Lexar is the first memory card manufacturer to bring support for the new, much faster CFexpress 4.0 standard to Type-A cards, the format that only Sony uses in its high-end mirrorless Alpha cameras.
Somehow beating Sony to the punch, Lexar will release the Professional CFexpress 4.0 Type-A card under its “Gold” series branding, although the timing for the release was not revealed.
The company says that thanks to the integration of PCIe Gen 4, which is the core of the CFexpress 4.0 standard, the new Type A cards will have a maximum read speed of 1,800 MB/s and a maximum write speed of 1,650 MB/s.
Lexar did not share minimum sustained transfer rate, however it does boast the Compact Flash Association’s (CFA) Video Performance Guaranteee (VPG) 400 rating, which means the card’s sustained performance won’t ever drop below 400 MB/s. While not that impressive on paper given the peak read and write speeds, it’s currently the highest that the CFA certifies and actual performance is likely much higher.
Lexar’s previous CFexpress Type A cards, also filed under its Gold branding, only promised transfer speeds up to 900 MB/s, so the move to CFexpress 4.0 has resulted in double the read speed and close to twice the write speed.
At the time of publication, no Sony camera — including the new a9 III — is capable of taking advantage of these new speeds. Likewise, no memory card reader currently exists that can utilize these new peaks either. The latter will likely change before Lexar brings its new card to market, but CFexpress 4.0 still needs camera support across the industry. Luckily, it’s backward compatible, so new cards will work just fine in the cameras currently on the market.
Lexar also announced a new CFexpress 4.0 Type B card, joining ProGrade Digital and OWC in supporting the format. Filed under its Diamond series, Lexar’s new card promises maximum read speed of 3,600 MB/s and a maximum write speeds of 3,300 MB/s. It is also VPG 400 certified. For reference, it’s previous Diamond-series cards only promised transfer speeds of 1,900 MB/s.
Finally, a new microSD UHS-II card, designed for applications like the GoPro, is also on the way and promises maximum read speeds of 280 MB/s and maximum write speeds of 180 MB/s.
Lexar did not reveal pricing or availability for any of its new memory cards, but photographers can probably expect they will come to market sometime in the next few months.
Image credits: Lexar