The last thing the flash memory market needs is yet another brand, but when that name helps to clarify its position amongst current formats it can only be beneficial and (in the context of the IT world) "suprising" to everybody.
Consequently, I was at first infuriated and then (on closer inspection) rather pleased by the introduction of microSD – as it wasn't just another new memory but, in fact, essentially the elegant and nicely literal new name for TransFlash.
You see, rebranding and word squashing JustForTheSakeOfIt is one of the banes of the IT industry. Rarely can I finish writing up an article in Word without the spell-check going crazy at the vast array of names it cannot find, not to mention the massive number of red coloured squiggles that - at a glance - make my documents look like the heavily marked homework of a brain dead schoolboy.
Let’s put this into perspective: TransFlash, in accordance with claims made by its developer SanDisk last month, does indeed look like it is going to become the defacto flash memory of choice for mobile devices (certainly judging by the slots on all the next-gen phones seen during our 3GSM coverage) but it has a rubbish name which means nothing to anyone. So in steps the SD Card Association to evaluate it. It adopts TransFlash into its official line (adding the usual CPRM, SD and smartSD security features) and bingo: intelligence prevails all round.
So now we have the nice and tidy, newly revised Secure Digital (SD) card line: At the head of the table sits the original SD Card at 32 x 24 x 2.1mm, it is followed by the miniSD at 21.5 x 20 x 1.4mm and now we have the microSD, all cutesy teeny 11 x 15 x 1mm of it.
SD, miniSD, microSD: simple and straightforward. Bloody hell, I think I’m going to have a stroke...