SanDisk's Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 memory card is the world's fastest

By on September 15, 2013, 9:30 AM

SanDisk can claim two milestones with the Extreme Pro CFast 2.0: it's both the fastest memory card available of any kind, and also the first CFast 2.0 memory card. CFast 2.0 is a CompactFlash memory card variant, with the CompactFlash Association having announced the specification last year, boasting speeds of up to 600 MB/s through a SATA interface.

The Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 card doesn't quite reach the maximum transfer speeds of the CFast 2.0 spec, but it does support SSD-like performance. SanDisk claims the card is capable of 450 MB/s read speeds and 350 MB/s write speeds, saying it will take just four minutes to transfer a 100 GB file from the memory card.

As the CFast 2.0 specification is new, there will be limited support for these cards in the recording equipment they're designed for. The Arri Arima, a professional documentary-style video camera, will be one such device that will support SanDisk's new CFast 2.0 card, with the super-fast speeds allowing 2K video to be recorded at 200 frames per second and at high bitrates.

For users who want to stick with traditional CompactFlash cards, SanDisk has also announced the highest capacity CF card they've produced, coming with 256 GB of storage. It'll cost you though, with SanDisk listing a regular retail price of $1,809 for the high-capacity memory card.

SanDisk hasn't specified exactly how much the Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 cards - available in 60 GB and 120 GB capacities - will cost, but we can't imagine they'll be cheap either when they hit stores "soon".




User Comments: 10

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9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well someday these pro cards will come down to consumer price levels. And that would be terrific. These cards are very fast.

JC713 JC713 said:

This is really nice.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I don't think it will be a popular product. Not only it goes against well established standards for flash cards, but no big player will be willing to make the kind of change, because SATA is on its way out, evidence to which will be appearing everywhere by end of this year. Come October, Apple is changing its entire line of products over to PCI Express only, with other major players joining in shortly after. Unless something like SATA 4 is released soon, the market of premium products will be re-shaping quickly towards PCI Express for internal storage, Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.1 for external ones.

Some manufacturers are just waiting for October.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

the market of premium products will be re-shaping quickly towards PCI Express for internal storage.
What am I missing? I didn't realize the devices would be effected by this change. Does PCI Express (aka: SATA Express) not use standard SATA cabling and SATA drives? I was under the impression PCI Express was an electronic change within the motherboards PCB, which allowed for greater speeds across SATA devices.

If what you suggest is true we are in for another transition to PCI Express, much the same way we transitioned to SATA from IDE. If you look hard enough, you can still find IDE ports on LGA1155 motherboards. Manufacturers would be stupid not to support SATA devices for the next several years. I'm willing to bet this SATA change to PCI Express, will not effect the development of "Sandisk's Extreme Pro Cfast 2.0".

VitalyT VitalyT said:

What am I missing?

It is not about supporting an existing interface historically, it is about dumping an established standard in favour of one that's close to becoming obsolete. If you want to convince an entire industry that changing to the new standard is a good step, that standard better promise a bright future, or nobody will care.

To give you one example, HDMI 2.0 was close to becoming dead in the water before release this year, because all the way it was intended to only double performance of HDMI 1.0. It was the reason the standard was postponed and rewritten to support much better throughput, in which form it was finally released just recently. Now HDMI 2.0 does have a good future.

Same with SATA. When the new interfaces are 5 minute before being released, it is perhaps not a good idea to change everything for the sake of supporting the interface that becomes obsolete.

I understand your argument about compatibility, but that's beside the point. I wouldn't argue about how the protocol changes between the previous SATA and the new one, for the point is that it does change, doesn't matter by how much.

Also, the situation on the market of memory cards is such - there is SD and the rest is the mess, with everyone pulling blanket on himself nobody will win. If SD decides to change over to a new interface, it'll be feasible. That's why I have serious doubts this new product will have any recognition in the industry, and thus any future at all. Perhaps they will do better positioning it as a Micro SSD, to avoid the confusion.

waterytowers said:

What am I missing?

It is not about supporting an existing interface historically, it is about dumping an established standard in favour of one that's close to becoming obsolete. If you want to convince an entire industry that changing to the new standard is a good step, that standard better promise a bright future, or nobody will care.

To give you one example, HDMI 2.0 was close to becoming dead in the water before release this year, because all the way it was intended to only double performance of HDMI 1.0. It was the reason the standard was postponed and rewritten to support much better throughput, in which form it was finally released just recently. Now HDMI 2.0 does have a good future.

Same with SATA. When the new interfaces are 5 minute before being released, it is perhaps not a good idea to change everything for the sake of supporting the interface that becomes obsolete.

I understand your argument about compatibility, but that's beside the point. I wouldn't argue about how the protocol changes between the previous SATA and the new one, for the point is that it does change, doesn't matter by how much.

Also, the situation on the market of memory cards is such - there is SD and the rest is the mess, with everyone pulling blanket on himself nobody will win. If SD decides to change over to a new interface, it'll be feasible. That's why I have serious doubts this new product will have any recognition in the industry, and thus any future at all. Perhaps they will do better positioning it as a Micro SSD, to avoid the confusion.

waterytowers said:

Whoops pressed button before typing.... why can't I edit my post?

Anyway, I think the compact flash card market is far from dead. There are a lot of high end DSLR cameras that only accept CF cards, and I think this may be the market this is aimed at. I have no SD cards but have many CF cards. I am hoping the next DSLR models are released with support for these cards, and I am also hoping they support 4K recording... With 4K TV arriving now, it makes sense to start releasing products that can support the data rates required to record and playback 4K.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

why can't I edit my post?

You can, via forum, not on the article page For this one in particular, here's the link which gives you the editing option http://www.techspot.com/community/topics/sandisks-extreme-pr
-cfast-2-0-memory-card-is-the-worlds-fastest.196351/

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

it is about dumping an established standard in favour of one that's close to becoming obsolete.
USB 1.0 devices still have a bright future as long as the USB interface is backward compatible. All I'm trying to say is as long as SATA Express remains backward compatible, all SATA devices have a bright future. Even if SATA Express doesn't remain backward compatible, there are so many SATA devices on the market, the industry would have to keep SATA support for many years to come anyway. SATA is a long time from being dead, just look at how IDE is still hanging around. SATA will not die until after it successor has greatly established ground. Until then the industry would be foolish to worry about it. Sure they could form opinions and make decisions based on what they think will take place, but to adapt to quickly could be worse than dropping a well know interface. At least from the way I read it they are moving to another well known interface.

that standard better promise a bright future, or nobody will care.
You mean for those of us that actually read up on what they are buying? Anyone else never really does care.

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