XQD card

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XQD card
DS7 4260 PK.jpg
Media type Memory card
Capacity over 2 TB
Developed by CompactFlash Association
Dimensions 38.5 mm × 29.8 mm × 3.8 mm
Usage Digital cameras

XQD card is a memory card format primarily developed for flash memory cards. It uses PCI Express as a data transfer interface.

The new format is targeted at high-definition camcorders and high-resolution digital photo cameras. It offers target read and write speeds from 1 Gbit/s (125 Mbyte/s) to about 4 Gbit/s (500 Mbytes/s)[1] and storage capabilities beyond 2 TB.[2]

The cards are not backward compatible with CompactFlash or CFast cards. XQD and CFast were both designed as a replacement of the then-16-year-old (in 2010) CompactFlash standard.

The format was first announced in November 2010 by SanDisk, Sony and Nikon, and was immediately picked up by the CompactFlash Association for development.[3] The final specification was announced in December 2011.[4][1]

XQD version 2.0 was announced in June 2012, featuring support for PCI Express 3.0 with transfer rates up to 8 Gbit/s (1000 Mbyte/s).[5] The older XQD cards will not work with the new XQD 2.0 card readers. The reason that this exists is because the older XQD cards do not have their controller chips inside of the card, they are located in the readers and adapters that support them. The new XQD 2.0 card have the controllers chips located inside of the card, not the reader. As such, when you use an old XQD card with a new XQD 2.0 reader, there is not controller chip in the set up. Without a controller chip, there is no way to read or process the card.


In January 2012, the first XQD card was announced by Sony, declaring a 1 Gbit/s read and write speed.[6][7] In July 2012, Lexar announced plans to support the XQD format.[8] Currently, Sandisk and Kingston have not announced plans to produce XQD cards[9][10]


Sony has also said their Broadcast Camcorders (XDCAM and XDCAM EX) will support the XQD cards. For their broadcast products the XQD card will be classified as a secondary media as XQD is based around a DSLR consumer technology, however, the cards will support acquisition in the broadcast quality MPEG HD422 50 Mbit/s. On 4 September 2013, they released the PXW-Z100, a 4K prosumer camera that records onto XQD cards. [11]

Nikon supports XQD cards in its newer upper-end DSLR cameras: Nikon D4, Nikon D4s, Nikon D5, and Nikon D500.[12][13][14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "CompactFlash Association readies next-gen XQD format, promises write speeds of 125 MB/s and up". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  2. ^ "CompactFlash Association Announces the Recently Adopted XQD(TM) Specification as a New Memory Card Format". CompactFlash Association. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012. Actual Write Speeds Target 125 MB/sec and Higher 
  3. ^ "Sandisk, Sony, and Nikon propose 500 Mbps memory card with more than 2 TB capacity". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  4. ^ "CompactFlash Association Announces XQD Card Format". Compactflash.org. 2011-12-07. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  5. ^ "The CompactFlash Association Invites Participation on XQDTM 2.0 — The CompactFlash Association". Compactflash.org. 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  6. ^ "Sony Announces World's First XQD Memory Cards". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  7. ^ http://presscentre.sony.co.uk/content/detail.aspx?NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=7201
  8. ^ "Lexar Announces Support for XQD Memory Card Specification". Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  9. ^ "Sandisk, Lexar, Kingston not making new XQD cards". Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  10. ^ Shankland, Stephen (2012-01-13). "SanDisk on new XQD memory card format: 'Meh'". CNET. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  11. ^ "Sony XDCAM Micro site". Sony. 2013-09-04. Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  12. ^ "Nikon announces first camera to use new XQD cards". arstechnica.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  13. ^ "When There Is No Second Chance: The New Nikon FX-Format D4 Multi-Media Digital SLR is The Definitive Unification Of Speed And Precision « Nikon Pressroom" (Press release). Nikon Inc. 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  14. ^ "Conquer the Dark: The New Nikon D5 DSLR Shatters Expectations for Thrilling New Levels of Low-Light Performance, Image Quality and Speed « Nikon Pressroom" (Press release). Nikon Inc. 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-05. 
  15. ^ "Pro Pedigree, DX Agility: The New Nikon D500 Establishes a New Era of DX-Format Performance « Nikon Pressroom" (Press release). Nikon Inc. 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-05. 

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