While the CompactFlash Association scoots along at a maximum transfer rate of 167MB per second under its just released CF6.0 specification, Sandisk, Sony, and Nikon are already looking to the future. The trio have just officially proposed a new memory card format that switches from PATA to the PCI Express serial interface to achieve data transfer rates of up to 500 megabytes per second with a potential to extend maximum storage capacities beyond 2 terabytes. The proposed set of specifications hints at the high performance requirements we'll soon face as DSLRs and camcorders are updated to capture continuous burst shooting of massive RAW images and ever higher definition video. Naturally, the spec also enables photogs to transfer their troves of data more quickly to computers for post processing and combines high-speed transfer with a scaling system to extend battery life. The CompactFlash Association has already announced a new workgroup to study the proposal. Canon's Shigeto Kanda, CFA chairman of the board, had this to say about the proposal:
Sounds like tacit approval to us. And really, anything that brings Sony and Sandisk together on a future storage format should be seen as a positive step. Unless, of course, you're the SD Card Association or anyone who recently purchased a CFast card.Future professional photography and video applications will require memory cards with faster read/write speeds. 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 applications.