CompactFlash 2 Available

CompactFlash Association announces availability of version 2.0 of the CF+ and CompactFlash spec, increasing the data transfer rate to 16MByte/s

June 16, 2003

2 Min Read

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- The CompactFlash Association (CFA) announced that the CF+(TM) & CompactFlash(R) Specification Version 2.0 has been published and is available to download free from the CFA web site at www.compactflash.org. Version 2.0 increases the CompactFlash interface data transfer rate from 8MB/sec to 16MB/sec, while maintaining complete forward and backward compatibility with old and new host systems. Older host systems will continue to operate with the 8MB/sec interface mode, while new systems can be designed to use CF cards with the 16MB/sec interface. Older 8MB/sec interface cards will operate at the 8MB/sec interface data rate in older and newer systems.

Flash chip technology advances have allowed flash chips to achieve sustained data transfer rates of 5-7MB/sec. The development of the 16MB/sec interface means that the CompactFlash interface will not restrict the sustained data transfer rate of CompactFlash cards in the near future.

Additional technical proposals underway in the CFA include adding DMA interface mode by the end of 2003 and Ultra DMA 33 during 2004.

DMA interface mode reduces the host processor power required to manage the CompactFlash data transfers. Ultra DMA 33 interface mode will increase the CompactFlash interface data transfer rate to 33MB/sec. Both of these DMA interface modes are well defined and tested by their usage on IDE hard disk drives.

The original and current CompactFlash Specification allows for addressing 137GB cards. However, there is another issue that limits the usable size of CompactFlash cards. Currently the FAT16 file system is used for cards up to 2.2GB. To use the full capacity of cards over 2.2GB capacity, the FAT32 file system is necessary.

The CFA is currently recommending that systems be designed to be compatible with FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32 file systems in order to be able to use the full capacity range of CompactFlash cards currently being offered. Some of the newest digital cameras now support FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32.

CompactFlash card slots are in MORE (over 265) digital cameras, MORE (over 115) handheld/palm-size PCs and MORE (over 275) other electronic platforms including heart monitors, defibrillators, printers, MP3 players, voice recorders, embedded computers, etc. than any other small form factor card.

Shipping CompactFlash card capacities have reached 3GB. 4GB and 5GB CompactFlash cards have been announced for shipment later this year.

CF I/O cards provide MORE communications capability. VGA, Ethernet, modem, serial, parallel, digital phone, GSM, Bluetooth and Ethernet wireless cards are all available.

CF cards do MORE. Wand & laser barcode scanners and GPS cards are also available.

CompactFlash Association

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