New High-Speed CF Card Proposed


Milpitas, Calif. - Nikon, SanDisk and Sony have jointly developed a set of specifications for a new standardized CompactFlash (CF) card that would triple the data transfer rates of current CF6.0 cards.

The specs are intended to addresses the future requirements of the professional photography and video markets. The three companies proposed the specifications to the CompactFlash Association (CFA), the international standards organization.

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 500 MBps (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 167 MBps.

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 high-resolution 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 battery life.

According to SanDisk, the proposed new format has the potential to extend theoretical maximum capacities beyond 2TB.

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" based on past evolution in the technology.

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 high-end d-SLRs."

"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.


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