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SanDisk introduces the SanDisk ULTRA II CompactFlash card
SanDisk today introduced the SanDisk Ultra II CompactFlash memory card, the world's fastest performing flash memory card with a minimum write speed of 9 megabytes (MB) a second and a minimum read speed of 10MB a second. (Results based on testing with the popular HDBENCH benchmark software. Actual results in digital cameras will vary by camera model.) The new card is targeted primarily at the professional digital camera and prosumer market where 4 megapixel or higher resolution digital cameras are requiring significantly faster flash memory film cards.
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The new SanDisk Ultra II CF card, approximately 50 percent faster than SanDisk's Ultra CF card, will initially be available in three capacities - 256MB, 512MB and 1 gigabyte (GB). The 256 and 512MB SanDisk Ultra II CF cards started shipping this month while the 1GB cards will be sent to retail outlets in the next thirty days.
Cor Vos, an internationally-famed photographer and an official photographer at the recent Tour de France bike race, used a new SanDisk Ultra II CF card to shoot the race. "With this new SanDisk Ultra II card, said Vos, "I was able to take pictures so rapidly that I captured every fast-moving scene that I wanted. Previously when I shot the race, I sometimes missed key pictures because my slower performing flash card was still downloading images from the buffer and I couldn't use my camera. I see a huge performance difference with these new Ultra II cards, and I think that every professional and serious photographer will want to have them in their equipment bag."
Yoram Cedar, SanDisk's senior vice-president of engineering, said, "The SanDisk Ultra II CF performance has been achieved by using SanDisk's new high performance controllers with advanced firmware and our high capacity .13 micron NAND memory. Over the past several years our system designers and flash memory engineers -- working closely together -- have gained tremendous understanding of the combined flash card system. This has enabled us to generate a highly optimized overall flash card operation that yields leadership write and read performance while maintaining an exceptionally high level of reliability and compatibility with the large installed base of CF hosts. In addition, our new controllers are based on a cost effective, high performance 32 bit ARC core that enables very high bandwidth data transfer from the host bus to the NAND memory and reduces to a minimum the internal flash card system processing overhead. Although this new technology is introduced with the CompactFlash card format, we expect it to be readily applicable to the other flash card formats currently under development."
Tanya Chuang, SanDisk retail product marketing manager, said, "We believe there is a market demand for the SanDisk Ultra II CF cards because sales of higher resolution cameras are growing significantly. Digital cameras that are four Megapixels or higher can typically benefit from faster performing flash memory cards because those cameras have faster image processors. We think that this new SanDisk Ultra II CF product line will meet the needs of professionals and other serious photographers who require faster performing cards to capture the great pictures they want."
Chris Chute, senior analyst of digital imaging at International Data Corporation, said, "SanDisk's strategy with its new Ultra II CompactFlash cards is in line with current trends in the digital imaging market. There are an increasing number of high-performance digital cameras in stores today and these are the cameras that gain the most from cards with fast write speeds and large capacities. Digital photography is the key factor driving the growth of flash memory cards, and SanDisk, with its new SanDisk Ultra II CF cards, has positioned itself strongly to benefit from this growth."
Joe DiMaggio, an award-winning international photographer whose work has been published in more than 35 countries, said, “With the introduction of the SanDisk Ultra II CompactFlash cards, SanDisk has raised the bar and has taken the lead in the industry. This will become the standard by which all other flash cards will be judged. The increased speed of the Ultra II cards is going to make many professional and amateur photographers very happy. When I’m using the new 6.3 megapixel Canon 10D digital camera, for example, I need a card this fast to maximize the camera's performance because it shoots at three frames a second with a continuous burst rate of nine frames a second. The camera and the SanDisk Ultra II card are a perfect marriage."
The increasing megapixel count of digital cameras can result in extremely large image files which lengthen the time required for the camera to capture the image and save it to the digital film card. SanDisk has designed its new SanDisk Ultra II CF so that large image files can be saved in less time and photographers can take additional pictures more quickly. Actual performance may vary between digital cameras from various manufacturers. The cards are fully compatible and interchangeable with all CF digital cameras, card readers and adapters. Chuang added that "consumers also will especially notice the benefits of the faster read speed of the Ultra II CF cards. The faster read speed allows photographers to view images more quickly on their camera LCD screens after taking pictures. And they also will be able to upload images to their computer much faster."
Suggested retail prices on the three card capacities - 256MB, 512MB and 1GB - are $104.99 (about €95, excluding VAT), $209.99 (about €191, excluding VAT) and $429.99 (about €391, excluding VAT) respectively. The SanDisk Ultra II CF cards will replace the current Ultra CF line.