But the SD Card Association announced it will enter the embedded storage market in November, and it rolled out a standard for these storage devices Thursday.
The standard, dubbed Embedded SD, was built with the leading SD standards. This is important because the miniSD and microSD form factors currently dominate the mobile handset market.
The Embedded SD is compatible with the SD 2.00 interface, removing some of the difficulties in transitioning from current SD designs. The standard also has been built to enable booting, reducing the number of memory components a device may need.
Additionally, the standard offers OEMs, network operators, and content providers flexibility. There are multiple physical partitions that can be used for different data sources like boot code, applications, and content. Each partition also can be separately configured with different protection modes.
In terms of power, it supports both 3.3V and 1.8V, and there is a power-saving sleep mode that could potentially reduce battery consumption.
"The SD Card Association plans to significantly reduce market fragmentation by delivering superior compatibility to the world of embedded storage, just as we have done in the storage card industry," said James Taylor, president and chairman of the SD Card Association, in a statement. "The association will continue to drive significant host market expansion while maintaining backwards compatibility with future interface development."
The association did not specify what device would feature the Embedded SD standard, but it will be able to have up to 32 GB of memory on board.