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

Professional photography and High Definition (HD) video applications require a new generation of memory cards capable of processing significantly larger files. To address the imaging industry’s future speed and capacity demands, SanDisk, Sony and Nikon 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) using the highly versatile PCI Express interface. The increased speeds will enable imaging and video applications that cannot be accomplished using the current CompactFlash specification’s Parallel ATA (PATA) interface which offers a maximum performance of up to 167MB/sec.

The new specifications’ faster speeds will enable continuous burst shooting of massive RAW images. The enhanced performance will also allow users to quickly transfer storage-intensive high-resolution photos and videos from the card to a computer as the specifications combine high-speed data transfer with low power consumption 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 specifications has the potential to extend capacities beyond 2 terabytes (TB), making it especially useful for high resolution images and HD video applications.

Despite all these advancements it would still be similar in size to a CompactFlash® card and highly durable producing a combination of physical ruggedness and reliability that is indispensable for professional usage models.