The Compact Flash Organization [site] released their new 5.0 specification earlier today.Â It just blew the cap off the lid of storage limits.Â The current specification for Compact Flash is 137GBs…now that is 144 Petabytes, or PBs.
Petabyte is a big number, and most people haven’t heard of it.Â Well, to break it down, a petabyte is [around] 150 million Gigabytes.
Look around your house for some Blu-ray discs, that would equal six million blu-ray titles on one Compact Flash card.Â I guess that means no more RAID boxes, right?Â I mean, what’s better than solid state memory and storage the size of Texas?
We started doing the math on the time it would take a CF Duplicator to copy a 5.0 Compact Flash card, laughed and stopped.Â There just isn’t technology out there for bulk data loading to a device like this…let alone finding a ligitimate use of putting that much information on the card anyway.
So we don’t see a practical use for the 5.0 spec yet, but there are other improvements we should get excited about.Â The CFA says Revision 5.0 brings an optional quality of service framework that guarantees a certain level of performance and prevents dropping frames, more efficient cleanup of unused space, a new electrical design that better complies with ATA standards.
There’s no mention of when CompactFlash 5.0 cards will ship, but if you are still interested you can read up on the new spec here [PDF], or download the official specification for a C note.
SD cards come in all sorts of GB sizes and speeds.Â Today I thought it a good idea to take a look inside an SD card along with breaking out the speed differences.
To start, the SD media is broken down into “Classes”Â The Class depicts the speeds at which a device reads and writes.
There are different speed grades available, measured the same as CD-ROMs, in multiples of 150 kB/s (1x = 150 kB/s). Basic cards transfer data up to six times (6x) the data rate of the standard CD-ROM speed (900 kB/s vs. 150 kB/s).
The maximum read speed and maximum write speed may be different. Maximum write speed typically is lower than maximum read speed. Some digital cameras require high-speed cards (write speed) to record video smoothly or capture multiple still photographs in rapid succession. This requires a certain sustained speed, or the video stops recording. For recording, a high maximum speed with a low sustained speed is no better than a low speed card. The 2.0 specification defines speeds up to 200x.
Some manufacturers use the read speed in their X-ratings, while others (Kingston, for example) use write speed.
SD Cards and SDHC Cards have Speed Class Ratings defined by the SD Association. The SD Speed Class Ratings specify the following minimum write speeds based on “the best fragmented state where no memory unit is occupied”:
Class 2: 2 MByte/s – 13x
Class 4: 4 MByte/s – 26x
Class 6: 6 MByte/s – 40x
SD and SDHC cards will often also advertise a maximum speed (such as