Hot on the heels of the latest CompactFlash specification being released, SanDisk, Nikon and Sony have joined forces to propose a new specification to better cope with the high definition demands of today and tomorrow. The new proposal will give users more than three times the data transfer speeds of the current specification, and take storage capacity into the domain of the multi-terabyte.

Last month, the CompactFlash Association announced the release of CF6.0, the latest CompactFlash specification and one that increased data throughput performance by 25 per cent to 167MB per second. That's pretty swift, but not fast enough for SanDisk, Nikon and Sony.

Rather than be limited by the current specification's reliance on the Parallel ATA interface, the three companies have proposed utilizing the versatile PCI Express instead, which could result in transfer speeds of up to 500MB per second. This would help meet the increasingly dense data needs of today's high-end digital SLR photographers, as well as users of other professional digital imaging equipment.

It should enable burst shooting of huge RAW images and significantly speed up the transfer of massive high definition images between card and computer.

Of course, it's no good bumping up the transfer speed for huge files if such a card has a relatively poor storage capacity, so the proposal also offers the potential to extend current storage limits beyond 2TB. There's help at hand for the poor overworked batteries that power our digital devices too, in the form of a built-in power scaling system.

The announcement does give a subtle hint that there may be a slight size tweak incoming, stating that the new media card would be "similar in size to a CompactFlash card." This would likely mean the necessary procurement of yet another USB card reader (I have amassed quite a collection over the years). However, that's probably a small price to pay for the marked improvements brought by the new development.

We'll keep an eye on the new proposal's progress and keep you informed.