SD cards and their many variants may be the memory card format of choice in most cameras these days, but there's still plenty of instances where nothing but a larger CompactFlash card will suffice. Now the organization behind the format has announced its latest revision, the CFast2.0 specification, which it hopes will find its way into future digital cameras and other professional video devices. The big news with it is a promised "theoretical" performance of up to 600MB/sec, which is about four times faster than today's CompactFlash cards, as well as a new sleep mode that promises to help conserve battery life when the card is not in use. What's more, while the cards themselves are still a ways off, SanDisk has announced today that it has begun development of them, and medium format camera manufacturer Phase One has also confirmed that it intends to support the new specification.
The CompactFlash Association Announces CFAST2.0TM Draft Specification
CFast2.0 Introduces SATA-3 Format Capable of Up to 600MB/sec
CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The CompactFlash Association (CFA) announces the CFast2.0 draft specification and celebrates seventeen years of performance leadership in flash memory card markets. The CFast2.0 draft specification was approved by the CFA Board of Directors for a 90 day final approval vote by all voting members. General availability of the CFast2.0 specification for non-members is expected in Q4 of 2012. The CompactFlash Association was formed in 1995 as the initial digital film format and continues to serve professional imaging markets where high performance and high quality recording media are important. CFA has consistently created specifications to meet the current and future requirements for professional imaging and video markets. CFast2.0's performance capability of up to 600MB/sec enable CFA to serve new professional video markets such as high definition TV production and cinema video production environments.
CFast2.0 leverages the SATA-3 interface for higher performance based on a computing industry storage interface and protocol. Host manufacturers will be able to leverage their experience and investment in the ATA storage protocol and media manufacturers will be able to leverage high volume solid state disk (SSD) controller technology to serve the high performance requirements of this market. The new format will have VPG (Video Performance Guarantee) capability with profiles capable of supporting compressed digital intermediate video formats.
Professional video features are growing more powerful, with 2K video enjoying widespread use and 4K video already gaining adoption in high-end production environments. High Definition TV production environments require digital intermediate compression formats where 2K @ 120 frames per second requires reliable performance of 200MB/sec to 250MB/sec. 4K production environments require 4X the data rates of 2K. For example, 4K at 30 frames per second also requires 200MB/sec to 250MB/sec. These next-generation video applications produce videos with incredibly high resolution that exceed CompactFlash cards' data recording maximum capability of 167MB/sec for CF6.0.
The new CFast2.0 specification is available to members and will be available for purchase by non-members after the IP review period closes in the fourth quarter of 2012. Key features of CFast2.0 include:
SATA-3 Interface* Provides an interface speed of 600MB/s. This speed enhancement enables a new generation of higher performance cards to meet requirements for professional video recording requirements.
DEVSLP* Provides a low power sleep mode that helps preserve battery life when the card is not in use.
Professional Form Factor
42.8mm x 36.4mm x 3.6mm
Provides a small enough package to fit into maintain/reduce camera size while providing room for memory to support large capacity cards required for professional video recording formats.
Mr. Shigeto Kanda of Canon and the CFA chairman of the board said, "As the Chairman of the CompactFlash Association I am pleased to introduce CFast2.0 continuing our tradition of performance leadership. The higher performance provided by CFast2.0 will further increase the capabilities and value for photographers, videographers, and cinematographers. I am very pleased and proud to see the CFA creating standards that address new professional market segments for CFA."
CFA has recently added several new members interested in CFA's next generation and higher performance standards. CFA invites host and media companies interested in supporting the new CFA specifications to also join CFA as members. Membership in the CompactFlash Association enables participation in CFA work groups and access to draft specifications before they are approved and available for purchase by non-members. More information can be found at http://www.compactflash.org.
The CFA, VPG, and CFast logos are trademarks of the CFA and are licensed royalty free to its members. * SATA-3 and DEVSLP are owned by SATA-I/O and licensed to CFA for use in the CFast specifications.
SanDisk Announces Development of CFast Memory Cards for Next-Generation Professional Photo and Video Applications
New specification delivers up to four times faster performance than current CompactFlash® memory cards used in today's professional-grade cameras
Ideal for next-generation cameras offering high resolutions and featuring advanced professional video recording applications
Currently sampling CFast2.0 memory cards to camera manufacturers as they design and optimize their next-generation host devices for CFast2.0
COLOGNE, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PHOTOKINA
"With the CFast2.0 specification's unparalleled performance, flash memory can now enter new markets such as high-definition TV and even cinema production."
SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today announced that it is developing flash memory cards based on the new CFast2.0 specification introduced today by the CompactFlash Association (CFA). The new specification enables next-generation photo and video applications by delivering up to four times faster performance than the CompactFlash memory cards currently used in DSLR cameras and other imaging devices.
"CFast2.0 memory cards will help drive the future of professional photography and video-recording applications," said Shuki Nir, senior vice president and general manager, Retail, SanDisk. "With the CFast2.0 specification's unparalleled performance, flash memory can now enter new markets such as high-definition TV and even cinema production."
Ideal for Next-Generation Professional Video Applications
Professional video applications are growing more powerful than ever before, with 2K video enjoying widespread use and full-frame 4K video already gaining adoption in high-end production environments. These next-generation video applications can produce videos with incredibly high resolutions and large file sizes. The CFast2.0 specification supports advanced video applications through higher interface bandwidth and much higher levels of Video Performance Guarantee to meet the requirements of 2K/4K digital intermediate compressed production environments.
"Professional photographers, videographers and cinematographers demand increasingly powerful cameras that help them unleash their creativity," said Masaya Maeda, managing director and chief executive, image communication products operations, Canon. "With extremely fast performance, CFast2.0 memory cards will enable us to develop next-generation cameras with more powerful features than are currently supported by CompactFlash cards."
Ideal for Next-Generation Photography Applications
Digital cameras are expected to become more powerful, with the ability to capture images at greater than 40MP resolution. These next-generation cameras will produce photos of unprecedented quality, and the large file sizes can quickly overwhelm a CompactFlash memory card's data-transfer rates and halt shooting.
The CFast2.0 specification features theoretical performance of up to 600MB/sec, four times faster than the highest-performance CompactFlash memory cards. The new specification delivers the fast speed needed to capture a series of high-resolution photos and transfer them quickly to a computer, particularly important to professional photographers whose workflows demand the utmost efficiency.
"PhaseOne believes in open standards where many players have access to the technologies required to create a healthy ecosystem and drive the future of imaging," said Henrik Håkonsson, chief executive officer, PhaseOne, a leading medium format camera manufacturer. "We intend to integrate CFast2.0 memory cards into our new cameras because they offer significantly higher recording performance and faster offload speeds than other memory card formats."
SanDisk is currently sampling CFast2.0 memory cards to camera manufacturers as they design and optimize their next-generation host devices for the new specification.
SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK) is a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, from research and development, product design and manufacturing to branding and distribution for OEM and retail channels. Since 1988, SanDisk's innovations in flash memory and storage system technologies have provided customers with new and transformational digital experiences. SanDisk's diverse product portfolio includes flash memory cards and embedded solutions used in smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, camcorders, digital media players and other consumer electronic devices, as well as USB flash drives and solid-state drives (SSD) for the computing market. SanDisk's products are used by consumers and enterprise customers around the world.
SanDisk is a Silicon Valley-based S&P 500 and Fortune 500 company, with more than half its sales outside the United States. For more information, visit www.sandisk.com.
© 2012 SanDisk Corporation. All rights reserved. SanDisk and CompactFlash are trademarks of SanDisk Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries. Other brand names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and may be the trademarks of their respective holder(s).
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, including expectations for new product introductions, technology measurement standards, applications, features, markets, specifications and customers that are based on our current expectations and involve numerous risks and uncertainties that may cause these forward-looking statements to be inaccurate. Risks that may cause these forward-looking statements to be inaccurate include among others: the market demand for our products may grow more slowly than our expectations or there may be a slower adoption rate for these products in the capacities that we anticipate, our products may not perform as expected and the other risks detailed from time-to-time in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including, but not limited to, our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. We do not intend to update the information contained in this press release.