CompactFlash Association Announces Availability of the New CF5.0 Specification

card Feb 21, 2010

Cupertino, California – February 22, 2010 – The CompactFlash Association (CFA) announces availability of the recently approved CF5.0 Specification.

The CF5.0 work group was formed in November, 2008 to add key features to the already popular CF4.1 specification based on the PATA (Parallel ATA) interface. The new CF5.0 specification adds the following key features/benefits to the memory card that started the digital photography revolution.

Key Feature

  • 48 bit Addressing (Mandatory)- Data Set Management Command/Trim (Mandatory)
  • Update ATA References to ATA-6 & ATA
  • 8/ACS-2- Performance Control (optional) Video Performance Guarantee (Optional)
  • Identify Device CFA Specification Version Number (Mandatory)
  • Changed Interface Electrical Specification to Better Comply with the ATA Standard (Mandatory)


  • Capacity points beyond current limitation of 137GB (up to 144PB) & more efficient data transfer (32MB per transfer versus 128KB per transfer)
  • More efficient cleanup of unused space on memory card (LBA’s)- Access to advancements in the ATA standard
  • Card performance quality of service framework- Quality of service for video capture applications to ensure quality recordings with no dropped frames
  • Easier for host to determine card capabilities- Easier and better card design, compatible with advanced hosts.

Mr. Shigeto Kanda of Canon and the CFA chairman of the board said, “The higher capacity and higher performance of CF cards enabled by the 48-bit addressing feature in the CF5.0 specification will further increase the value of DSLR cameras. The Video Performance Guarantee feature of the CF5.0 specification will help CF cards to expand into new markets such as high-speed movie equipment like professional video camcorders.”

To help manufacturers and consumers differentiate the new CF5 cards, the CompactFlash Association has created an evolutionary CF5 compatibility mark. Additionally, since the Video Performance Guarantee feature is optional, the CompactFlash Association has created a Video Performance Guarantee compatibility mark that host and card manufactures can use to help end users choose the right card.

CompactFlash card slots are commonly used in digital cameras, video cameras and other electronic platforms including embedded systems, single board computers, data recorders, heart monitors, defibrillators, and slot machines.

CFA members can participate in the CFA working groups and access documentation as the specifications are completed. Companies interested in participating in the definition of new CFA standards are encouraged to join the CompactFlash Association and to participate in work groups.

Additional information about CF5.0 including a whitepaper on Performance Control features and the latest CompactFlash published Specification; Revision 5.0 is available to download from the CFA web site at Please also check the CFA website for updated information regarding the CF4.1, CF5, and Video Performance Guarantee logos and logo usage guidelines.