The CompactFlash Association’s new CFexpress standard is getting ready to take its place as the new dominant memory card format, and six companies have already announced CFexpress cards: Apacer, Delkin, Lexar, ProGrade Digital, SanDisk, and Sony. But here’s something you might have missed: CFexpress will feature three different card sizes.
Just as SD cards are available in miniSD, microSD, and SD, CFexpress will feature sizes Type A, Type B, and Type C. These were announced in the CFexpress 2.0 specification in late February 2019.
Type B cards are what photographers have been focused on up to this point, as that’s the size that’s identical to XQD memory cards and aimed at high-end digital cameras. And cameras featuring XQD slots will be compatible with CFexpress cards through a firmware update.
Type B cards have 2 PCIe lanes and a maximum theoretical speed of 2,000MB/s.
Type A cards are smaller and feature a single PCIe lane for a maximum theoretical speed of 1,000MB/s. These cards are designed for smaller cameras and devices in which size is more important than speed.
Type C cards feature 4 PCIe lanes and thus a maximum theoretical speed of 4,000MB/s. These large cards are designed to be used as flash storage drives in computers and larger devices.
Here’s a small table that breaks down the three new CFexpress formats:
So if you were wondering why news about CFexpress cards suddenly started mentioning “Type B,” now you know.