Addonics has announced its CF/CFast DigiDrive, which fits into a standard 5.25″ bay and can accommodate up to six CompactFlash or CFast cards. The six card slots can be configured to operate independently, such that each slot connects by its own SATA data cable or with a Hardware Port Multiplier, where 5 slots can form a RAID array with a single SATA cable and the remaining slot has its own independent SATA connection.
With the Hardware Port Multiplier, 5 of the slots can be configured in either RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 10, JBOD or Clone Mode and appear as a single drive. The sixth slot can be set up as an internal or external slot and connects by its own SATA cable.
No drivers are required and it is possible to boot from the device. When connected to a hot swap SATA controller, the device also supports hot swap, where CompactFlash or CFast cards can be removed or added without the need to shut down the PC first.
The device comes in a choice of 4 models, two with independent slots (one with CF slots and the other with CFast slots) and the other two with a Hardware Port Multiplier, again one with CF slots and the other with CFast slots. The slots can be set up as internal or external slots. When a slot is configured as an internal slot, its card cannot be removed externally, useful for preventing accidental removal, especially when slots form a RAID array.
Basically, this device would be useful for professional photographers looking to offload up to 6 CompactFlash or CFast cards in one go or for someone looking to build their own fast Solid State Drive. By configuring 5 slots in RAID level 3 or 5, this prevents downtime in the event of a single card failing, unlike a single SSD or two SSDs in RAID 0 where a drive failure will result in downtime.