Nikon, Sony and SanDisk have joined forces to develop ?industry standards? for the next generation of high-speed memory cards for the photography and video markets.

They claim the new CompactFlash cards will achieve data transfer rates up to 500 megabtyes per second (the current maximum is 167MB/sec) and extend ?theoretical maximum capacities beyond two terabytes?.

?This ultra high-speed media format will enable further evolution of hardware and imaging applications, and widen the memory card options available to CompactFlash users such as professional photographers,? said Shigeto Kanda, chairman of the CompactFlash Association (CFA).

The move comes as the professional photography and High Definition (HD) video industries say they require a new generation of memory cards capable of processing significantly larger files.

The companies have proposed their new memory card specifications to the CFA for approval.

The cards aim to enable continuous burst shooting of ?massive raw images?.

?Once accepted, the new format will enable exciting new possibilities in the professional imaging and video markets,? claim the companies who add that the cards will also deliver low power consumption via a ?power scaling system? to extend battery life.