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New CompactFlash card uses RAID-like data mirroring to protect against memory failure


What’s the number-one rule of computing? Back it up. Whether it’s copying them to an external hard drive or burning them onto a disc, backing up your files will save you from a lot of headache and expense down the road, should your hard drive fail. The same is true for camera memory cards. Although they’ve now gotten so big in storage capacity that you theoretically never have to wipe them clean to make room for new photos, it’s wise to copy them off the card in case of memory card failure. Yet, many people still don’t do it on a regular basis, whether it’s due to sheer laziness or forgetfulness. But Pop Photo (via DPReview) reports on a new memory card from a Japanese company called Amulet that might provide a solution in preventing memory failure, using RAID-style technology.

RAID, or redundant array of independent disks, is a common computing data storage technology in which data written to one drive is also written to a second drive. Also known as mirroring, essentially the second drive is a backup of the first. Some high-end cameras offer dual card slots as a form of redundant protection. With the Wise CompactFlash card, Amulet uses the RAID concept by dividing the card’s 64GB capacity into two 32GB partitions; information is simultaneously saved to both partitions. The card only has a 30/25MB/sec read/write speed when in mirroring mode, although that jumps up to 60/50MB/sec if you use the card in its standard (non-mirroring), full-64GB mode.

A press release lists a June 14 availability date, although U.S. price and availability – if it shows up here at all – is iffy. As Pop Photo notes, there are plenty of questions still unanswered: “You can’t exactly swap out one of the drives in this instance because it’s all on one card. If the card still reads, you’d likely be able to pull the still-alive data, but the damaged stuff wouldn’t show up.” If the concept takes off, will other manufacturers release something similar? Would consumers pay for this peace-of-mind if it costs more than a regular card?

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