The next generation of high-speed memory cards format proposed

Nov 30, 2010

SanDisk, Nikon and Sony today announced the joint development of a set of specifications that addresses the future requirements of professional photography and video markets. The three companies proposed the specifications to the CompactFlash Association (CFA), the international standards organization, with the intent to standardize the format.

Professional photography and High Definition (HD) video applications require a new generation of capable of processing significantly larger files. To address the imaging industry's future speed and capacity demands, SanDisk, Nikon and Sony proposed a new card specification whose performance and storage capabilities surpass those of existing memory cards. Once accepted, the new format will enable exciting new possibilities in the professional imaging and video markets.

The proposed specifications achieve data transfer rates of up to 500 megabytes per second (MB/sec) (theoretical maximum interface speed) using the highly versatile PCI Express 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 in November 2010, offers maximum performance of up to 167MB/sec.

The new specifications' faster speeds enable continuous burst shooting of massive RAW images. The enhanced performance also allows users to quickly transfer storage-intensive high-resolution photos and videos from the card to a computer. The specifications combine high-speed data transfer with low via a power scaling system to extend battery life.

In addition to industry-leading performance capabilities, the new memory card specifications also meet the future capacity and durability requirements of professional imaging applications. The proposed new format has the potential to extend theoretical maximum capacities beyond two terabytes (TB), making it especially useful for high resolution images and HD video applications. Similar in size to a CompactFlash card, the new format's access control function and highly durable form factor produce a combination of physical ruggedness and reliability that is indispensable for professional usage models.

"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," said Mr. Shigeto Kanda, Canon, and chairman of the board, CFA. "This next generation is expected to be widely adapted to various products, including those other than high-end DSLRs."

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