Faster, Bigger Memory Cards for Photos Planned

Taking and sharing digital photos has reached the mainstream, and it’s causing old-school companies to think about the next decade. The goal is faster and bigger storage cards.

That’s just what SanDisk, Nikon and Sony are setting out to offer. The companies have collaborated to develop a set of specifications with the future demands of photographers and videographers in mind.

Digital photography and HD video have changed the industry — but to get to the next phase, professional photography and high-definition video applications need a new generation of memory cards that can process much larger files much more quickly.

Friendly Competition

SanDisk, Nikon and Sony have proposed their specs to the CompactFlash Association (CFA). The companies hope to standardize the format and lead the charge in the next wave of professional imaging products.

The competition so far seems to be friendly as the international organization that sets the standards is made up of leading manufacturers with a common cause. Once CFA — led by a Canon executive — approves the new spec, hardware manufacturers can drive innovation in the photography and video markets.

“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 Canon’s Shigeto Kanda, chairman of the board at CFA. “This next-generation format is expected to be widely adapted to various products, including those other than high-end DSLRs.”

Need for Speed

Here’s the technical side of the story: The proposed specifications would create products with data-transfer rates of up to 500 megabytes per second. Those faster speeds would make possible imaging and video applications that cannot be accomplished with the current specs. CF6.0, released this month, only offers maximum performance of up to 167 megabytes per second.

With the faster speeds, photographers and videographers can take continuous shots…

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