Before storing data on a memory card, however, it is important to understand how your intended use, or application, correlates to the various SD memory card symbols, and how those symbols represent SD specifications.
Different Applications Require Different Cards
The demand for more storage is everywhere, and industrial applications often require durability and data integrity
as crucial performance factors. Consumers, on the other hand, may require higher capacity and application performance speeds. Consider the following application scenarios:
Digital data storage needs tend to be larger and require
faster performance in a number of applications, such as smartphones, digital camera, video recording, surveillance systems, Internet of Things (IoT) and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
Saving and running apps on a card used
in an Android Marshmallow (or higher) or Windows smartphone requires the use of cards supporting a minimum level of random access, such as the Application Performance Classes.
Automotive driver monitoring systems and navigation
systems require larger-capacity cards (32 to 64 GB) to support more applications and 3-D image content.
Sensor-based and wireless systems use microSD memory cards for run-time data caching and storage.
Some host devices are designed
to support older SD specifications; therefore, memory card suppliers can downsize or change the card
SD memory cards are tough. They can resist water, bending, torque, electrostatic discharge and 10,000 different insertions within a designed specification.
Their outside mechanical design combined with internal system management creates a very durable card.
Removable devices require power failure protection, but the capacitors do not fit in the limited space. A power failure protection
firmware plays a critical role for data integrity; various schemes could be applied, such as SLC mode caching, multiple backup and programming all cells in a word line at the same time.
Other features target different NAND characteristics.
The Static Data Refresh firmware algorithm prevents read disturbance by moving data from high-error bits blocks to a healthy one. Moreover, the risk of data retention can be minimized with Dynamic Data Refresh, the sequential background
scanning mechanism. With 4K management firmware architecture, higher random IOPS is achieved to meet Application Performance Class.
All of these features are proven in 2-D NAND SD memory cards, but the effects on 3-D NAND are still
under evaluation. A thorough development phase and mass production level test will ensure a reliable product.
Formatting an SD or microSD memory card requires specific tools to ensure a smooth process, positive experience
and minimal data loss. The SD Memory Card Formatter handles SD memory cards in accordance with standards defined by the SD Association (SDA). In fact, it’s the official tool for formatting any SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards, as recommended
by the SDA. Before formatting, it’s crucial to backup any important data in your SD memory card.
How SD memory card formatting works
There are two recognized
techniques for SD memory card formatting:
Fast formatting – this is the method most commonly used and formats the memory card almost instantly, creating an empty partition. It does not, however, overwrite any data stored
in files. This could allow data in the SD memory card to be retrieved using special software, should the need arise. Note: the files will still be deleted and inaccessible by normal means, but they are not “securely deleted.”
formatting – this is a more time-consuming process that rewrites all data stored in the SD memory card. This makes sure that any potentially sensitive data stored on the device is unrecoverable, leading to a more secure formatting
The SD Memory Card Formatter supports both methods, providing the user with the choice of which process best supports their needs while maintaining card reliability. Additionally, the most recent version of the tool
also supports the latest Windows 10 (1809, 1903) and macOS (10.14, 10.15) versions in English and Japanese. The SD Memory Card Formatter automatically formats with different FAT file systems, FAT12/16, FAT32 or exFAT depending on SD
memory card capacities, SD, SDHC and SDXC.
Understanding what the SD Memory Card Formatter does can aid in proper card care and reformatting.
Technically speaking, the SD Memory Card Formatter optimizes the layout of data structures on a SD memory card in accordance with flash parameters defined by the SDA. This includes placing the partition at the correct offset for the
internal flash layout of the card, properly aligning the FAT and the cluster heap (an area containing the file and directory data) to internal flash boundaries, and minimizing wear-leveling, while maximizing read/write performance.
of small embedded devices most often expect a file system to be formatted to the above stated parameters, so they optimize their relatively simple system implementations based on the assumption that the file system is already optimized
for the internal flash layout.
Keeping things up to standard
The SD Memory Card Formatter’s major advantage is that by formatting with it, the SD memory
card is fully compliant with SD specification standards and should therefore work with all SD host devices. Operating system (OS) built-in formatters simply aren’t tested as rigorously and often may not follow these standards as closely.
Formatting tools provided by an OS may be able to format SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, but may often be sub-par in their reliability and data integrity, due to simply being improperly optimized for the memory card in question. By using
the SD Memory Card Formatter, customers don’t need to worry about formatting specifications for each OS and FAT file system. What’s more, the tool’s optimization methods are designed to get the best endurance and performance out of
any SD memory card.
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