The flash memory card storage threshold has been breached by SanDisk, who has introduced 12- and 16GB Extreme III CompactFlash cards to its lineup.

Specifically designed for pro photographers and high-res DSLR users who shoot RAW, the cards will have minimum write and read speeds of 20MB per second, and will be available by the end of the year.

Whether pro photographers do adopt the new cards remains to be seen, as many are shy to store that much data on one single card. However, they should be heartened by the news that photographers who purchase the cards will receive a dedicated number for technical support, and will also get a copy of RescuePRO image recovery software for Mac and PC.

Strangely, although SanDisk Extreme III cards come with a lifetime limited warranty in the rest of the world, they carry a 10-year limited warranty in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Also new to the SanDisk product line up with the Extreme USB2.0 reader for quick transfer of images to a PC; it will be on sale for €22 (£14.80) in November.

The SanDisk Extreme III 12GB card will go on sale for around €475 (£319), while the 16GB version will retail for €633 (£425).