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FAQs about SD Cards

by Staff Writer

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Camera with SD Card

While browsing through personal electronics, you may see references to a popular accessory called an SD card. These small memory cards are used in cell phones, music players and cameras to hold contact information, photos, music and more. An SD card expands the storage capacity of various devices. Here are some frequently asked questions about SD cards to give you some ideas on how you might use them to extend the utility of your electronics.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is an SD card?
    SD cards are basically small memory cards. An SD card is a small piece of electronic circuitry wrapped in a plastic case that stores data. SD cards can read, write and delete data. They are available in regular and high-capacity formats, and they come in three sizes: standard SD, mini SD and micro SD. These memory cards plug into a slot in your electronic device, so they can be swapped out easily.

  2. What devices use SD cards?
    SD cards have speed ratings such as 60x, 120x and 150x. This number is multiplied by 150 kilobytes per second to calculate the device's speed. A 52x card, for example, accesses data at 7.8 megabytes (52 multiplied by 150 kilobytes) per second.

  3. How much data can an SD card hold?
    Standard SD cards can hold up to 4 gigabytes of data. High-capacity SD cards can store up to 32GB. Memory cards are steadily improving, however. So, storage capacity is constantly increasing.

  4. How do I install an SD card?
    To install an SD card on any device, simply insert the memory card into the matching SD slot. If the memory card needs to be formatted for your device, follow the instructions in your user manual. Installation typically takes a few minutes, and many SD cards and flash memory cards install themselves automatically.

  5. Can I use an SD card on my computer?
    Some laptop and desktop computers have built-in memory card slots. Otherwise, you may need to install a media card reader to connect an SD card to your computer. Your computer will recognize the SD card as "removable storage" or as a connected drive. As with other devices, you may need to format the memory card for your computer to be able to read it.

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