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. The
CompactFlash Association formed a new working group to develop a
next-generation memory card.
The proposed specifications achieve data transfer rates of up to
500 megabytes per second (MB/sec)3 (theoretical maximum interface
speed) using the 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
power consumption via a power scaling system to extend battery
In addition to high 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 durable form factor produce a combination of
physical ruggedness and reliability that is indispensable for
professional usage models.
CFA members can join the new workgroup for considering the
ratification of the new specification.
"Future professional photography and video applications will
require memory cards with faster read/write speeds," said Mr.
Shigeto Kanda of Canon and the CFA chairman of the board. "The
development of a new high-performance card standard with a serial
interface will meet the needs of the professional imaging
industry for years to come and open the door for exciting new
The current CF5.0 Specification?s PATA (parallel ATA) interface
delivers up to 133MB/second speeds. Although the PATA interface
still has room to increase performance, the serial interface can
meet the long-term speed requirements of professional DSLR and
video markets. The CompactFlash Association recently approved and
announced the CF6.0 specification with a maximum speed of
The CFA?s new working group will attempt to establish a roadmap
for a card format standard that includes a high-speed serial
interface that exceeds the PATA interface speed.
The most recently published CF Specifications, Revision 5.0 (PATA
interface) and Revision 6.0, are available for download from the
CFA web site at http://www.compactflash.org.