XQD card

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XQD card
DS7 4260 PK.jpg
Media typeMemory card
CapacityOver 2 TB
Developed byCompactFlash Association
Dimensions38.5 mm × 29.8 mm × 3.8 mm
UsageDigital cameras
An XQD card reader from Sony
A XQD card reader from Sony

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

The format is targeted at high-definition camcorders and high-resolution digital cameras. It offers target read and write speeds from 1 Gbit/s (0.125 GB/s) to about 4 Gbit/s (0.5 GB/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 (1 GB/s).[5]


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] In June 2017, Micron announced it was discontinuing the Lexar brand. In addition to Sony, as of August 2018, Nikon and Delkin are also manufacturing XQD cards.[9] As of 2012, SanDisk and Kingston had not announced plans to produce XQD cards.[10][11]


Sony has 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 consumer technology. Nonetheless, the cards will support acquisition in the broadcast quality MPEG HD422 50 Mbit/s format. On 4 September 2013, Sony released the PXW-Z100, a 4K prosumer camera that records onto XQD cards.[12]

Nikon supports XQD cards in its newer high-end DSLR and mirrorless cameras: Nikon D4, Nikon D4s, Nikon D5, Nikon D850, Nikon D500 and Nikon Z6 & Nikon Z7.[13][14][15][16]

Phase One XF IQ4 camera system (three bodies) supports XQD cards.[17]


On 7 September 2016 the CFA announced the successor of XQD, CFexpress. This new standard uses the same form-factor and interface but uses the NVMe protocol for higher speeds, lower latencies and lower power consumption.

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. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. 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. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  5. ^ "The CompactFlash Association Invites Participation on XQDTM 2.0 — The CompactFlash Association". Compactflash.org. 2012-09-15. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
  6. ^ "Sony Announces World's First XQD Memory Cards". Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 8, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Lexar Announces Support for XQD Memory Card Specification". Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  9. ^ "R.I.P. Lexar Memory Cards". PetaPixel. 2017-06-27. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  10. ^ "Sandisk, Lexar, Kingston not making new XQD cards". Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  11. ^ Shankland, Stephen (2012-01-13). "SanDisk on new XQD memory card format: 'Meh'". CNET. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  12. ^ "Sony XDCAM Micro site". Sony. 2013-09-04. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  13. ^ "Nikon announces first camera to use new XQD cards". arstechnica.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  14. ^ "When There Is No Second Chance: The New Nikon FX-Format D4 Multi-Media Digital SLR is The Definitive Unification Of Speed And Precision" (Press release). Nikon Inc. 2012. Archived from the original on January 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  15. ^ "Conquer the Dark: The New Nikon D5 DSLR Shatters Expectations for Thrilling New Levels of Low-Light Performance, Image Quality and Speed" (Press release). Nikon Inc. 2016. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  16. ^ "Pro Pedigree, DX Agility: The New Nikon D500 Establishes a New Era of DX-Format Performance" (Press release). Nikon Inc. 2016. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
  17. ^ "XF IQ4 150MP Camera System". phaseone.com. 2018-08-28.

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