Following seven months of brainstorming, the CompactFlash Association (CFA) has now listed its intentions for the CF5.1 specification which is set to be released later this year and brings various enhancements while maintaining backwards compatibility.
The main update in the 5.1 specs is the Ultra DMA 167 Mode which enables the development of CompactFlash cards capable of transfer speeds of up to 167 MB/s - 86% faster than today's high-end CF offerings. Beside the speed improvements, the upcoming specs are expected to include the following features:
- Sanitize - Provides an efficient NAND Block Erase of the entire user data area to return the CF card to “fresh” state before reuse or repurposing. Leverages a command defined in INCITS T13 ACS-2.
- Trim Before Write Attribute Protocol - Provides an incremental performance increase by optimizing device physical allocation (allows improved internal data organization).
- Mandatory Write Caching - An enhancement for certain Video Performance Guarantee profiles to improve write performance of CompactFlash cards.
- Operating Temperature Range - An optional card capability to report the operating temperature range of the card. This allows card/camera combinations to enable use in extreme temperatures.
“The higher performance provided by Ultra DMA 167 will further increase the capabilities and value of DSLR cameras," said Mr. Shigeto Kanda of Canon and the CFA chairman of the board. "These backward compatible improvements of CF5.1 are expected be viewed as a significant benefit within the professional imaging and video markets and should firmly establish CompactFlash cards as the highest performance professional card solutions for the foreseeable future.”
If everything goes smooth we may see the first CF 5.1-ready cards announced late this year or in early 2011 (at CES).