With technology advancing and electronic devices becoming smaller and smaller, electronics designers have had to content with some very particular issues. One of the main issues they have had to deal with is how to store memory in smaller and smaller devices. For some devices, the challenge of storing memory in such a small space has led to some innovative solutions. For the makers of the SD memory card, it meant creating a memory card that got smaller and smaller as, on the other hand, its capacity for memory storage grew larger and larger.
Secure Digital (otherwise known as SD) is a memory card format. These memory cards are a type of technology known as non-volatile, simply meaning that they can store information even when not powered. (An example of volatile memory is Random Access Memory, or RAM, found inside your computer. This type of memory loses everything it has stored when the computer is powered off.) Originally developed by the electronics companies Toshiba, Matsushita, and SanDisk, SD Memory Cards are used to store information from portable devices such as handheld computers, digital cameras, PDAs, media players, mobile phones, GPS receivers, video game consoles and almost every other small electronic device imaginable.
SD memory cards are portable, re-recordable, and handy in that they can hold anywhere from 4 MB to 4 GB in disc space. The high tech SDHC format, though not without its downsides, can hold up to 32 GB of information. SD memory cards were originally designed to compete with Sony’s Memory Stick product. The SD memory card’s proponents played hard, creating the SD Card Association to promote SD cards and counts some thirty high tech companies among its members. The SD memory card triumphed over the Memory Stick format, and now due to the format’s increasing popularity, SD memory card technology is rapidly advancing. The microSD represents some of the newest SD card technology. As of 2008, the microSD was the smallest SD card on the market and had the highest capacity relative to its size. MicroSD cards were originally produced by SanDisk.
SD memory cards are used in all sorts of devices, including digital cameras, handheld computers, PDA’s, portable media players, mobile phones, and GPS receivers, among many other practical uses.
SD memory cards are promoted by a nonprofit organization called the SD Card Association. This association develops and publishes technical standards for SD Card technology. Also, being so invested in those standards, it promotes the further use, expansion and development of the technology. The association was founded on January 28, 2008 by Matsushita Electric Industrial Company (known in the United States as Panosonic), the SanDisk Corporation, and the Toshiba Corporation. Not surprisingly, those are three of the main companies that have developed and pushed SD memory card technology. The other members of the SD Card Association read like a laundry list of technologically advanced electronics manufacturers, and include Hewlett Packard, NEC Corporation and Infineon Technologies. Not surprisingly, as many digital cameras have come to rely on SD memory cards for photo and video storage, major photography companies such as the Eastman Kodak Company and Canon are also members. To round out the list are companies best known for making small devices like cell phones. These include Samsung, Motorola and Nokia.
Because of the SD memory cards popularity for use in cameras and other small electronic devices, it is a safe bet to say that the technology will continue to grow and expand. That is, of course, until the next great memory card technology comes along and the world discovers a newer, faster, smaller and more efficient way to store our all important data.