What is a Mini SD Card?

T. Raleigh

More than ever, mobile phones are capable of taking pictures, storing music or recording video. Often these files can be sizeable and quickly fill the storage on the device. Many of these electronics have areas for memory cards. The most common format for mobile device memory cards is the mini SD card. While more diminutive in appearance, the mini SD card is just as capable as its big brother, the SD card.

Mini SD cards may be used in phones, MP3 players, and digital cameras.
Mini SD cards may be used in phones, MP3 players, and digital cameras.

The development of SD cards was a joint collaboration between three companies – Toshiba, SanDisk and Panasonic. SanDisk is a well-known producer of these cards and at times, the “SD” is mistakenly thought to stand for SanDisk. It is actually an abbreviation for Secure Digital. Standard SD cards are approximately the size of a postage stamp, and were the first of this line to be developed. As smaller electronics became increasingly more popular, the need for smaller memory cards grew.

Some MP3 players use SD cards to store music files.
Some MP3 players use SD cards to store music files.

Advances in mobile technology really exploded in the early 21st century, and their capabilities continue to expand. The mini SD card was designed, originally, to meet the needs of this burgeoning mobile device need. Coming in at 37 percent the size of an SD card, the mini SD is more suited for use in these increasingly compact devices.

Measuring only 20 millimeters by 21.5 millimeters with a thickness of 1.4 millimeters, the mini SD card is the middle of a trio of size options from memory card manufacturers. Despite its smaller size, these SD cards are able to operate as speeds equivalent to the standard SD cards. Regular mini SD cards come in capacities up to two gigabytes. Larger storage capacities are available in the miniSDHC, or SD High Capacity.

Even though mini SD cards were originally designed for mobile devices, their use has spread to other electronics such as MP3 players, digital cameras and handheld computers. The developers of memory cards continued to press the envelope on creating smaller cards. Micro SD cards are available that are nearly one-half the size of a mini SD card.

Transferring data between electronics, such as phone to computer or camera to printer, is usually easier with the use of an SD card adapter. Most mini and micro SD cards are sold with an SD adapter that allows them to be inserted in a full sized SD card slot. This makes tasks like exchanging pictures or music between your computer and your portable electronics much more convenient.

Many phones use mini SD cards.
Many phones use mini SD cards.

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