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Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot? - Mac Portable

I download pictures from my digital camera to my 400MHz G4 Titanium PowerBook using a compact-flash adaptor card in the PCM/CIA port. In particular, I use an adaptor card by Viking Components (unfortunately I don't see a model number). That card works for an 80Meg compact-flash card, but I have two closely-related questions: * Do any of you know the maximum size of Compact Flash card I can download using that adaptor card into my Titanium? * Same question, but not limited to that particular compact-flash adaptor card. That is, is it possible, if this one won't let me download ...

  1. #1

    Default Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    I download pictures from my digital camera to my 400MHz G4 Titanium
    PowerBook using a compact-flash adaptor card in the PCM/CIA port. In
    particular, I use an adaptor card by Viking Components (unfortunately I
    don't see a model number). That card works for an 80Meg compact-flash
    card, but I have two closely-related questions:

    * Do any of you know the maximum size of Compact Flash card I can
    download using that adaptor card into my Titanium?
    * Same question, but not limited to that particular compact-flash
    adaptor card. That is, is it possible, if this one won't let me
    download a 1Gig card, that some other adaptor card will?

    Thanks a bunch for the ideas!


    Gary Morrison Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    In article <3F2734C5.518D1F06austin.rr.com>,
    Gary Morrison <mr88cetaustin.rr.com> wrote:
    > * Do any of you know the maximum size of Compact Flash card I can
    > download using that adaptor card into my Titanium?
    It mimics an ATA hard disk so it would only be limited by the
    addressable space of the hard disk drivers, i.e. in the hundreds of Gb
    or Tb or whatever the MacOS supports these days.
    > * Same question, but not limited to that particular compact-flash
    > adaptor card. That is, is it possible, if this one won't let me
    > download a 1Gig card, that some other adaptor card will?
    There won't be a limit, all of those adaptor cards are purely mechanical
    as far as I know (i.e. they join the sockets on the end of the CF card
    to the sockets on the edge of the adaptor using wires - there's no
    electronics to speak of).

    Cheers,

    Matthew.
    Matthew Kirkcaldie Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    > It mimics an ATA hard disk so it would only be limited by the
    > addressable space of the hard disk drivers
    That's a reasonable answer from a driver perspective. Nevertheless,
    there's a possibility of an underlying hardware-level concern too: There
    may simply be not enough address-bus signals going to the compact flash
    card via the adaptor. It's possible that back in the days of 80Meg
    cartridges when this adaptor was made, the compact-flash pins that later
    became used for address lines in then-future compact-flash cards, were
    simply marked as "reserved" and thus they perhaps didn't even hook them up
    in the adaptor card. Perhaps even PCM/CIA itself doesn't have that many
    address lines?

    Do any of you have direct experience with downloading, say 1Gig, compact
    flash cards through such a PCM/CIA adaptor card? If so, which adaptor
    card?


    Gary Morrison Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    Ah, so they actually use different flash chips specifically for this purpose -
    chips mapped like a disk drive... Interesting. I'd assumed that they'd use
    the same flash chips that the PC market has squeezed every nano$ of price out
    of. Well, whatever...

    Anyway, thanks for the replies, that sounds promising.


    Gary Morrison Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    In article <3F28882F.25013F40austin.rr.com>,
    Gary Morrison <mr88cetaustin.rr.com> wrote:
    > Ah, so they actually use different flash chips specifically for this purpose -
    > chips mapped like a disk drive... Interesting. I'd assumed that they'd use
    > the same flash chips that the PC market has squeezed every nano$ of price out
    > of. Well, whatever...
    No no - every Compact Flash card is set up this way. It's the standard.
    Matthew Kirkcaldie Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    > Ah, so they actually use different flash chips specifically for this purpose -
    > chips mapped like a disk drive... Interesting. I'd assumed that they'd use
    No, they normally use regular NAND flash (basically, a SmartMedia card
    in a different package). Sometimes they use NOR flash (which is the
    type used in PCs, but CF cards use much higher densities of course -
    PCs rarely have more than 256Kbyte).

    There is a small microcontroller on the card which emulates an ATA
    drive and performs defect management and wear leveling. Hitachi and
    Feiya are the two major suppliers of those microcontrollers.

    The ATA storage emulation is required "by law" as it were, it's the
    standard interface for this type of storage.
    Lewin A.R.W. Edwards Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    > There is a small microcontroller on the card which emulates an ATA
    > drive and performs defect management and wear leveling.
    Ah, so then that controller's on a separate chip? As dirt cheap as they sell
    compact flash cards, I'm a little surprised that they can afford to put *any* Si
    other than the memory itself onto them. I guess that, even with the additional
    assembly, test costs, and the occasional test reject, the added cost of that
    additional chip is small compared with the cost of the flash itself.

    I haven't pryed a compact flash module apart; am I correct in guessing that these
    are flip-chip MCMs, that is, multi-chip modules where the Si is bonded directly to
    the substrate via solder bumps)?


    Gary Morrison Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    > Ah, so then that controller's on a separate chip? As dirt cheap as they sell

    In all cases that I've seen, yes.
    > other than the memory itself onto them. I guess that, even with the additional
    > assembly, test costs, and the occasional test reject, the added cost of that
    > additional chip is small compared with the cost of the flash itself.
    There's a different issue - standardization. The typical CF layout has
    a standardized micro (one part, which can autodetect how much flash is
    attached), and two or more usually four spaces for flash. This means
    ONE ROM mask, ONE type of micro to stock, and ONE PCB to make. Better
    economies of scale, and it lets them adjust the mix of card capacities
    they make without adjusting stock levels of the components.
    > I haven't pryed a compact flash module apart; am I correct in guessing that these
    > are flip-chip MCMs, that is, multi-chip modules where the Si is bonded directly to
    > the substrate via solder bumps)?
    Nope (at least not in any I've disassembled). The micro is usually a
    PQFP or TQFP. The flash is usually in a TSOP or TSSOP. The most common
    package for NAND flash is a TSOP50 with missing pins in the center.
    Internally, the NAND flash (>64Mb capacities, anyway) is a multi-layer
    device, but that's not visible to the outside.

    I imagine these would be migrating to uBGA. None of the vendors I know
    of sell these parts as raw dice.
    Lewin A.R.W. Edwards Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    > I imagine these would be migrating to uBGA. None of the vendors I know

    Oops, I'm on crack. I meant leadless packages like MELF, not uBGA.
    Lewin A.R.W. Edwards Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    In article <3F27A413.7166E50Eaustin.rr.com>,
    Gary Morrison <mr88cetaustin.rr.com> wrote:
    > > It mimics an ATA hard disk so it would only be limited by the
    > > addressable space of the hard disk drivers
    >
    > That's a reasonable answer from a driver perspective. Nevertheless,
    > there's a possibility of an underlying hardware-level concern too: There
    > may simply be not enough address-bus signals going to the compact flash
    > card via the adaptor. It's possible that back in the days of 80Meg
    > cartridges when this adaptor was made, the compact-flash pins that later
    > became used for address lines in then-future compact-flash cards, were
    > simply marked as "reserved" and thus they perhaps didn't even hook them up
    > in the adaptor card. Perhaps even PCM/CIA itself doesn't have that many
    > address lines?
    I have an old adapter from Kodak that worked fine with a 30 and 64Mb CF
    cards but didn't work right with a 128Mb CF. I tried it with a newer
    adapter and all was well.

    --
    Clark Martin
    Redwood City, CA, USA Macintosh / Internet Consulting

    "I'm a designated driver on the Information Super Highway"
    Clark Martin Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    > I tried it with a newer adapter and all was well.

    Who made the adaptor that worked?



    Gary Morrison Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    > I have an old adapter from Kodak that worked fine with a 30 and 64Mb CF
    > cards but didn't work right with a 128Mb CF. I tried it with a newer
    > adapter and all was well.
    Then I guarantee the Kodak adapter was damaged or out of spec. The
    connections are identical for all CF cards.
    Lewin A.R.W. Edwards Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    In article <3F29BE62.6175E87Baustin.rr.com>,
    Gary Morrison <mr88cetaustin.rr.com> wrote:
    > > I tried it with a newer adapter and all was well.
    >
    > Who made the adaptor that worked?
    >
    SanDisk

    --
    Clark Martin
    Redwood City, CA, USA Macintosh / Internet Consulting

    "I'm a designated driver on the Information Super Highway"
    Clark Martin Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Titanium: How Big Compact Flash in PCM/CIA Slot?

    In article <608b6569.0308010123.77291da2posting.google.com >,
    [email]larwelarwe.com[/email] (Lewin A.R.W. Edwards) wrote:
    > > I have an old adapter from Kodak that worked fine with a 30 and 64Mb CF
    > > cards but didn't work right with a 128Mb CF. I tried it with a newer
    > > adapter and all was well.
    >
    > Then I guarantee the Kodak adapter was damaged or out of spec. The
    > connections are identical for all CF cards.
    I tried it with two Kodak adapters, neither worked.

    --
    Clark Martin
    Redwood City, CA, USA Macintosh / Internet Consulting

    "I'm a designated driver on the Information Super Highway"
    Clark Martin Guest

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