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Microsoft Licenses exFAT to Research In Motion

By - Source: Microsoft | B 13 comments

Microsoft said that it has entered a licensing agreement with Research in Motion that provides the company with the ability to integrate the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) for "certain Blackberry devices".

"Today's smartphones and tablets require the capacity to display richer images and data than traditional cellular phones," said David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property Licensing at Microsoft, in a prepared statement. "This agreement with RIM highlights how a modern file system, such as exFAT can help directly address the specific needs of customers in the mobile industry."

exFAT, developed as a file system specifically for flash memory devices, is used as a successor for FAT in all scenarios where NTFS does not make much sense. Versus FAT, exFAT extends the maximum file size a flash memory device can work with by a factor of five, as well as an increase of storage capacity support from 32 GB to 256 TB. In a single directory, exFAT can handle up to 2,796,202 individual files.

At this time, exFAT is supported by Windows XP SP2 (with exFAT patch upgrade) and above, as well as Mac OS X 10.6.6 and above.

Microsoft said that it has entered into similar licensing agreements with companies such as Panasonic, Sanyo, Sony and Canon.

 

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    nieur , September 20, 2012 5:35 PM
    tokencodeRIM should be licensing Windows Phone OS, not just a file system.... in a few more years blackberry will simple mean fruit again...


    hoping in a few more years Apple will simply mean fruit again
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    Zingam , September 20, 2012 4:53 PM
    How about a license free file system for flash devices????
  • 5 Hide
    spentshells , September 20, 2012 4:56 PM
    Way to be days behind toms ....
  • Display all 13 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    tokencode , September 20, 2012 4:58 PM
    RIM should be licensing Windows Phone OS, not just a file system.... in a few more years blackberry will simple mean fruit again...
  • 10 Hide
    nieur , September 20, 2012 5:35 PM
    tokencodeRIM should be licensing Windows Phone OS, not just a file system.... in a few more years blackberry will simple mean fruit again...


    hoping in a few more years Apple will simply mean fruit again
  • 4 Hide
    puddleglum , September 20, 2012 5:52 PM
    ZingamHow about a license free file system for flash devices????
    You could always go with ext2 or one of its derivatives/
  • -5 Hide
    ddpruitt , September 20, 2012 6:19 PM
    WTF??? This is why RIM is in trouble. FAT (and by extension it's derivatives) is waaay to inefficient for storage on large devices. Figure you're losing 10-15% of the drives space just to figure store the tables (that's why your SD cards always show such smaller than advertised capacity). Modern??? It was designed 30+ years ago!!
  • 7 Hide
    Northwestern , September 20, 2012 6:31 PM
    ddpruittWTF??? This is why RIM is in trouble. FAT (and by extension it's derivatives) is waaay to inefficient for storage on large devices. Figure you're losing 10-15% of the drives space just to figure store the tables (that's why your SD cards always show such smaller than advertised capacity). Modern??? It was designed 30+ years ago!!

    FAT =/= exFAT

  • 8 Hide
    samkl , September 20, 2012 6:55 PM
    ddpruittWTF??? This is why RIM is in trouble. FAT (and by extension it's derivatives) is waaay to inefficient for storage on large devices. Figure you're losing 10-15% of the drives space just to figure store the tables (that's why your SD cards always show such smaller than advertised capacity). Modern??? It was designed 30+ years ago!!


    SD cards show less space because of bit/byte conversions.
  • -5 Hide
    ddpruitt , September 20, 2012 7:17 PM
    Quote:
    FAT =/= exFAT

    exFAT is FAT with extensions added to it for larger files and metadata. It's only used in low power devices because it's less computationally expensive. It's not used in any other medium because it uses several times more space than any other modern filesystem. Read the literature first before you comment.

    Quote:
    SD cards show less space because of bit/byte conversions.


    If that were so then they would show more, not less space. Flash memory capacities are 2^x vs hard-disks that are 10^x, which is why they show less space. Doesn't apply here.
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , September 20, 2012 11:07 PM
    ddpruittFlash memory capacities are 2^x vs hard-disks that are 10^x, which is why they show less space. Doesn't apply here.

    From what I see flash drives are numbered based on base 10 just like HDDs, every flash drive I have formats with the exact amount of space as a GB would be in GiB.
  • 0 Hide
    jn77 , September 21, 2012 2:18 AM
    um, someone's information is wrong. exfat is required for flash based memory between 64gb and 2TB. And some android phones have it now.

    My Galaxy SIII has 32gb on board memory and I have a Class 10 64GB sandisk micro sdxchc card in the memory card slot. The only phone that will pass 96GB in total capacity is when 1. the 64gb (internal memory GS2 comes out in the next 2 months (128gb total storage space) and/or when the 128gb Micro SDHC cards come out in a month or 2.

    I will be waiting for the 128gb memory cards to come out and pick one up on day 1. Same for the 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2 TB (estimated release 24 months from now).

    Then we will need a new file format to support 3TB + on smart phones, mp3 players, etc.
  • 1 Hide
    alextheblue , September 21, 2012 5:16 AM
    jn77um, someone's information is wrong. exfat is required for flash based memory between 64gb and 2TB.
    Really? FAT32 supports up to 2TB last I checked. exFAT supports something huge like 512TB. Not sure why flash memory would be any different. :)  Actually, FAT32 (and NTFS) supports even more if using Advanced Format (4KB sectors). I think up to 16TB. We've run into that on desktops already.

    NTFS isn't good for memory cards, though, as others have mentioned. It has a lot of advanced features that are awesome but introduce too much overhead. So we've got exFAT for future flash card-type needs, and eventually ReFS for primary storage on PCs (and perhaps eventually main storage on other devices).
  • 0 Hide
    jabliese , September 21, 2012 2:07 PM
    FAT32 will work on large size flash memory, but in an awful, horrible way, because flash is not a spinning, magnetic disk. ExFAT has been optimized to take out the awful and horrible. But, there is a big downside, in that exFAT has not, and probably will not ever, have it's details published. Microsoft owns it, big time. Works with recent versions of Windows, OSX and, apparently in the near future, RIM. No linux joy. Read more at wikipedia. If you absolutely want your stuff read on every computer, use FAT32.