Even faster storage cards


toshiba EXCERIA

It’s been a long time since I had to wait for my camera’s storage card to catch up with my shooting… But if you take shots faster than I do, you might be happy to hear that development on ever-faster storage continues, with Toshiba now unveiling new an SD card with the fastest write speed available, the company claims — up to any burst rate you might throw at it.

How fast? The Exceria Pro series “will offer photographers a data write speed of 240 megabytes per second,” Toshiba says.

The card’s newly developed UHS-II4 controller [ultra high speed serial bus interface] “achieve significantly higher data transfer speeds than earlier UHS-I compliant cards,” Toshiba adds.

The latest Exceria cards will launch in October. However, they likely won’t deliver the goods in your favorite ol’ digicam: For full speed, they require the latest UHS-II compatible cameras.

CompactFlash Association drafts CFAST 2

The CompactFlash Association is drafting a new specification for image storage cards: CFast2.0’s performance capability of up to 600MB/sec, and enable CFA to serve new professional video markets such as high definition TV production and cinema video production environments, the association says.

“The higher performance provided by CFast2.0 will further increase the capabilities and value for photographers, videographers, and cinematographers,” the CFA adds.

The CFast2.0 draft specification  will be generally available in Q4 of 2012.


CompactFlash Association developing XQDTM 2.0

The CompactFlash Association says its XQD 2.0 format “will enable hardware and imaging applications to leverage the performance benefits of the well established PCI Express infrastructure allowing for many years of higher performance and backward compatible products.”

The XQD Technical Workgroup is developing the new specification, which was initially sponsored by Sony. “Additional participation in this specification development will be welcomed,” the CFA says. The new spec will build on the XQD 1.0 specification, released October 2010, and leverage the same connector interface.

The XQD 2.0 format’s PCI Express 3.0 interface supports a data transfer rate up to 1,000 megabytes per second.

CompactFlash Association developing faster specification

The CompactFlash Association announced development of the CFast 2.0 specification for speedier photo and video recording.

CFast 2.0 will leverage the same connector interface as CFast 1.1, released September 2008, and the SATA-3 interface (up to 600MB/sec) for higher performance, the CFA says.

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 Video Performance Guarantee capability with profiles capable of supporting digital intermediate formats such as ProResTM, DPXTM, and DNxHDTM.

CFA is targeting for the CFast2.0 specification to be available in the second half of 2012.


Sony unveils new high-speed cards

Sony XQD H-series card with 32 GB storage

Sony says its latest storage cards “give a whole new meaning to speed and performance for digital imaging enthusiasts.”

With support for the XQD specification for high-speed, high-performance digital image capture at up to 1Gbps and 125MB/s, write and read, the cards can be used in SLRs to capture up to approximately 100 frames in Raw format in continuous shooting mode, Sony says.

The XQD cards will come in 16 and 32GB capacities.

More information is here.




Lexar develops 1000x storage card

This $900 card holds 128GB.

The latest storage card from Lexar Media takes speed to a new level: the company claims it’s the industry’s first 1000x card, with a 150MB per second minimum guaranteed sustained read speed.

Also, VPG-20 specification supports means the card has been tested and guaranteed for professional video capture streams at up to 20MB per second, Lexar says, “ensuring professional-quality video at high frame rates with no dropped frames.”

The CompactFlash card is aimed at professional photographers. It will be available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities, priced at $170, $300, $530, and $900, respectively.


DRM: five firms form ‘Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative’

Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony, and Toshiba agreed to collaborate on a new content protection technology for flash memory cards such as SD Cards and various storage devices.

More Digital Rights Management may be on its way.

Under the “Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative,” the companies say, they will start preparing for licensing and promotion of HD-capable security for SD Cards and embedded memory for use in advanced consumer applications such as tablets and smartphones.

“This content protection solution will be robust enough to protect HD content,” the alliance says. “A high level of content security will be realized through the use of the initiative’s technologies, including unique ID (identification) technology for flash memory and robust copy protection based on public key infrastructure.”

The five companies say the technology will enable various HD content applications letting users enjoy HD content on a wide range of devices.

The announcement is here.


Double data density: Intel, Micron develop 128-gigabit flash chip

A terabit of data storage in a fingertip-size package: Intel and Micron say their new 128-gigabit NAND flash chip provides twice the storage capacity and performance of their previous 64Gb device, “providing customers with a more cost-effective solid-state storage solution for today’s slim, sleek product designs.”

the new storage chip is smaller than a finger tip.

Smaller than a fingertip, the multilevel-cell chip was created through a 20 nanometer manufacturing process, with a planar structure that allows memory cells to scale much smaller than before, and stacking as many as eight chips on top of each other. It is capable of 333 megatransfers per second,

High-definition video is one example of an application that requires high-capacity storage, the companies say, since attempting to stream this type of data can create a poor user experience.

It was developed through Intel and Micron’s joint-development venture, IM Flash Technologies, and mass production is set for the first half of 2012.

More information is here.

CompactFlash guarantees video performance; new XQD format

The CompactFlash Association released its first Video Performance Guarantee profile specification for CompactFlash cards.

The VPG Profile 1 specification enables guaranteed sustained capture of video streams at up to 20MB/sec. for professional video capture.

VPG Profiles are a new kind of video stream specification that goes beyond command definitions and simple speed requirements, the association says. “VPG profiles specify the characteristics of a video stream to ensure compliant cameras and CF cards work together to meet the sophisticated requirements of professional video capture.” This includes guaranteed video capture over multiple capture files without dropping frames, enabling high quality 1080p capture at high frame rates with either under and over cranking functionality.

CompactFlash cards are currently available up to 128GB with sustained data rates over 100MB/sec. and provide the dominant flash storage solution for the new multi-mega pixel DSLR cameras and professional video cameras, the CFA claims.

The new VPG Profile specification is available for immediate download from the CompactFlash Association website here.

The CFA also announce the XQD specification, billed as a new high-performance memory card, based on the PCI Express specification. “The XQD format will enable further evolution of hardware and imaging applications, and widen the memory card options available to CompactFlash users such as professional photographers,” the association says.

The XQD format measures 38.5 by 29.8 by 3.8mm. It supports write speeds of 2.5Gbps today and 5Gbps in the future.

CompactFlash Association updates specification

The CompactFlash Association’s latest specification adds performance and functionality based on the Parallel ATA interface while maintaining backward compatibility.

CF 6.0 also adds a “Sanitize” command, which provides an efficient NAND Block Erase of the entire user data area to return the CF card to a fresh state before reuse or repurposing; trim usage guidelines; and an operating temperature range function along with adding Ultra DMA Mode 7 which supports 167 MB/second speed. “This speed enhancement enables a new generation of higher performance cards while providing complete backward compatibility,” the association says .

The new CF 6.0 specification is available for immediate download here.