In a recent PetaPixel blog post penned by Jaron Schneider, OWC (Other World Computing) has introduced an exciting new lineup of CFexpress cards that conform to the CFexpress 4.0 specification. What makes these cards from OWC, known as the Atlas Pro and Atlas Ultra, particularly intriguing is their ability to double the speed compared to their predecessors, boasting impressive read and write speeds of up to 3,650 MB/s and 3,000 MB/s, respectively. This substantial speed boost, amounting to a remarkable 97% improvement over the previous generation, opens up new possibilities for content creators, allowing them to capture top-quality footage, including 4K, 6K, and 8K+ videos, while also simplifying content access and transfer for editing and distribution.
One distinctive feature that sets OWC's cards apart is their remarkable energy efficiency. These cards consume only a third of the power allowed by the specification, setting them apart from the competition. Currently, OWC joins ProGrade Digital as one of the very few manufacturers offering CFexpress 4.0 cards, though Nextorage is gearing up to enter the market in the near future.
A noteworthy breakthrough is OWC's compatibility with its Innergize software, enabling users to upgrade the firmware of specific previous-generation PCIe Gen3 Atlas Ultra 1TB and 2TB cards to CFexpress 4.0 firmware. This marks a groundbreaking development in the memory card industry, giving existing card owners the unprecedented ability to enhance their card's performance without the need to invest in new ones.
The blog post also sheds light on a prototype OWC CFexpress 4.0 card reader, showcasing the significant speed enhancements when using OWC's USB 4.0 card reader. The best part? This firmware update is available free of charge, providing a substantial boost to the performance of older cards.
It's important to emphasize that both CFexpress 2.0 and CFexpress 4.0 cards maintain backward compatibility with cameras that support CFexpress cards. However, to fully unlock the advantages of CFexpress 4.0, photographers and videographers will need to await the arrival of new hardware in their cameras.
For those curious about pricing and availability, OWC's Atlas Pro CFexpress cards come in 256GB and 512GB capacities, priced at $169.99 and $199.99, respectively. Meanwhile, the Atlas Ultra cards are available in 1TB and 2TB capacities, with price tags of $579.99 and $999.99, respectively. The update for compatible Atlas Ultra CFexpress cards is provided at no cost and can be executed using OWC's Innergize software. As for the USB 4.0 card reader used in the testing, it's anticipated to hit the market in early 2024.
Read the full article by Jaron Schneider for PetaPixel HERE