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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:38 PM   #1
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Finally, a replacement of tape as an archival medium?

The way I'm reading this, it could be *really* big news for the video industry:

SanDisk to deliver write-once flash -- "In an announcement today Greg Rhine, head of SanDisk's consumer business talked about introducing a 'new category in the middle of the year: a read-only memory card'. This new flash card is using a technology which SanDisk are calling '3D memory' ...based on the Matrix Memory technology which it acquired in 2006 for $250m and ...first reported on in 2002 at PMA. These write-once cards are likely to be very cheap but have the advantage of very long term storage (100+ years)."

See the original news item along with a photo at DP Review:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0702/07...eonceflash.asp

Depending upon the card capacity and the price, I'm thinking this could be the replacement for tape as an archival medium. At first glance it might not seem viable for in-camera acquisition, since it is write-once and can't be re-recorded. However, most professional videographers never re-use tapes anyway. Video tape is often treated as a "write once" medium to begin with. So, consider the possibility of an in-camera pre-record buffer as a safety mechanism, perhaps there's some potential there for using a write-once card; especially if it's combined with an efficient video codec, such as one of the AVC derivatives (AVCHD or AVC Intra). Thoughts?
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 10:55 PM   #2
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Chris,

I agree. This could potentially be a HUGE thing. There are a LOT of us who feel that the big problem with the "volitile" solutions like P2 is that the expense necessitates media re-use and you're left vulnerable.

If the data density turns out large enough to be viable video storage - particularly high def capable - this could FINALLY replace tape for those of us who are unwilling to depend on mechanical hard drives as tape replacements.

Thanks for posting this.

By the way, will I see you in the usual place (PM) at NAB this year after the Tuesday or Wednesday events?
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 01:47 AM   #3
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there is nothing more silly in video than write once media.
if professional do not reuse tapes, it is just to avoid drops caused by possible used tape.
Sure that commercially it is a nice idea, like the disposable razor and other disposable gadget. You buy a camera and you pay for the rest of your life for memory cartridge... what a nice idea.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 02:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
there is nothing more silly in video than write once media.
It makes sense for archiving. There are some things I want to keep forever, and never want to overwrite.

But, yeah, for disposable stuff, like raw stuff from when I left the lens cover on, write-once is silly.

The success of this depends on
- Cost per MB
- Speed
- Reliability
- Storage size
- Physical size
- Did I mention cost per MB?

I can't wait to learn more details...
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 04:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
there is nothing more silly in video than write once media.
Good thing I can re-use my filmstock over here...
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 04:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Mitchell View Post
Good thing I can re-use my filmstock over here...
Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
You buy a camera and you pay for the rest of your life for memory cartridge...
But I do that now... with tape.


For archival purposes, if this is stable and cheap I'll definitely take a serious look, even if it's only for digital photos.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 09:09 AM   #7
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Saw this last week (my time). There has been an number of flash alternatives announced, but where are they. I think Intel is banking on plastic memory, or memory based on the rewritable CD compound, forget which. Flash has been given a couple of reprieves, but I think the time line is still within an half an decade, if not three years).

I would like to know their pricing, and performance figures. I think it is an good idea if it is cheap enough to copy the bits I like to another write once, and toss the original.

But as they say it is archival, I guess that it is not that suitable in some area (like cost or performance).
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 10:49 AM   #8
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Think of the savings on head wear (no cleaning tapes, no head or tape mechanism service/replacement). Anything under $1/GB (assuming reasonable size capacity) would be fantastic.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 11:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tom Vandas View Post
if this is stable and cheap I'll definitely take a serious look, even if it's only for digital photos.
It's important to understand that flash memory doesn't care what it's recording. It can be any kind of data... still photos, video, audio, text documents, it doesn't matter. I found this on DP Review which is a still photo / digicam site, but the implications of this technology for video applications -- as a potential replacement for video tape -- is self evident in my opinion.

Like I said, I don't know anybody that doesn't use video tape as a write-once medium.

It would be just like a DVD-R, but in an SD flash card form factor, and hopefully greater capacity.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 12:33 PM   #10
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Yeah, my first thought was "Film is a write-once medium, and it hasn't suffered in the workflow". I think if you're used to shooting film, then your workflow is easily adapted to write once media. I would even be okay if the media were in relatively small 'packages'. Say, fifteen minutes... as long as they were cheap enough. In terms of feature work, you don't get HOUR LONG loads of film, so I've got no problem with changing 'cards' or 'chips' or whatever after fifteen minutes.

Again, storage capacity, price point and codec (HD???) will be the deal maker/breaker.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 01:00 AM   #11
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This could also save a lot of time captureing footage. Like another poster wrote before if it could be under a dollar a gig this would be great. Think about it. the small dvcam tapes are about $12 and will hold what....13 gigs or so?
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Old March 4th, 2007, 02:00 AM   #12
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...if it could be under a dollar a gig this would be great.
Then again, desktop hard drives are already about half that, are re-writable, and are fast enough that you can edit from them straight away.

The downside (other than shock resistance) is that you can't get a $10 hard drive to hand off after a shoot.

I guess what people really want is a 16 GB P2 card that is write once, has archive-quality, is fast enough to be an edit source - and only costs ten bucks! I guess I'd be happy paying $20 for a 32 GB version as well.

Someday... But not this week.

How much are blank, write-once Blu-ray discs again?
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Old March 4th, 2007, 04:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
I guess what people really want is a 16 GB P2 card that is write once...
If it's write once, then by definition it's not P2. What you meant to say is that what people really want is a 16GB SD (Secure Digital) card. SD cards are smaller, less expensive, and much more common than P2 cards. P2 is Panasonic only. SD cards are supported by all manufacturers except Sony. Although I would imagine this technology going to Memory Stick (Sony) flash cards as well as Secure Digital, since SanDisk makes both of these types of cards.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 06:21 AM   #14
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Still there is that 100GB SD card "millipede" technology IBM is on the verge of releasing (well according to their previous text releases). That should be cheaper then HDD's, and other things.

I wish somebody would actually release something, I'm sick of all this waiting, there probably are more revolutionary storage solutions promising to solve problems overt he last en years, than I have fingers, but I don't know if any have hit the market.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 01:36 PM   #15
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If it's write once, then by definition it's not P2. What you meant to say is that...
Hi Chris,

I was really talking about function (solid state, removable memory in a video camera) rather than form factor - and, more importantly, showing the price drop that we would need for read only memory, compared to the re-writable P2 cards.

The 16 GB P2 cards aren't even out yet and will cost *well over* $1k. We need a price improvement ratio of more than 100x to make write-once memory viable. But we still want the size (at least) and performance (approaching that) of P2.

I've no doubt that the solution will come - and I will hail the day! However, I think we'll have to wait a while before write-once memory nirvana, simply due to cost. But someday...
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