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Sony presents CFExpress memory cards that rival NVMe SSDs for highest read/write speeds

The Nikon Z6 is the first DSLR to support the new CFE 2.0 standard. (Source: Engadget)
The Nikon Z6 is the first DSLR to support the new CFE 2.0 standard. (Source: Engadget)
While the CFExpress 2.0 standard promises speeds reaching 4 GB/s, Sony's first cards will be on par with the average NVMe SSDs. The new CFExpress cards are still meant for professional DSLRs and video cams, however, since they support the new NVMe interface, they can also be used as external SSDs for compute clusters and enterprise servers.
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Memory cards are primed to get substantial upgrades this year, as the SD Association already announced the next-gen microSD standard that brings write speeds of around 1 GB/s, and now the CompactFlash Association ups the ante with the CFExpress 2.0 standard that relies on the NVMe PCIe interface to provide impressive performance.

Just like the current USB standard, the CFExpress 2.0 stipulates the existence of three types of cards. Type-A CFE cards would get double the current highest speeds, so around 1 GB/s maximum read speeds from 1 PCIe lane that goes through the NVMe 1.3 interface. Type-B cards would get access to 2 PCIe lanes and thus hit read speeds of around 1.7 GB/s and write speeds of almost 1.5 GB/s, meaning that it is close to what the average NVMe SSD can provide these days. Finally, Type-C cards are the Thunderbolt 3 of the new standard, gaining access to 4 PCIe lanes and pushing the theoretical speeds to around 4 GB/s.

It is important to note that the new CFExpress 2.0 cards will only be supported by professional cameras, so smartphones will still stick to the SD and UFS standards. Additionally, the new CFE cards could also find a use as external SSDs for compute clusters or enterprise servers.

Sony will be first to implement the new standard in its memory card lineup. The Japanese company is planning to release 128 GB Type-B CFE cards, but 256 GB and 512 GB capacities should also be “in the cards.” Moreover, the first professional DSLR to benefit from the new CFE 2.0 standard is the Nikon Z6, which will soon get a CFE firmware upgrade.

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Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - Senior Tech Writer - 1506 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I first stepped into the wondrous IT&C world when I was around seven years old. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, whether they were from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I'm also an avid reader of science fiction, an astrophysics aficionado, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC-related articles for Softpedia and a few blogs back in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mostly covering processor, GPU, and laptop news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 03 > Sony presents CFExpress memory cards that rival NVMe SSDs for highest read/write speeds
Bogdan Solca, 2019-03- 1 (Update: 2019-03- 1)