TransFlash (TF) Cards – Are They That Different From Micro SD?

Modern smartphones are getting increased storage capabilities with each new generation. Numerous devices feature external storage options but that is normally linked to SD Cards. TransFlash (TF) cards are relatively unpopular, and many people aren’t even aware that they exist.

TF cards (also called T-Flash) stand for TransFlash. That was the initial name for the micro SD cards.

The TF cards were introduced by SanDisk in 2004 and, at that time, were the smallest memory card that could be used to store digital data.

TF Cards were the beginning name and product of the SanDisk Company, which ultimately changed the name into a micro SD card.

Changing or improving the product is a common occurrence for companies, and that is precisely what happened with the TransFlash name.


TF and Micro SD cards are pretty much the same and can be swapped in between without any problem. There are some differences, though – Micro SD cards feature SDIO mode, meaning that they can run tasks that aren’t related to memory, like GPS, Bluetooth, and NFC.

TransFlash, on the other hand, can’t perform such tasks.

To put it simply, Transflash was the initial name of the product. If you look up TF cards, you will likely see some examples in both 16MB and 32MB options.

However, over the last decade, micro SD and TransFlash cards are labeled as the same product.

They have the same physical appearance and specifications and can be replaced by each other. They are very popular for usage on mobile devices, but it’s particularly difficult to find any original TransFlash memory cards at this point.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.