisk in 2004

Capacity

Due to its size, the micro TF card has a memory limit of 1 TB.

On the other hand, the newest SD cards have a capacity of up to 128 TB.

Wrap Up

Now that you know the differences, you may be wondering which one to use. 

Both cards have their applications, with size and capacity being the main differences.

SD memory sticks are popular with larger devices that require more storage space. On the other hand, microSD cards are cheaper, more compact, and primarily used in mobile phones and other small gadgets.

In conclusion, there’s no right or wrong choice here – it all depends on your device's slots and memory requirements.

FAQ.


What is a TF card used for?

The main application of a micro TF card is to store data in digital form. It’s mostly used in mobile phones, digital cameras, drones, etc.     

Can I use an SD card in a TF card slot?

Since the SD card is much bigger, you won’t be able to insert it in a TF card slot. However, the other way around is possible with the help of an SD adapter.                          

How do you use a TF card?

If your gadget supports it and you know what a TF card is, you’ll have no problems using one. You just insert it in the proper slot, and your device will automatically recognize it as external storage.

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Deyan Georgiev

Deyan Georgiev

Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.

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