The CompactFlash card is a common storage medium in imaging devices today from D-SLR cameras to high-end HD video cameras. The current CF specification is based on the old PATA interface, which is much slower than more modern interfaces on the market.
Three industry heavy weights have come together to propose a new standard for a next generation storage medium to the CompactFlash Association. The new specification is being proposed by Sony, SanDisk, and Nikon. The idea the three firms are offering for ratification as a standard uses the much faster PCI Express interface.
The PCIe based specification would have a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 500MB/s whereas the existing PATA interface tops out at a much slower 167MB/s. The faster speed would allow photographers to shoot large resolution RAW images in bursts without having shot limits and lag that are currently common with bursts of high-resolution images with the existing storage medium.
"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 format is expected to be widely adapted to various products, including those other than high-end D-SLRs."
In addition to being much faster than the current CF specification, the new spec would also allow for higher storage capacity than existing cards. The proposed specification would allow for storage capacity up to 2TB. The cards proposed by the new specification would be similar in size to current CF cards. The new specification would also be much faster than the CFast cards proposed way back in 2008.
"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," said Mr. Kazuyuki Kazami, operating officer, vice president and general manager, development headquarters, imaging company, Nikon Corporation.