Storage specialist Sandisk has launched a new range of compact flash cards, the Extreme Pro series, that can reach up to 720mbps or 90 megabytes per second in read/write performance.
The range is aimed at high end photographers and possibly device manufacturers looking for the highest possible transfer rate. Sandisk basically used RAID-0 technology to achieve this performance.
Crucial to this was a new memory controller that unsurprisingly, can read and write twice the amount of data achievable on the previous one.
At 720mbps (or 600x), the card completely overwhelms either Firewire or USB ports and needs to be used with a dedicated adapter in order to achieve its full potential.
Sandisk will be offering the card in 16GB up to 64GB versions and because it targets professional photographers, it has been design to withstand extreme conditions.
It comes with "RTV Silicone coating for added protection against moisture and humidity" and can withstand drops of up to 3m. On top of that, the card is covered with lifetime warranty.
Expect those cards to be sold at a premium. Sandisk has said that the 64GB model will cost $811 in the US (check Sandisk's website here) or around £500 in the UK. In comparison, a 64GB model (albeit a slower one) from Pretec costs £312.
It is possibly better value to choose two 32GB models instead of a single 64GB one since it also allows you to be more flexible. Unfortunately though, Compact Flash still carries a significant premium over other types of solid state storage. 32GB USB drives costs around £40 while 64GB Solid State Drives can be had for around £120.