CF Card Proposed
By John Laposky & Greg Tarr On Dec 6 2010 - 6:01am
MILPITAS, CALIF. —
and advanced photographers and videographers,
SanDisk, Nikon and Sony recently revealed
that they are developing a set of specifications
for a new standardized CompactFlash
(CF) card format.
The specs would triple the data transfer rates
of the current CF6.0 card format, and indicates
that Nikon is looking at keeping a CF card format
in its pro-level d-SLR cameras. All amateur and
semi-pro Nikon models currently use SD cards.
Noticeably absent from the announcement
was Canon, which is a member of the Compact
Flash Association (CFA), the international standards
The new specs are intended to address the
future requirements of professional photography
and video markets, the companies said. The proposed
specifications were presented to the CFA.
The three companies agreed that pro photography and HD video applications require
a new generation of memory cards capable
of processing significantly larger files.
The proposed specs achieve data
transfer rates of up to 500MBps (theoretical
maximum interface speed) using
the PCI Express4 interface. The
increased speeds will enable imaging
and video applications that could not be
accomplished using the current CompactFlash
specification’s Parallel ATA
(PATA) interface. CF6.0, released this
month, offers maximum performance of
up to 167MBps.
The faster speeds will enable continuous
burst shooting of massive RAW
images, SanDisk said. The enhanced
performance will also allow users to
quickly transfer storage-intensive highresolution
photos and videos from the
card to a computer.
The specs combine high-speed data
transfer with low power consumption
via a power-scaling system to extend
According to SanDisk, the proposed
new format has the potential to extend
theoretical maximum capacities beyond
The new card would be similar in size
to current CF cards.
A SanDisk spokesman called the
proposed specs “a natural progression
of the technology behind the current
CF6.0 specs.” He also predicted that the cards would be available “sometime
in the next year.”
In a statement, Canon’s Shigeto Kanda,
who is the chairman of the board
of the CF, said: “This ultra high-speed
media format will enable further evolution
of hardware and imaging applications,
and widen the memory card options
available to CompactFlash users
such as professional photographers.
This next-generation format is expected
to be widely adapted to various products,
including those other than highend
“The ultra-high-speed media, which
will be realized by this new card format,
will expand the capability of digital SLR
cameras and other professional digital
imaging equipment,” added Kazuyuki
Kazami, operating officer, VP and GM
of development for Nikon.