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

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the yes-have-some dept.

Data Storage 98

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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Please stop being so sensational (5, Insightful)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403706)

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

Re:Please stop being so sensational (3, Funny)

gtall (79522) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

/. attitude (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34403812)

Seriously? Would you rather have 500 different chargers for every cell phone made out there?
Having a specification is a good first step. I remember the same kind of drivel from /. when the first flash memory was announced (not created or produced)- "it's only 4mb, just carry more floppies!", or "a cd can hold 700mb! And it's flat and portable!"

Seriously, you're not the target here. As stated in the summary, *professional* photographers and videographers. You know, people who rely on this shit for a living, instead of some hobby photographing flowers and pets.

Re:/. attitude (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34404008)

Wait, did you just assume he was arguing against a new specification?

He's pointing out the headline states one thing and the summary states another. When I saw the headline, and did not see anything about specification, I assumed the headline was literal. Upon reading the summary, I read something completely different but related.

Re:/. attitude (4, Funny)

Fishead (658061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404026)

I think the problem is the wording in the article.

I pee'd a bit when I read the title... oh... I did again when I read it for the second time... look, there I go again!

I thought maybe, just maybe Sony and Nikon have developed some amazing new technology that they kept secret up until now and are blowing the doors off the solid state storage market.

But no... bit of a let down... they're just writing a spec, not developing an actual card... booooo

Re:/. attitude (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404056)

A spec is quite reasonable(though, so is pointing out that their spec is essentially a set of references to existing interconnects, which is again a perfectly reasonable way to build a spec. There don't seem to any major complaints with PCIe, the PCIe SIG is providing steady advances in bandwidth per lane for nearly free(to the CF guys), it exists in both PCs and embedded devices, making transfer easy, and you can always add a "pro" variant which contains two or more lanes if you really need the extra bandwidth)...

The only part that doesn't make sense to me, especially if they are shooting for the Serious Pros market(since SD has basically devoured everything from 'just expensive enough to populate the expansion header' up to 'mid-level DSL') is the 2TB limit. That limit has already very nearly been reached in 3.5inch and 2.5 inch SSDs, and the Large Format Digital(why yes, I am shooting 50 megapixel RAWs, because I'm better than you) and DSLR HD Video (Yup, full 1080p with the limited compression provided by a camera ASIC...) markets are certainly reaching the point where the idea of 2TB is more of a "workable, if irksome" limit rather than a "Please pick my jaw up from the ground where it has fallen, oh magical miracles of the future" type of thing.

Re:/. attitude (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34404444)

> the 2TB limit. That limit has already very nearly been reached in 3.5inch and 2.5 inch SSDs

I can't help thinking you've shifted a decimal point or something. 2 TB is the sweet spot for 3.25" magnetic drives (3 TB drives came out fairly recently, but cost more per TB and seem to sell out quickly). 2.5" magnetic drives max out around 1 TB.

Flash, though? 2.5" flash drives still live in the 16-256 GB range. If the Moore's Law advances hold pace, we're still a good 6 years away from 2 TB 2.5" flash drives. And SD cards just reached 64 GB.

Looking up filesizes, DSLR HD (1080, at 24fps) seems to chew 4 GB in 12 minutes. Let's round down to 10 minutes for easier math. 2 TB would get you 83 HOURS of video. That's not "workable, if irksome", that's incredible.

Re:/. attitude (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404786)

You really don't want to see the price sheets, which is why the SSDs that actually sell are still in the 16-256GB range; but 1TB SSDsare at or close to commercial availability [engadget.com] in 2.5 inch sizes. You can already get 2TB, possibly 4, out of the larger PCIe expansion card type ones. Again, you'll be looking at 10k+ for toys like that; but they exist, and they can be expected to keep shrinking until the solid state physics guys come back with very bad news...

Re:/. attitude (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34407482)

DSLR HD is 4gb for 12 minutes because of the cf card limitations for speed and size. Professional HD is uncompressed, which puts you closer to 1 hour of HD at 1tb. File size and transfer speed limitations are the reason why compression exists in recording devices. Remove these limitations and you can achieve much higher quality.

Re:/. attitude (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34412102)

I think that's way too "good enough for now" a view for my taste. Computers moved across the board to LBA48 nearly a decade ago (2002). LBA48 can support up to a 144 petabyte (128 pebibytes) drive capacity. Even if disk space continues to increase at the current pace without slowing, that was almost three decades of expansion room when it first came out. Yet in the consumer space, we're still stuck with ridiculous limits because the camera manufacturers would rather design obsolescence into their gear. So when you buy a piece of camera gear, it supports the current standard of flash card. In about two years, that standard will hit a capacity wall, and a new standard will be created. Within two to three years after that, it becomes significantly more expensive in cost-per-gig to buy flash cards that still work with the old cameras because the price-performance curve has shifted to larger flash cards that aren't compatible. That's a pretty sad compatibility story.

I'm firmly of the opinion that the $1,000 DSLR camera you buy now should be compatible with any new media that comes out for at least a decade or two. That shouldn't be much of a stretch. Just STOP tweaking the standard a tiny bit at a time. It's way past time for camera makers to bite the bullet and design a real, extensible standard now that will continue to work in the long term. We should never have had an SDHC standard or an SDXC standard. We should have had a single SD48 or even SD64 standard. Similarly, they should be working on CF48, not CF32. Adding four bits worth of capacity at a time is a copout. It's not like it takes that much extra work to toss around one extra data word per block number.

Re:/. attitude (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34415660)

I'm firmly of the opinion that the $1,000 DSLR camera you buy now should be compatible with any new media that comes out for at least a decade or two.

What's the point? In twenty years, a present day camera will just be an antique toy collectable. I doubt that you'd want to use a digital camera from ten years ago now

Re:/. attitude (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404474)

Nikon's D7000 does 1080p30 at 26.56Mbps which is 9.56GB/hour, if you can fill a 2TB flash card with video doing anything productive you must be shooting an entire nature documentary on one card without offloading the video (bad idea!). Heck even raw 1080p30 video would only be ~.5TB/hour. You're right though that large format backs could eat through it fairly quickly shooting RAW.

Re:/. attitude (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34406236)

Nikon's D7000 does 1080p30 at 26.56Mbps which is 9.56GB/hour, if you can fill a 2TB flash card with video doing anything productive you must be shooting an entire nature documentary on one card without offloading the video (bad idea!).

Hmm I could imagine a '5400p30' video camera which you set up pointing at a habitat and leave it running for a day. Come evening you pull the card and scan it to see if you have caught the mating dance of the Marsh Wombat (or anything else interesting) and if you have, you can do x5 zoom in and crop out a nicely framed 1080p video of the action.

A wild life photographer could be in 2-3 different places at once.

Re:/. attitude (1)

cbraescu1 (180267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34407174)

That's overly compressed video. Completely unusable from a professional perspective.

What the pro needs (and also the semi-pro) is ability to record uncompressed HD (or "visually lossless" HD using codecs such as Cineon).

Huge difference in throughput

Re:/. attitude (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34408566)

There have been chunks of hollywood movies and full episodes of tv shows (including House) shot with the Canon 5D mk ii and that's 38Mbps including uncompressed audio (1.5-2.3Mbps depending on if it's 16 bit or 24bit) so I would say your claim is false.

Re:/. attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34414610)

"Cloverfield" doesn't count

Re:/. attitude (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34407638)

CF cards at 64 GB are quite a bit further from 2TB than 2.5" SSDs are. CF is a really small physical format. Small enough that you can carry a bunch in your pocket, and swap them out each time you fill your 2TB with data. Which, if you're recording uncompressed 1080P video at 60fps and 32 bit color (500MB/sec) will still take you over an hour.

Re:Please stop being so sensational (2, Funny)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404306)

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??

Re:Please stop being so sensational (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404662)

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

Re:Please stop being so sensational (1)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405108)

It's the same amount, but you should be using "pebibytes" and "zebibytes"!

Re:Please stop being so sensational (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34450542)

Not at all, 500PiB equals 563 PB. There is no way a simple confusion of units would make the values the same.

Re:Please stop being so sensational (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34409728)

OK, when you are done, could you please provide us with the specification of the connector and the protocol in use.
Moving data at 500MB/s might seem trivial if you live in softwareland. Designing a connector that allows the transfer reliably is not.
Since most semi-fast protocols that are used in computer peripherals uses 8b/10b encoding that will be about 50Gbit/s. A bitlength is less than 6mm at that frequency.
If the paired signals differs in length by 3mm (Computer PCB traces, connector on PCB, wires to computer front, connector at computer front, connector on memory card, traces on memory card PCB all add up.) then the signal will not work at all.

Re:Please stop being so sensational (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404394)

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

Re:Please stop being so sensational (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34405198)

Exactly. And furthermore, how damn difficult is it to RAID 0 a bunch of flash together? Seriously, you can make a drive as fast as you want connection speeds notwithstanding.

Re:Please stop being so sensational (1)

MRRPLR (1951064) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405656)

Way ahead here as i also have a spec at 512 Petabytes/second, with 2.048 Zettabytes of storage

Re:Please stop being so sensational (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34412218)

Seriously. I read the summary, went "Oh.", then promptly closed the tab.

Specification (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403718)

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:Specification (3, Informative)

Lalakis (308990) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403782)

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.

Re:Specification (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34403848)

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

Re:Specification (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34407728)

No. The summary, the article, and this thread are all one big CF.

Re:Specification (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404100)

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...)

Re:Specification (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#34407706)

By the time this comes out your existing computer will be obsolete.

Re:Specification (2)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403786)

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.

Re:Specification (1)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403884)

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

Re:Specification (4, Insightful)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404164)

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.

Re:Specification (1)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404466)

I was about to say the same thing. Thank you, sir. Spot on.

Re:Specification (0)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405544)

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.

Re:Specification (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34408356)

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

Re:Specification (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404638)

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.

And before someone replies, no, I don't care about your personal issues about car speed and safety.

Re:Specification (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34416714)

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.

Re:Specification (1)

sleeping143 (1523137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404212)

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.

Re:Specification (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34409100)

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

Re:Specification (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34409672)

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

Re:Specification (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404566)

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.

Re:Specification (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34416740)

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.

Re:Specification (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404868)

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...

Re:Specification (1)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405726)

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.

Re:Specification (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34410910)

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

Re:Specification (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34415738)

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?

Re:Specification (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34406334)

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 needed to buy new equipment when USB 2.0 superseded USB 1.0 and SATA 3.0 superseded SATA 1.5. Hopefully, the new specification will be backwards compatible in that you can use your new card reader to read your old cards. Also, I don't know about you but new card readers are like $40 max these days. It's not like buying a new one would require you to get a 2nd lien on your house.

Re:Specification (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34406850)

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 multiple developers to create compatible hardware. You need to have the spec before you create the hardware or it's worthless.

Moron.

Re:Specification (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#34410668)

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.

Re:Specification (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34415698)

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

There seems an obvious way of checking that...

Only 2T ? (5, Insightful)

Olivier Galibert (774) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Only 2T ? (2, Insightful)

baka_toroi (1194359) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404086)

But how will they be able to sell you yet another camera/reader/MP3 player if they make the upper bound very high?

Re:Only 2T ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34405654)

And amazingly, the reader shouldn't be a problem except perhaps for the speed (if circuitry doesn't make it), but one firmware (BIOS) upgrade on my GF Toshiba, imposed a limitation reading HCSD. The reader on the PC used to read 8G SD, and suddenly stopped after the upgrade. After checking on the logs, evidently, the small print said they will disable it. And there was no option to restore the previous BIOS version. Since my PC read those files and I'm the one that uses SDs the most I forgot about the incident, but it seems to me that there is some licensing stupidity surrounding these "developments" or "specifications".

Re:Only 2T ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34404318)

Probably because 2TB is the limit for standard partition tables, yet is enough to store 90 minutes of uncompressed 1080p60 video. Would you even want a portable storage card that takes over an hour to read completely? It's also 16x the current 128GB limit. Not to mention the fact that it's really pushing the limits of FAT32, without which you wouldn't be able to guarantee that any card would be readable in any modern device.

dom

Re:Only 2T ? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404732)

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 probably don't run into problems for a while. Heck, a lot of devices can't even read flash memory over 2GB or so.

Re:Only 2T ? (1)

bored (40072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404954)

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.

Re:Only 2T ? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404968)

Ah, yes, thank you. I had forgotten that. :-P

That makes sense now.

Re:Only 2T ? (1)

peturosan (1928056) | more than 3 years ago | (#34407300)

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-for-next-generation-high-speed-memory-card-format [sandisk.com]

Curious... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403902)

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?

Re:Curious... (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404200)

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.

Hanlon's razor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34411486)

Well. That is actually quite fitting, since Sony is involved.
I wonder if the spec will indicate how big the rootkit will be this time...

Re:Curious... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404440)

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 those at up to 256 GB capacity it's a very niche use case. Actually the most common use case I've seen is moving powerpoints, and despite the rumors of Microsoft's bloatware the thumbdrives have vastly outpaced them.

Re:Curious... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405076)

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 the challenge. If you want 10megapixel 60hz video, or some 3d foolishness, or HDR, or somesuch, requirements will rise.

Also, if I were the CF SIG, I'd seriously consider the possibility of a future in the enterprise storage arena... Let's assume, pessimistically, that the new CF card will be the size of a 54mm Expresscard: Allowing 1cm for socket and PCB, the CF card would occupy an area 85 mm deep, 54mm wide(call it 60, to allow for walls/guiderails) and 5mm thick(again, call it 9 or 10 just to be on the safe side.

Under such assumptions, a 1u chassis could accomodate 4 CF cards high by 8 wide. 32 fully accessible, front mounted modules in a single 1U. A more serious storage shelf might take advantage of the fact that the cards could be mounted upright in a 2U(though it would be a bit tight) or quite roomily in a 3U drawer. Depending on how deep the drawer is, you could potentially get 60-100 rows of 8 into a single 2 or 3u unit.

Obviously, the enterprise use of SSDs(crazy IOPS) is different than the camera use of SSDs(low power, shock resistant, reasonably fast linear speed); but economies of scale would still apply to cases, connectors, PCBs, flash, (and quite possibly even controllers, some of which would simply have two different firmwares, tweaked for different purposes).

Even if cameras never need more than 2TB, overlooking the chance to gain extra economies of scale by being the next industry-standard crazy-dense SSD form factor seems shortsighted...

Re:Curious... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405492)

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.

Re:Curious... (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34407064)

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.

Re:Curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34408602)

Well, tough cookies for that "some other manufacturer" then, they need to come up with their own card. This is being designed by Sony and Nikon, respectively #3 and #1 DSLR sellers in the world, and is aimed at the professional photography and video market, not at you, not at aunt tillie, not at "some other manufacturer [that] may decide these cards are perfect to replace that noisy hard drive".

So, in short, stop being a dick. Unless you're a pro photog or videog, this isn't for you.

Re:Curious... (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34414018)

This is being designed by Sony and Nikon, respectively #3 and #1 DSLR sellers in the world

It is also being developed by SanDisk, and let's not forget Sony's markets in laptops and other consumer electronics. Nikon also has markets in industrial, forensic, and laboratory equipment that could benefit from larger storage sizes. Furthermore, these companies are likely to get patents on the spec. Why should they lock themselves out of potentially lucrative royalties that come with a well-established standard?

Re:Curious... (1)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405426)

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 talking parallel interfaces, then petabyte addressing costs more at the connector and size level. You now need 48 wires instead of 32, and your connector size needs to be bigger, heavier, and costlier.

All this performance and/or expense would paid today for hardware that may not commercially exist for a decade. Is everyone willing to accept that penalty now?

Re:Curious... (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34406776)

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.

Re:Curious... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34415778)

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.

Re:Curious... (1)

Agripa (139780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425580)

However, you can buy 1TB SSDs right now.

In something about the size of a Compact Flash card?

And... (0)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34403910)

What would such a card cost? (pinky to the corner of the mouth) One BILLION dollars!

Why not stick with SDXC? (0)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404052)

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

Re:Why not stick with SDXC? (4, Informative)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404214)

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.

Re:Why not stick with SDXC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34404290)

Last time I checked 500MB/s is faster than 2.4Gbps.

Re:Why not stick with SDXC? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404292)

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 not a 16TB card? (0)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404090)

Why stop at just 2? Up the ante and go to 16.

Re:Why not a 16TB card? (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404392)

Why stop at just 16TB? Go up to 100JB (Jiga Bytes), Marty.

-Doc. Brown from the future

Re:Why not a 16TB card? (1)

pckl300 (1525891) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405700)

Why stop at just 2? Up the ante and go to 16.

Because they figured no one has that much porn.

Who would use this? (3, Interesting)

gabebear (251933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404196)

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.

Re:Who would use this? (2)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404772)

Re:Who would use this? (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34407276)

The problem would be that he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

Pro equipment currently generally holds around 32gb or so of data. 2TB is not in any way pitiful for professional equipment. At 25mb per picture (12MP D90 RAW) that's 80,000 pictures or an hour of video at 6x the resolution of 1080p video. Photographers have never been able to hold 80,000 pictures, ever. 6 hours of 1080p is pretty good too, especially since that format isn't going to change for another decade or more, at least.

Now, as to why the 2TB limit, it is almost certainly do to technical limitations and a balance between what is practical and what is possible. It may be possible to get a 64TB storage cap, but the necessary spec changes may well have made it harder to get the technology to market in a reasonable time frame and at a reasonable cost.

Also, since digital camera optics are already approaching their physical limits, and thus the size of the images aren't likely to grow very quickly, it may be a very long time before the spec needs to change again (for cameras, anyway).

Re:Who would use this? (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34409796)

A D90 is not a pro DSLR.
Would 2TB be too much for a lot of shooting of RAW images with a 95 Mpixel medium format back? I'm sure it's more than enough, but too much?

Re:Who would use this? (1)

anUnhandledException (1900222) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429854)

95MP ~60MB Raw file size.

That is roughly 33,000 shots on a 2TB card.

I don't know many photographers who would be saying damn I have to change my memory card after 33,000 photos.
Even in specialized niche (say automated camera taking 1 shot per second of stars thats roughly 9 hours of capacity.

Anyone claiming 2TB isn't good enough for "pro" equipment is full of shit.

2TB = 30,000 to 180,000 high resolution shots (10 to 60MP)

2TB = 24 hours of uncompressed 1080p uncompressed @ 24fps, 36bit deep color (1920 x 1080 x 36 x 24 / 8 / 1000 ./1000) =223 MBps

Windows Phone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34404326)

But will it be good enough to put in a Windows Phone?

What happened to CFast? (4, Interesting)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 3 years ago | (#34404428)

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.

Spon6e (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34404680)

and piss cocktail. BitToorent) Second, turd-suckingly

Fixed that (1)

n0tWorthy (796556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405618)

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

There, fixed that for you.

Just what we need, more planned obsolescence (0)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 3 years ago | (#34405816)

Yah, like I need to be able to hold more in my megapixel camera and stuff. It already takes too long to download over USB and find the few new ones I want to put to hard drive. And I really need to spend a bunch more money on some new media, which I'll have to do if this gets adopted in anything, long before I've worn out the stuff I have. No, I don't want to say something like 640k should be enough for anybody (but with well written code, it's still not bad -- think what you can do in a dinky embedded micro). But this is just a way to make everyone have to buy it all all over again. Like the RIAA pushing new media so they could sell us the Beatles one more time, rather than find or develop another good band and take any actual risk. Oh, this time it was Apple, wasn't it. I suppose this will generate flames, so be it. Why not just take the music off one of the 45's, cassettes, vinyl, CD's etc you already own and put it on your dumb portable player you use to allow being more impolite to the people around you? Corporatism, don't get me started.

Re:Just what we need, more planned obsolescence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34406454)

I hear ya. I couldn't even be bothered to continue reading once I saw the words "...new specification..." without redlining at the fucking industry.
I see SONY has its greasy little fingers firmly stuck in there, so you can bet it will be as anti-consumer as possible.

FAT32 limitations (3, Informative)

ryanw (131814) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:FAT32 limitations (1)

wbo (1172247) | more than 3 years ago | (#34417896)

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 their files into 2GB chunks and then automatically join them when they are transferred to a PC.

I believe this behavior is required for all cameras that support the AVCHD/H.264 standard and most of the cameras that I have used that youse MPEG2 compression do this as well.

Most still cameras with a video recording feature do not split their files on purpose. The resulting time limits prevent them from being classified as a video camera which means the manufacturers don't have to pay the tariffs that some countries impose on video cameras.

Re:FAT32 limitations (1)

anUnhandledException (1900222) | more than 3 years ago | (#34429878)

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.

Ban Lucas123 From Submitting Articles FOREVER..... (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34408168)

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.....

finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34410134)

Exellent card to gather more wikileaks

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