exFAT

Built to handle the demands of today’s digital media, exFAT enables seamless file transfer and storage using permanent or removable media, regardless of device or operating system.

Consumers and businesses are creating ever-increasing amounts of high-quality photos, video, and other digital media. Once created, that media needs to be stored and shared across multiple platforms and products. Cloud technologies can facilitate the sharing process, but in many applications there is no substitute for the convenience of removable storage.

Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) is Microsoft-patented file system. exFAT can handle extremely large file sizes and enables seamless file exchange between devices that use removable storage, regardless of device or operating system. Combining wide interoperability with the capacity to handle files at virtually unlimited scale, exFAT is a must-have for companies seeking an efficient file storage and transfer solution.

exFAT is just one technology Microsoft licenses to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to help them create mobile devices and tablets, the connected cars of tomorrow, and the devices shaping the Internet of Things. exFAT also has applications in desktop computers, industrial equipment, cameras, and many other devices requiring interoperable file storage and transfer solutions.

How exFAT Works

The exFAT file system handles large files, such as those used for audio and video media. It allows efficient storage and seamless data portability between desktop PCs and consumer electronic devices, enabling easy interchange between the two.

Inheriting its base from FAT32, another Microsoft file system, exFAT can be implemented with minimal effort. Companies can also choose to add transaction support to their exFAT implementation (TexFAT) to assist with transaction-safe operations. exFAT has been included in Windows operating systems since Windows Vista SP1.

exFAT Features

  • Enables virtually unlimited card storage

    exFAT allows devices to handle growing requirements for media file storage, increasing capacity from 32 GB up to 256 TB.

  • Handles huge amounts of media in a single directory

    exFAT can handle more than 4000 RAW images, 100 HD movies, or 60 hours of HD recording in one directory.

  • Interoperability of systems and devices

    exFAT supports interoperability with a very wide range of operating systems, avoiding the need to constantly reformat files and media.

  • Enables fast transfer speeds

    With modern storage allocation techniques, file saves of SDXC cards can achieve their full speeds of 300 MBps.

  • Provides an extensible format

    The extensible format includes OEM-definable parameters to customize the file system for specific devices.

Our exFAT licensees

More than 115 companies license exFAT, including some of the world’s best-known and most innovative OEMs. exFAT is used by the Secure Digital (SD) Card Association for high-capacity, high-speed SDXC and SDUC cards.

Direct license with exFAT implementation

Microsoft has agreements with several industry leaders that allow them to provide exFAT implementations directly to customers along with a direct license from Microsoft. These leaders can offer highly tuned implementations to provide the best end-customer experience and include warranty and support. This offering is available through the following companies:

exFAT as part of the Linux kernel

In August 2019 Microsoft announced its support for integrating exFAT into the Linux kernel (blog post). Devices using this code are covered under the GPLv2 license. More info on the specific code can be found here.

exFAT specification

Microsoft’s exFAT specification is available here to facilitate development of conformant, interoperable implementations.

Take the next step with exFAT

For the best experience with exFAT, we recommend contacting the companies listed above. For customers needing only a patent license, you can contact us to learn more about the exFAT licensing program and request a pricing proposal.