Flash memory makers propose common card
Or maybe the market's 20th card format...
Nokia said today it is collaborating with several of its rivals to create a common Flash memory card format. First virtual machines, now Flash, what is the world coming to?
The proposed specification is being backed by Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Micron Technology, Spansion, MTMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments. The format will be standardized by the Jedec Solid State Technology Association, an open-standards organization in the semiconductor industry.
The new memory card type, called Universal Flash Storage (UFS) aims to remove some of the confusion and need for adapters to accommodate the market's current
smörgåsbord clusterfuck of memory card sizes.
Today's electronics consumers have the unhappy task of distinguishing between CompactFlash I, CompactFlash II, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Micro M2, Multimedia Card, Reduced Size Multimedia Card, MMCmicro Card, Secure Digital Card, miniSD Card, microSD Card, PC Card, xD-Picture Card, Intelligent Stick, Serial Flash Module, µ card, NT Card, and the out of commission SmartMedia card. Each card, of course, is physically different and not interchangeable. This is why your aunt Gertrude had to be taken to the hospital.
Sweet relief, however, lies well beyond the horizon. UFS isn't expected to be finalized until 2009. And if you take the viewpoint of a Negative Nancy, this could turn out to be just another format to chose from.
"The proposed UFS specification is good news to card manufacturers and set designers alike. The proliferating use of flash memory as a storage medium underscores the importance of introducing a universal connectivity to memory cards where high performance and reliability are critical," said Jon Kang, President of Samsung.
The card will be used in handsets, digital cameras and other electronic devices. Nokia said UFS will also provide low access times required for memories and high-speed access to large multimedia files. The target performance level is expected to cut down a three-minute access time for a 4GB high-definition movie down to a few seconds. ®
Re: Slight problem with SD, it is proprietary.
I could be wrong but when I was searching to find out about support for SDHC for my dell laptop all the responses on the board said they could get it to work with their Ubuntu setups but the Windows setup wasnt playing nice with the big cards.
That would imply that there are drivers for the UNIX based systems.
I agree with Bas
The card protocol should be based on file-level access, or at least such a protocol should exist as standard for devices which want it. Think of the advantages:
Your MP3 player could automatically update its internal indices whenever a new file is transferred, instead of having to rebuild the whole thing every time the file system is touched.
Your camera/phone/whatever can serve files at the same time as it is using the card itself - no switching into a special mode for connecting to a PC.
The solution would be to reuse an existing file server protocol (such as Samba perhaps?) over USB rather than TCP/IP. This is how things work for Bluetooth (which has its own problems but lets not go into those here). Why doesn't this exist already? And if it does, why does nobody use it?
You don't have a choice of OS
Bryan Seigneur: Why do you think a block device gives YOU a choice of OS? It only gives the maker of your camera/media player/etc a choice, you just have to deal with that choice. I am not talking about thumb drives and such here, but purely about cards used in cameras and such that should be easy and reliable to use.
People simply proposing "use ZFS or ETX3", like some do here, don't seem to understand just how hard it would be to get microsoft on board for that. In fact, it would be impossible. MS might be convinced to write drivers for the kind of thing I propose (like they did for PTP) but getting both them and the camera manufacturers to implement a different filesystem just because a body of flash card makers proposes it is not going to happen. They would have to come up with something really compelling to make anyone implement it.
But this is all a pipe dream of mine, obviously this new "standard" will just be another block device and everyone will continue using FAT32 on it as it is "the standard."
There is also no need for personal attacks just because you do not agree with my points of view.
We proposed a standard - in 1991...
...we conceived UDiS Media, somewhat idealistic, but if anyone is interested in seeing our proposal in full, drop us a line at owonder.com/contact and we'll publish it at http://www.owonder.com/udis
Slight problem with SD, it is proprietary.
One of the problems with SD is that, it is a closed format and the company prohibits users making open drivers for the card. This mean, Linux is out of the question for SD cards. If the company can make an USB-esque card, then I am all for it.