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From CD’s to SD Cards – a Short History of Portable Digital Storage

Compact Discs have been used right since the 1980s. They earlier used to be available primarily as a music listening format. CD burners, then, used to be large in size and expensive.

Towards the end of the 1990s, technology underwent a change and CD burners became more affordable.

The need for storage stayed on an upswing over time, and DVD-R and DVD-DR systems came into prominence. They had a higher storage per disc. After the introduction of dual-layer media and burners, their storage capacity stood at 8GB per disc.

Then, blu-ray discs became popular. They were a preferred alternative for the home entertainment market, and their storage capacity was higher still. From the DVD capacity of 8GB, the blu ray disc capacity of 128 GB was a significant increase. Widespread use of laptops further resolved the issue of portable computer storage.

 If we consider the latest option for portable storage that has been vastly popular through the present times, it is the Secure Disc (SD) cards. SD cards are frequently used in video cameras, still cameras and smartphones.

An advantage that comes into play with using SD cards is data security as enabled by smartSD protocol, password protection, and Near Field Communication (NFC) support which is made available in some versions.

SD cards do not have any moving parts and have a non-volatile flash memory within their bodies. They hence come by as reliable, quicker and also a quieter way of transporting data.

SD cards are versatile and available in varied physical sizes that have different memory capacities. We have postage-stamp-sized cards used in digital cameras and fingernail-sized microcards that are used in phones.

Blu ray discs are characteristically 5¼ media. Size-wise, SD cards are a remarkable improvement, and 256 GB capacity is the norm. Video transmission speeds are better. While hardware has improved, high-speed internet access has diminished the need for removable local storage to an extent.

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