SanDisk this week announced a series of CF (CompactFlash) cards that double the read and write speeds of its fastest flash cards available today, as well as an 8GB version of its Ultra II CF Type 1 flash memory card.

CF cards are widely used in cameras, video cameras and camera phones to store and transfer data. The new Extreme III CF card, available in storage capacities between 1GB and 4GB, has a read and write speed of 20Mbps (megabits per second), double that of SanDisk's fastest Ultra II CF cards, according to the company.

Both cards are designed for cameras with resolutions of 4Mp and higher, says Mike Wong, a SanDisk spokesperson. Professional digital photographers typically shoot images in an uncompressed format, which needs more storage space, he says. "With an 8GB card, you can store hundreds of such images without changing the card."

The Extreme III cards will start shipping worldwide in November at prices ranging between around £78 for the 1GB version and £312 for the 4GB version, the company says in a statement.

As part of an effort to reduce the dependency of digital photography on PCs, SanDisk has also announced the SanDisk Photo Album, a device that can bypass a PC and display digital media stored on a flash card –images, audio or movies - on any TV set with an audio/video input. It supports Jpeg images, MP3 audio, and Mpeg-1 video.

It can also serve as an eight-in-one memory card reader and has two USB 2.0 ports, one to connect to a PC and one to accept USB-based flash drives or storage devices that contain multimedia files. The device comes with a remote control and will become available worldwide in October, costing around £40.