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SanDisk, Nikon and Sony Develop 500MB/sec 2TB Flash Card 98

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yes-have-some dept.
Lucas123 writes "SanDisk, Nikon and Sony are jointly developing a new Compact Flash card specification for the professional photography and video markets that boosts data transfer rates from 167MB/sec with today's 6.0 specification to 500MB/sec. The newly proposed specification would also offer up cards with a theoretical maximum capacity of 2TB, which would be conducive to recording high-definition video."
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SanDisk, Nikon and Sony Develop 500MB/sec 2TB Flash Card

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  • by Metabolife (961249) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:25AM (#34403706)

    They didn't DEVELOP anything. They're working on the specification to allow for growth. Nothing more.

    • by gtall (79522) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:32AM (#34403790)

      Says up there that the "proposed specification would also offer up cards with a theoretical maximum capacity of 2TM". That's one gonzo-whopper of a specification being able to offer up physical cards. I wonder how that's done. Maybe they have a machine that accepts specifications and spits out cards. That must be it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Galestar (1473827)
      I'm developing a "specification" that can go up to 500 Petabytes/second, with 2 Zettabytes of storage. Not that we have the materials to build it, but can I get in the news now??
      • by McNihil (612243)

        I am "way" ahead of you. My spec is at 512 Petabytes/second, with 2.048 Zettabytes of storage.

    • by alen (225700)

      they also have patents. and if it's anything like Blu-Ray then they will pool their patents together so any card will work

    • by MRRPLR (1951064)
      Way ahead here as i also have a spec at 512 Petabytes/second, with 2.048 Zettabytes of storage
  • Specification (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:26AM (#34403718) Homepage Journal

    Specification... My car's tires are specified to 147mph. *Can* they go that fast?

    Wake me up when there is an actual 2TB, 500MB/sec compact flash card out there. I will promptly curse you for requiring me to buy YET ANOTHER compact flash reader.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lalakis (308990)

      I will promptly curse you for requiring me to buy YET ANOTHER compact flash reader.

      It seems you will need it, as this proposed CF is PCIe based and not PATA. Also, the article indicates a different form factor from the current CF cards.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So in other words it's not CF at all?

      • Re:Specification (Score:5, Interesting)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:59AM (#34404100) Journal
        On the other hand, the "reader" should be as simple as a mechanical adapter for your Expresscard slot or some sort of PCIe card+extender cable for your desktop, since both options already provide a native PCIe lane, and at least the former is definitely hot-pluggable and the latter might well be...

        Technically, CF cards were in a similar position vs. IDE; but since IDE freaked out and dropped its marbles if you tried to hot-plug something, this was really only useful for building cheap, small, low-end SSDs for x86 embedded devices(a fair few embedded motherboards actually came with CF slots directly, replacing one of the IDE slots, to save you the trouble of the pin adapter. Super useful when building firewalls and stuff that needed more punch or professionalism than a hacked WRT-54G; but didn't want a bunch of spinning disks sucking power just to store less than 128MB of M0n0wall...)
      • By the time this comes out your existing computer will be obsolete.

    • Yes, if they are put on the correct car, and there are many cars that can do so. What they're doing is announcing passenger car tires that are specified to handle 400 MPH, which no passenger car can currently do.

      • Nor do they have the technology to actually build said tires.

      • Re:Specification (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Idarubicin (579475) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (teiuqslla)> on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:05AM (#34404164) Journal

        What they're doing is announcing passenger car tires that are specified to handle 400 MPH, which no passenger car can currently do.

        Actually, what they're doing is announcing a standardized shape, fittings, and labelling system for passenger car tires -- so that you'll be able to recognize one that could go 400 MPH if some manufacturer gets around to designing such a tire. Neither car nor tire actually exist yet.

        • Actually, that is just a "Oh crap my paper needs to be 6 pages long and it's only 4" version of what I said.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            you are wrong. too bad theres no mod option for that.

      • Much like tires however, the spec needs to exist before there's a reason to make the product. Without tires rated for high speeds, making the vehicle that can drive those speeds is nearly impossible as it will simply destroy the tires its tested with.

        On a totally off-topic note, when replacing your car tires, make sure they're speed-rated equally to your original tires. If not, ask the mechanic to update your speed limiter to the new tire spec. Do not drive your vehicle over your tires' specified speed.

        A

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Much like tires however, the spec needs to exist before there's a reason to make the product.

          That's not really true. The reason predates the spec in many cases.

          On a totally off-topic note, when replacing your car tires, make sure they're speed-rated equally to your original tires. If not, ask the mechanic to update your speed limiter to the new tire spec. Do not drive your vehicle over your tires' specified speed.

          The vast majority of vehicles do NOT have a programmable speed limiter. It's hard-coded.

    • If your car's tires are specified to 147mph, then yes, they can go that fast. They're required to last at least 10 minutes at the rated speed. Please stop using bad car analogies.
      • by kimvette (919543)

        and if properly inflated - to the pressure listed on the sidewall not what Ford, etc. put on the doorjamb sticker.

      • by treeves (963993)

        Stop using bad car analogies?
        C'mon - that's practically a tradition here!

    • by cyn1c77 (928549)

      Specification... My car's tires are specified to 147mph. *Can* they go that fast?

      Yes, they actually *can*. The manufacturer designs and proof tests them up to that speed to insure their integrity. You may need to remove your electronic governor to get your car to accelerate them to that speed, but that is a failing of your car, not the tires.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        You may need to remove your electronic governor to get your car to accelerate them to that speed, but that is a failing of your car, not the tires.

        I put H-rated tires (good to what, 120?) on my Mercedes which tops out around 100 (1982 300SD) because I wanted the compound, not the speed rating. It's GOOD to have extra speed rating, there's no failure involved.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Hell, my 64 bits processor can have 10^19 bytes of memory (would that be 10 exabytes ?) call me when SD-cards reach THAT level...
    • by DCFusor (1763438)
      I'm not sure what the Pirelli P-zero's are rated for, but on my new Camaro SS they've already handled over 180 mph for the few miles I was willing to try it (car and tires were fine, I was crapping myself)....offtopic, but hey, truth.
      • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

        Most of the P-Zeros are (Y) code which is over 186 mph.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I'm not sure what the Pirelli P-zero's are rated for, but on my new Camaro SS they've already handled over 180 mph for the few miles I was willing to try it (car and tires were fine, I was crapping myself)....offtopic, but hey, truth.

        Would it really have been that hard to find out their speed rating first?

    • Wake me up when there is an actual 2TB, 500MB/sec compact flash card out there. I will promptly curse you for requiring me to buy YET ANOTHER compact flash reader.

      No one is making you buy this card when it comes out. In the summary, it says that this new specification is aimed at professionals. Unless you do professional photography or video for a living, this will not affect you. Even if it came out tomorrow, it will be a while before products hit the market. Even then, it will be a while before the price drops low enough for consumers. By then, there will be a new specification for professionals. And the cycle repeats.

      This is just progress. Just like you ne

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      Wake me up when...

      Wake me up when you go fuck yourself.

      God I can't stand that stupid meme!! Who the fuck cares if you like it or think it's important or whatever? This is clearly designed to allow manufacturers to increase the speed and capacity of the cameras professional photographers use in a multi-platform compatible format. It is a critical first step, unless you like being locked in to whatever memory format Sony, or Nikon, or whoever your camera manufacturer is decides to create.

      A specification is necessary for mult

    • I will promptly curse you for requiring me to buy YET ANOTHER compact flash reader.

      Get ready for this to not be your last. They're developing a new spec still using 32-bit integers? They don't need to go all ZFS-crazy, but really, 64-bit is already standard.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Specification... My car's tires are specified to 147mph. *Can* they go that fast?

      There seems an obvious way of checking that...

  • Only 2T ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Olivier Galibert (774) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:41AM (#34403880)

    I wonder how smart it is to design a spec now with the upper boundary in size equivalent to a normal hard drive. Why stop at 32bits addressing when 48 probably doesn't make much of a difference (the 16 extra will be all zero for a while after all, close to no cost on the card and negligible on the controller) and would match (s)ata that way with its far more future-proof 128PB limit.

    Flash cards seem to move as fast as HDDs, they only started later.

        OG.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by baka_toroi (1194359)
      But how will they be able to sell you yet another camera/reader/MP3 player if they make the upper bound very high?
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I wonder how smart it is to design a spec now with the upper boundary in size equivalent to a normal hard drive. Why stop at 32bits addressing when 48 probably doesn't make much of a difference

      Ummmm ... I didn't think you could address terabytes with 32-bits ... as I recall, 2^32 is like 4 billion and change, and terabytes are trillions, no?

      Or are HDs doing some special magic that I've forgotten about?

      I think given the nature of flash cards, if they didn't build it for the 128PB limit you describe, we proba

      • by bored (40072)

        Or are HDs doing some special magic that I've forgotten about?

        You forgot about the fact that HD's are sector based, so you address the sector, rather than the byte. So 512B*4GB=2TB.

        HD's are generally 512b sectors, but 2k and 4k block devices have been seen. As flash is generally even larger sectors sizes (128k->1M) with a fancy controller to mimic 512b sectors, I wonder why for something like CF they don't just allow large sector sizes.

    • 48-bit LBA was already introduced in CF 5.0 - "CF 6.0 Ultra DMA Mode 7 along with 48-bit addressing defined in the CF 5.0 specification" http://compactflash.org/2010/cf-6-0-introduces-industry-leading-performance-and-feature-enhancements/ [compactflash.org]

      2TB limit is questionable - "The proposed new specifications have the potential to extend theoretical maximum capacities beyond two terabytes" http://www.sandisk.com/about-sandisk/press-room/press-releases/2010/2010-11-29-sandisk,-nikon-and-sony-propose-industry-standards- [sandisk.com]

  • Curious... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:43AM (#34403902) Journal
    The move from PATA to either SATA or PCIe was pretty much as expected(PATA being a dead end, development wise, and lots of pins and traces not doing your BOM costs any favors). The 2TB limit surprise me, though. Obviously, you can save a few bits here and there by reducing the maximum address size; but(by virtue of exponential growth and powers of two) you can absolutely blow the roof off the maximum size limit for just a few bits more here and there.

    If this standard were promulagated in 1995 or something, when 2TB hard drives were basically science fiction, and 2TB solid state drives not the size of entire rooms and costing the GDP of one of the smaller European nations were also basically science fiction, I could understand a 2TB limit(just as the old-school sub-48-bit-LBA HDD size limits are annoying but understandable in context). However, you can buy 1TB SSDs right now. They are not cheap; but they cost less than a decent car. 2TB devices that are basically the PCBs of the 1TB devices with a cheap RAID chip in there somewhere are also in existence. If you are developing a new standard, one that completely changes the electrical substrate and will thus never be backwards compatible(unlike earlier CF standards bumps, which, with the exception of 5v/3.3v changed nothing on the physical side), why would you set a limit that will probably be exceeded in the lab inside two years, and available to the more-money-than-sense crowd in 5? Are the few extra bits that would take you from 2TB to a zillion Petabytes so expensive?) It wouldn't be cheap; but you could(using bare dice and clever stacking and the case as a heat sink) get roughly 1TB worth of flash silicon, plus a controller of some kind, into the size constraints of a CF card right now. Doubling that can't be too far away, unless we hit some nasty wall, and interconnect standards have a way of sticking around for years. Why hobble this one?
    • by thijsh (910751)
      You ask why, but I think you know the answer...

      I am familiar with Hanlon's razor [wikimedia.org], but they can't be this blatantly incompetent.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Well, it does say photo and video market. My TM-700 can record 2h40 of 1080p60 video to 32 GB of memory. At 2TB you're talking something like 270 hours of video or 20,000 raw 50MP/16bpp images. At the risk of pulling a 640k, it'll be enough for almost everyone. Particularly since you need to lug around a few car batteries to power stuff that long.

      SSDs may be different but it's not going for even the remotely the same market. CF cards have more in common with thumbdrives than SSDs, and while you can get thos

      • Given that 1080p is only actually ~2megapixels, while any camera that can shoot it is at least 10, it seems reasonable to prepare for the day when either the average resolution of the household TV increases, (or at least the time when video editors would really like to have some extra resolution to throw away while doing their tricks, in the same way that Photoshop guys really prefer huge source images, even when they'll be baking them down considerably at the last step) and embedded camera ASICs rise to th
        • by PitaBred (632671)

          The average resolution of the household TV didn't increase for over 50 years until now. And even that is too much for many people to notice, as many people are running SD content on their HDTVs [myce.com].

          A 2TB spec is plenty for the next 10-15 years. If you need more, you're not talking about a consumer-level spec, and you may as well develop your own system.

          • by Arlet (29997)

            A 2TB spec is plenty for the next 10-15 years

            Depends on what you use it for, for a portable camera, 2TB is quite large. But some other manufacturer may decide these cards are perfect to replace that noisy hard drive in a PVR, and then the 2TB may fill up fairly quickly.

    • by plover (150551) *

      I'd guess the likely answer is performance. In the serial world of drive access we live in now, extra bits of address take extra transit time to send. 2 TB can be addressed in 32 bit sector numbers. One petabyte would take something like 42 bits to send and would probably be rounded up by engineers to 48 bits, which is 50% longer for each and every block requested. So sending the full address block for each 512 byte sector requested would slow all storage transfers down by about half a percent.

      If we're

      • by Arlet (29997)

        So sending the full address block for each 512 byte sector requested would slow all storage transfers down by about half a percent

        At these high bit rates, the round trip latency for a single sector request is going to be dominating anyway. The obvious solution is to transfer multiple blocks in long bursts whenever possible.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      However, you can buy 1TB SSDs right now. They are not cheap; but they cost less than a decent car.

      Now that's what I call a car analogy.

    • by Agripa (139780)

      However, you can buy 1TB SSDs right now.

      In something about the size of a Compact Flash card?

  • What would such a card cost? (pinky to the corner of the mouth) One BILLION dollars!
  • These cards will be more bulky and slower than high end SDXC cards [wikipedia.org]. And SDXC is already in use today.

    • by Idarubicin (579475) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (teiuqslla)> on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:11AM (#34404214) Journal

      These cards will be more bulky and slower than high end SDXC cards. And SDXC is already in use today.

      Larger and (slightly) slower may mean cheaper, cooler, and/or more durable. A slightly larger form factor may also mean that we get larger actual capacities (rather than the theoretical maximum from the specs, which neither technology is going to reach for a while yet) sooner.

    • by walshy007 (906710)

      SDXC is shoving exFat down everyones throats. exFat is heavily patent encumbered (yes.. they really did patent the idea if going from fat32 to essentially fat64).

      Getting exfat support in kernel will likely be akin to getting patent encumbered codecs is on linux now. A small inconvenience but it won't work out of the box.

      Going back to the days where you can't just read anything anyone gives you is a pain in the ass. I blame software patents.

  • Why stop at just 2? Up the ante and go to 16.
  • Who would use this? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gabebear (251933) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:09AM (#34404196) Homepage Journal
    2TB seems pretty pitiful for pro equipment, and 500MB/s is a complete waste for consumers.

    SD(SDXC) currently maxes out at 2TB, but the first cards using the current spec shipped a year and a half ago. They can only do 104MB/sec, but it takes less than 5.5 hours to completely fill up 2TB at that speed.
  • by Deathlizard (115856) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @11:30AM (#34404428) Homepage Journal

    I thought CompactFlash was moving over to SATA soon in the form of CFast. I know PCI-E would result it more robust IO devices but we already have a standard for that in ExpressCard.

  • Hardware: SanDisk, Nikon and Sony are Developing a 500MB/sec 2TB Flash Card specification

    There, fixed that for you.

  • FAT32 limitations (Score:4, Informative)

    by ryanw (131814) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @01:59PM (#34406532)

    When are they going to switch to a different filesystem? The fat32 4GB file size limitations makes HD video a pain to deal with as well. Currently canon cameras stop recording when the file size reaches the maximum and the user has to see the recording light stop, and hit record again. A better interum solution would be to fill the 4GB file size, increment the filename by one, and keep going. I don't understand why they don't do that... it would be a simple firmware fix.

    • by wbo (1172247)

      When are they going to switch to a different filesystem? The fat32 4GB file size limitations makes HD video a pain to deal with as well. Currently canon cameras stop recording when the file size reaches the maximum and the user has to see the recording light stop, and hit record again. A better interum solution would be to fill the 4GB file size, increment the filename by one, and keep going. I don't understand why they don't do that... it would be a simple firmware fix.

      Most decent video cameras do split

    • SDXC supports exFAT. Some HD camcorders support it, however many sadly still only support FAT32.

      "A better interum solution would be to fill the 4GB file size, increment the filename by one, and keep going. I don't understand why they don't do that... it would be a simple firmware fix."

      At least a couple Sony camcorders do this (have done so for a couple years). If you do some research though you can find one that supports exFAT on SDXC and no need for workaround hacks.

  • Hey, Lucas123! Just how much of a flaming dumbass are you?! Are you too stupid to know the difference between "developing a 2TB flash card" and "developing a 2TB flash card specification"? Jesus Christ! Someone ban this idiot from posting ever again. If you can't tell the difference, you shouldn't be reading SlashDot in the first place.....

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