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RAIDed SD cards and PSP goodies

CeBIT 2009: Photofast has the toys we want
Mon Mar 09 2009, 13:31

IF YOU ARE a geek, there are a bunch of products you just know would be good, but no one seems to make. Photofast was at CeBIT with the not only one, but four of those, including the coolest gadget of the show.

Eight SDs, no waiting

If you have ever tried doing stupid tricks like RAIDing USB drives one night after far too much alcohol and White Castle food, you will love the Photofast CR9200. Take 8 SD sockets and put them on a PCB that looks like a 2.5-inch drive.

Toss in a caching RAID controller with 128M of DDR2 cache, and slap a SATA2 interface on it. If it looks like a 2.5-inch drive, it should act like one, right? I have been wanting this product for a long time. If you use fast SD cards, Sandisk Ducati's are recommended, you can get ~250MBps throughput. There is also a 9100 version with 4 slots and 16G of onboard flash as well. Drewl.

CR-7200 CF card

If you are unfortunate enough to have cameras that require CF cards, you know the meaning of slow and expensive memory. The CR-7200 tries to do away with these problems as well. It is a CF card with no memory, but it has 4 MicroSDHC card slots.

For the completely dense, let me explain it, the 7200 raids MicroSD cards to get very high speeds out of a CF for a low cost. Initially they will only be sold with Sandisk cards installed, but you shouldn't have to wait all that long for bare ones. It will cost about 150 Euros when they are released at the end of the month with 4 * 16G microSDs included.

Anyone with a PSP will curse the word MemoryStick, Sony's proprietary format. It has been eclipsed by SD, but Sony won't let it die. They make far too high margins on it, and that comes out of your pocket. Without broad support, it stagnated, slow and expensive, not a good combo.

PSP memory on a budget

Once again, Photofast rides to the rescue with a dual SD card widget that emulates a memory stick. The CR-3100 screws onto the back of the PSP and plugs into the MemoryStick slot. Not only do you get fast and cheap, but it allows you to have 64G on a PSP.

If that is too bulky for you, the CR-5400 on the left of the PSP might be more to your liking. It is a MemoryStick adapter with two MicroSD slots. Want the same speed with a little less capacity and a lot less bulk? Pick the 5400.

Overall, Photofast came out of nowhere and had all the goodies hardcore geeks are looking for. If this is their first offering, I can't wait to see what they come up with next. µ



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