Memory card manufacturer ProGrade claims to have shown off the first public demonstration of a CFexpress Type B card with 1TB capacity at NAB 2018 in Las Vegas. The card, which is backwards compatible with XQD formats, makes the most of the CFexpress specifications with blistering read/write speeds of 1,400MB/s and 1,000MB/s, respectively.

CFExpress is the latest standard from the CompactFlash Association, and is seen by many as the natural successor to the CFast and XQD formats. It was first announced in September of 2016, and the final specifications for version 1.0 were published in April of 2017. According to the specification list, version 1.0 of CFexpress Type B cards has a maximum transfer speed of 1970MB/s—roughly twice the maximum speed of XQD 2.0 cards—so ProGrade isn't leaving much on the table with its debut version.

In its statement to DPReview last month, ProGrade said, "XQD cards [can] be upgraded to operate with the new CFexpress Type B cards if the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) chooses to update firmware in those devices." This puts the onus on camera manufacturers such as Nikon and Sony to upgrade the firmware in its cameras with XQD card slots so CFexpress cards can be used.

ProGrade says its CFexpress cards will be available in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacities when they're released later this year. We have reached out to Nikon and Sony regarding whether or not they plan to support CFexpress cards in the future, and will update this article accordingly when we hear back.

In addition to teasing its upcoming CFexpress cards, ProGrade also launched a collection of V90-rated SD cards with maximum read/write speeds of 250MB/s and 200MB/s, respectively. The cards will be available in early May in 64Gb, 128GB, and 256GB capacities for $100, $190, and $380, respectively.

ProGrade Digital is First To Publicly Demonstrate CFexpress™ 1.0 Technology in 1TB Capacity

1,400MB/Second Data Transfer Speed Reaches New Milestone

NAB, LAS VEGAS, NV – April 8, 2018 1:00 am Pacific—ProGrade Digital, founded with a mission to provide the highest quality professional grade digital memory cards and workflow solutions, has become the first company to publicly demonstrate the CFexpress™ 1.0 technology with 1TB of capacity. Debut of this important next generation digital memory card form factor, presented by CEO Wes Brewer and VP of Marketing Mark Lewis at NAB in Las Vegas, provides solid proof that the industry is moving toward productization of this new standard.

“The CFexpress standard has been evolving for several years within the CompactFlash Association as a successor to both CFast™ and XQD™ formats. We are pleased to be working within the CFA and aside device manufacturers to bring to market this next generation removable storage standard,” said Brewer. “Industry adoption of CFexpress will allow for much higher resolution and higher bit rate image capture than ever before in many still image and video capture devices. Faster offload speeds will also greatly benefit the post-capture workflow through the extremely high read speeds it provides. With our demonstration today, we’ve also been able to show compatibility for the CFexpress Type B form factor with XQD memory cards–showing operation of both card standards in a common Thunderbolt™ 3 reader.”

ProGrade Digital demonstrated performance benchmark speeds exceeding 1,400MB/second and burst write speeds of greater than 1,000MB/second–nearly three times faster than CFast memory cards and more than four times those for SDXC™ UHS-II.

CFexpress 1.0 Demonstrated Technology Key Features:

  • Industry-leading speeds
  • Greater than 1,400MB/second read
  • Greater than 1,000MB/second burst write
  • CFexpress Type B format factor with two lanes of PCIe® and NVM Express® support
  • XQD form factor interoperability
  • Dimensions: 29.6 mm x 38.5 mm x 3.8 mm

The founders of ProGrade Digital are industry veterans in the removable storage and digital photography industries. Each, having spent time at leading companies such as Lexar and SanDisk, brings extensive expertise in the design, development and manufacture of digital storage products, plus longstanding relationships with key manufacturing and supply chain partners. The company focuses exclusively on development of memory cards, card readers and workflow software for professional imaging markets. Flagship products, ProGrade Digital CFast 2.0 and ProGrade Digital SDXC UHS-II, are optimized to render maximum performance when paired with high-end DSLR, mirrorless, ­­­camcorder and digital cinema cameras from manufacturers such as Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony and Blackmagic. ProGrade Digital memory cards expand the creative visions of cinema and photography professionals around the world.