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CompactFlash getting a SATA speed boost

CompactFlash Association looks to memory card boost transfer rates and capacity standard with the faster Serial ATA interface.

Some smaller flash memory formats fit more conveniently into small gadgets, but allies behind the comparatively bulky CompactFlash standard are working to keep their technology desirable. This time, they're trying to follow the same Serial ATA interface route that hard drives took in recent years.

The CompactFlash Association, an industry consortium that oversees the standard, said last week it's formed a working group to revamp the memory card format with the Serial ATA interface, replacing today's older parallel ATA standard. The move will mean faster transfer speeds and larger capacities. Today's top-end CompactFlash products top out at 32GB capacity and 40 megabytes per second transfer speeds.

I'm all for it, though my 4GB card works reasonably well for day trips using an 8-megapixel camera. Pros are more demanding. I'm more limited by sluggish transfer speeds than capacity, but today's cameras can't keep up with memory cards' top speeds already, so the responsibility for that fix appears to lie with the camera makers.

The new cards will be compatible with current cameras, and new cameras will be compatible with current CompactFlash cards, the association said.

(Via Aimee Baldridge at PopPhoto.)