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CompactFlash grows to 144PB

CompactFlash grows to 144PB

The latest version of the CompactFlash standard allows for cards of up to 144PB in size - although it'll be a while before we hit that limit.

CompactFlash - the memory card format still much loved by high-end camera manufacturers for its impressive storage capacity - has just got more impressive with the release of version 5.0 of the specification.

As reported over on Electronista, the CompactFlash Association - the body behind the CF standard - has unveiled CompactFlash version 5.0, which increases the theoretical maximum capacity of a CompactFlash card.

While current cards are limited to 137GB - which is still a pretty impressive figure when you consider the form factor we're talking about here - the new CompactFlash 5.0 specification increases the address space from 28 bits to 48 bits, potentially allowing for 144PB of storage on a single card. For those unfamiliar with the remarkable and little-seen 'petabyte,' that's 147,456 terabytes - or the contents of 16,063,292 dual-layer DVDs.

Of course, we won't be seeing such capacious cards any time soon: although the underlying technology used to address CompactFlash devices has changed, it still uses either a miniaturised mechanical drive - usually known as a MicroDrive - or traditional flash storage at its heart, and the state of the art in both fields is a long way from cramming even a single petabyte into a CompactFlash-size form factor. As data densities grow, however, the new CompactFlash standard should be able to keep up with whatever the storage industry can throw at it.

With CompactFlash being largely aimed at pro-level photographers, there's some good news in the new standard beyond mere capacity increases: version 5.0 allows up to 32MB of data to be thrown around in a single transfer instruction, compared to a mere 128KB in the current implementation of the standard. With sensor sizes increasing and an increasing number of people choosing to shoot RAW-format images over lossy compression formats like JPEG, that's a feature which is going to come in handy.

Additional features of the new standard include TRIM-like performance tuning, quality of service guarantees for streaming video data, and a new connector which the Association claims offers "better card design."

So far no manufacturer has come forward with an estimated release date of a card or device which supports the new 5.0 standard, so the race is on to be the first flash storage specialist or camera maker to tick the box on the product sheet.

Are you impressed with the potential of the new standard, or is 48-bit addressing a waste in such a small form factor? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

21 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
BLC 23rd February 2010, 15:41 Quote
A somewhat misleading article title perhaps, given that it's only the specification that allows for 144PB... ;)

Though any advances in small form factor storage technologies are more than welcome - mechanical, flash or otherwise.
mclean007 23rd February 2010, 15:53 Quote
Quote:
the state of the art in both fields is a long way from cramming even a single petabyte into a CompactFlash-size form factor
That's a big understatement - the state of the art is still a loooong way from cramming even a single TERABYTE into that form factor, so a PB is in the realms of fantasy for the foreseeable future.
shanky887614 23rd February 2010, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Quote:
the state of the art in both fields is a long way from cramming even a single petabyte into a CompactFlash-size form factor
That's a big understatement - the state of the art is still a loooong way from cramming even a single TERABYTE into that form factor, so a PB is in the realms of fantasy for the foreseeable future.

they did say theoretical max so we will never hit that high no matter what people say
we may get clsoe but not that much
mclean007 23rd February 2010, 16:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
Quote:
the state of the art in both fields is a long way from cramming even a single petabyte into a CompactFlash-size form factor
That's a big understatement - the state of the art is still a loooong way from cramming even a single TERABYTE into that form factor, so a PB is in the realms of fantasy for the foreseeable future.

they did say theoretical max so we will never hit that high no matter what people say
we may get clsoe but not that much
Agreed, huge theoretical limits are brilliant as they tend never to create real world bottlenecks requiring changes to standards. I was more poking fun at the uncharacteristically sensationalist headline from BT.
Skippylee 23rd February 2010, 16:30 Quote
144PB is alot of info, but the Isolinear optical chips can hold a maximum capacity of 2.15 kiloquads of data! Eat that CF5.0!! ;)
rickysio 23rd February 2010, 16:32 Quote
WAT.
Artanix 23rd February 2010, 16:42 Quote
its over 9000!!!!
mi1ez 23rd February 2010, 16:52 Quote
Much more impressed by the increased data rate. FAR more useful!
shanky887614 23rd February 2010, 18:13 Quote
anyway i dont know about you but at currrent rates wouldnt this be aimed at buissness and corporations becasue there is no way you can download that much data from internet from current speed (20mb/s average max 1gb)

or 578 constant days downloading lol
borandi 23rd February 2010, 18:17 Quote
Yet another article that confuses the confused regarding base 2 over base 10.

i.e. 1 kilobyte is 1000 bytes, 1 kibibyte is 1024 bytes (base 10 vs base 2)

Thus:

1 Petabyte (PB) is 1000 terabytes (TB)
1 Pebibyte (PiB) is 1024 tebibytes (TiB)

So 144PB is 144000 TB, however 144 PiB is 147456 TiB.

144PB is actually 130967 TiB. Come on bit-tech, simple mathematics!
l3v1ck 23rd February 2010, 18:30 Quote
I see this being more of a niche product. The physical size of the media makes it less and less suitable to modern thin/small devices.
knuck 23rd February 2010, 18:41 Quote
I'm personally more impressed by the fuglyness of the CFA logo !

yewww


Got to love CF though. There used to be how many formats and now all we can all feel safe knowing whatever we buy will require CF :)
Mraedis 23rd February 2010, 20:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
That's a big understatement - the state of the art is still a loooong way from cramming even a single TERABYTE into that form factor, so a PB is in the realms of fantasy for the foreseeable future.

I thought current cards would hold up to 650GB? :?
digitaldave 23rd February 2010, 20:54 Quote
article states a "new connector"

backwards compatible?
PaulGreyhead 23rd February 2010, 21:11 Quote
[QUOTE=borandi]Yet another article that confuses the confused regarding base 2 over base 10.

i.e. 1 kilobyte is 1000 bytes, 1 kibibyte is 1024 bytes (base 10 vs base 2)


1Kb is actually 1024 bytes. Or it used to be!
thehippoz 23rd February 2010, 21:51 Quote
just have to understand binary.. 8 bits to a byte- those 8 bits alone can count up to 256 (so any byte can represent any number between 0-255).. each bit only has 2 values- on or off

collectively- you can get a better understanding if you think of bits as light switches

all 8 bits in a byte:

bit #1 = 1
bit #2 = 2
bit #3 = 4
bit #4 = 8
bit #5 = 16
bit #6 = 32
bit #7 = 64
bit #8 = 128

now like mentioned each bit only has 2 values- like a light switch on or off, 0 or 1.. so if they are all 0, the byte is = 0

now let's flip some switches bitches hehe.. say we turn on bit 7 and 5.. 64+16 = 80

now flip on bit 1.. 64+16+1 = 81

flip them all on and you have 255 (256 total if you include 0).. you can see using these 'switches' we can assign any number between 0 and 255 to 8 bits.. 9 bits, just one more bit than we have now.. we can now count up to 512 (bit #9 = 256).. 10 bits 1024.. ect..

that might be a little easier to understand for people who are trying to learn the basics.. why we have 1024 bits in a kilobit.. 1024 bytes in a kilobyte.. ect..

I actually taught this stuff in school to the rest of the class, the instructor was trying too hard
Gradius 23rd February 2010, 22:52 Quote
Strange...

2^48 = 281.474.976.710.656
2^47 = 140.737.488.355.328
thehippoz 23rd February 2010, 23:57 Quote
ah yeah your right, just ran the numbers.. 48 bits comes out to 256 petabytes- it's the spec limit guess
BLC 24th February 2010, 07:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by borandi
Yet another article that confuses the confused regarding base 2 over base 10.

i.e. 1 kilobyte is 1000 bytes, 1 kibibyte is 1024 bytes (base 10 vs base 2)

Thus:

1 Petabyte (PB) is 1000 terabytes (TB)
1 Pebibyte (PiB) is 1024 tebibytes (TiB)

So 144PB is 144000 TB, however 144 PiB is 147456 TiB.

144PB is actually 130967 TiB. Come on bit-tech, simple mathematics!
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehippoz
just have to understand binary.. 8 bits to a byte- those 8 bits alone can count up to 256 (so any byte can represent any number between 0-255).. each bit only has 2 values- on or off

collectively- you can get a better understanding if you think of bits as light switches

all 8 bits in a byte:

bit #1 = 1
bit #2 = 2
bit #3 = 4
bit #4 = 8
bit #5 = 16
bit #6 = 32
bit #7 = 64
bit #8 = 128

now like mentioned each bit only has 2 values- like a light switch on or off, 0 or 1.. so if they are all 0, the byte is = 0

now let's flip some switches bitches hehe.. say we turn on bit 7 and 5.. 64+16 = 80

now flip on bit 1.. 64+16+1 = 81

flip them all on and you have 255 (256 total if you include 0).. you can see using these 'switches' we can assign any number between 0 and 255 to 8 bits.. 9 bits, just one more bit than we have now.. we can now count up to 512 (bit #9 = 256).. 10 bits 1024.. ect..

that might be a little easier to understand for people who are trying to learn the basics.. why we have 1024 bits in a kilobit.. 1024 bytes in a kilobyte.. ect..

I actually taught this stuff in school to the rest of the class, the instructor was trying too hard

However. Storage manufacturers have typically used base 10 when it comes to things like hard drives, which is why your 1TB hard drive doesn't actually have 1TB of usable storage space.
Mraedis 24th February 2010, 21:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
However. Storage manufacturers have typically used base 10 when it comes to things like hard drives, which is why your 1TB hard drive doesn't actually have 1TB1TiB of usable storage space.

Fixed that for you.
BLC 25th February 2010, 18:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mraedis
Fixed that for you.

Bah - anyone can make a typo ;)
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