Accelerated Compact Flash: The Addonics SATA CF Adapter

Goodbye To CF Card Readers?

4-in-1, 7-in-1, 20-in-1... the industry seems to constantly encourage you to upgrade your card reader by enticing you with how many formats the new ones can handle. In fact, though, there aren't really all that many different types of memory cards; there are just a few that also have some more compact variations. But now, in something of a twist, Addonics wants to make the popular Compact Flash format speedier and more functional by using the Serial ATA (SATA) interface.

Chip cards are used with flash memory in digital cameras, smart phones or other mobile applications. Serving as an interface to the PC is either a direct connection from the device (USB, Bluetooth, serial) or a card reader. These readers are either small and designed for a specific card type, or as big as a cell phone with slots for various formats. Most devices connect to the computer via USB cable.

Often, however, card readers differ in terms of speed, the critical factor being how fast the USB interface works. For reasons of cost, the simplest solutions are often deployed, which don't even come close to taking up the entire USB bandwidth. And figuring out which card readers are fast and which are slow is nearly impossible when you're looking at the products in the store.

Couldn't better performance be achieved if you connected a card reader directly to a SATA ATA controller? Addonics pondered this question, and now offers a SATA-CF adapter that can be installed in a drive bay or in a slot on the rear of the PC. But the range of potential applications could be far more significant than any boost in performance.

The superlatives never stop: Can you name 23 formats?