The body responsible for setting the standards for CompactFlash cards, the CompactFlash Association, has announced the specs for the latest 5.0 revision of the mass storage format. CompactFlash 5.0 adds 48-bit addressing (up from 28-bit) which enables an increased data transfer unit size of 32MB per transfer (up from 128KB) and a maximum capacity of 144PB (up from 137GB)... that's 144,000 terabytes!

Designed to help CF cards to expand into new markets such as high-speed movie equipment like professional video cameras the new specification also implements a ‘Video Performance Guarantee’ feature that ensures quality recordings and no dropped frames for video capture applications.

Because this feature is optional the CompactFlash Association has created a Video Performance Guarantee compatibility mark for card manufacturers to let end users know what they’re getting. This mark is in addition to the CF5 compatibility mark that will be used to identify cards that conform to the new specs.

Naturally it will be some time before we start seeing CF5 compatible cards or cameras, so don’t go expecting to see any cards capable of storing every picture you've ever taken anytime soon.