A faster type of CompactFlash card that is set to boost digital SLR shooting speeds is expected to get the green light next month.

First showcased in the United States earlier this year, the CFast card is said to be capable of delivering a data transfer rate of 375MB/sec.

Current CompactFlash cards can achieve a maximum rate of 45MB/sec.

Faster data transfer speeds should enable photographers to capture more continuous images, as well as allowing faster review of photos on the camera?s LCD screen. It should also allow images to be downloaded more quickly to computers.

The card?s specification is expected to be approved at a meeting taking place from 12-14 May, according to Bill Frank, executive director of the CompactFlash Association (CFA), which is based in California.

Frank told us that the card should become available around the end of 2008 for use in devices such as computers, with DSLR-enabled designs to follow next year.

However, the new cards are not expected to be compatible with the CompactFlash slots on current DSLR cameras.

The CFast card uses a SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) interface that is faster than the current PATA (Parallel ATA) interface.

The card should help cut manufacturing costs for built-in buffer memory.

For details visit www.compactflash.org