Tuesday, September 18th 2012

The CompactFlash Association Announces CFAST 2.0 Draft Specification

The CompactFlash Association (CFA) announces the CFast2.0 draft specification and celebrates seventeen years of performance leadership in flash memory card markets. The CFast2.0 draft specification was approved by the CFA Board of Directors for a 90 day final approval vote by all voting members. General availability of the CFast2.0 specification for non-members is expected in Q4 of 2012.

The CompactFlash Association was formed in 1995 as the initial digital film format and continues to serve professional imaging markets where high performance and high quality recording media are important. CFA has consistently created specifications to meet the current and future requirements for professional imaging and video markets. CFast2.0's performance capability of up to 600MB/sec enable CFA to serve new professional video markets such as high definition TV production and cinema video production environments.
CFast2.0 leverages the SATA-3 interface for higher performance based on a computing industry storage interface and protocol. 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 VPG (Video Performance Guarantee) capability with profiles capable of supporting compressed digital intermediate video formats.

Professional video features are growing more powerful, with 2K video enjoying widespread use and 4K video already gaining adoption in high-end production environments. High Definition TV production environments require digital intermediate compression formats where 2K @ 120 frames per second requires reliable performance of 200MB/sec to 250MB/sec. 4K production environments require 4X the data rates of 2K. For example, 4K at 30 frames per second also requires 200MB/sec to 250MB/sec. These next-generation video applications produce videos with incredibly high resolution that exceed CompactFlash cards' data recording maximum capability of 167MB/sec for CF6.0.

The new CFast2.0 specification is available to members and will be available for purchase by non-members after the IP review period closes in the fourth quarter of 2012. Key features of CFast2.0 include:
  • SATA 6 Gb/s Interface: Provides an interface speed of 600MB/s. This speed enhancement enables a new generation of higher performance cards to meet requirements for professional video recording requirements.
  • DEVSLP: Provides a low power sleep mode that helps conserve battery life when the card is not in use.
  • Professional Form Factor 42.8mm x 36.4mm x 3.6mm: Provides a small enough package to fit into maintain/reduce camera size while providing room for memory to support large capacity cards required for professional video recording formats.
Mr. Shigeto Kanda of Canon and the CFA chairman of the board said, "As the Chairman of the CompactFlash Association I am pleased to introduce CFast2.0 continuing our tradition of performance leadership. The higher performance provided by CFast2.0 will further increase the capabilities and value for photographers, videographers, and cinematographers. I am very pleased and proud to see the CFA creating standards that address new professional market segments for CFA."

CFA has recently added several new members interested in CFA's next generation and higher performance standards. CFA invites host and media companies interested in supporting the new CFA specifications to also join CFA as members. Membership in the CompactFlash Association enables participation in CFA work groups and access to draft specifications before they are approved and available for purchase by non-members. More information can be found at http://www.compactflash.org.
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