XQD card

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XQD card
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
An XQD card reader from Sony

The 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 to about 5 Gbit/s [1][note 1] and storage capabilities beyond 2 TB.[2][3][failed verification]

The cards are not backward compatible with CompactFlash or CFast cards, and despite the name similarity, has no connection with the xD-Picture Card. XQD and CFast were both designed as a replacement of the 1994 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.[4] The final specification was announced in December 2011.[1][5]

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).[6]

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


In January 2012, the first XQD card was announced by Sony, declaring a 1 Gbit/s read and write speed.[8][9] In July 2012, Lexar (owned at the time by Micron) announced plans to support the XQD format.[10]

As of 2012, SanDisk and Kingston had not announced plans to produce XQD cards.[11][12]

In addition to Sony, as of August 2018, Nikon and Delkin are also manufacturing XQD cards.[citation needed]

In late 2018, Lexar – by then under new ownership – [13][14] announced that it would discontinue support for the XQD format in favour of CFexpress, citing problems with control, licensing and product availability.[15]


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.[16]

Nikon supports XQD cards in its newer high-end DSLR and mirrorless cameras: Nikon D4, Nikon D4s, Nikon D5, Nikon D6, Nikon D850, Nikon D500 and Nikon Z6 & Nikon Z7.[17][18][19][20][3]

Phase One XF IQ4 camera system (three bodies) supports XQD cards.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Disk-based memory (hard drives), solid state disk devices such as USB drives, DVD-based storage, bit rates, bus speeds, and network speeds, are specified using decimal meanings for k (10001), M (10002), G (10003), etc.


  1. ^ a b "CompactFlash Association readies next-gen XQD format, promises write speeds of 125 MB/s and up". Engadget. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  2. ^ "CompactFlash Association Announces the Recently Adopted XQD(TM) Specification as a New Memory Card Format". CompactFlash Association. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012. Actual Write Speeds Target 125 MB/sec and Higher
  3. ^ a b "What is XQD and Why Should I use it | Nikon". www.nikonusa.com. Retrieved April 29, 2023.
  4. ^ "Sandisk, Sony, and Nikon propose 500 Mbps memory card with more than 2 TB capacity". Engadget. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  5. ^ "CompactFlash Association Announces XQD Card Format". Compactflash.org. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  6. ^ "The CompactFlash Association Invites Participation on XQDTM 2.0 — The CompactFlash Association". Compactflash.org. September 15, 2012. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  7. ^ "CFA 5.1 Press Release" (PDF). September 7, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 21, 2016. CFA has developed [card standards including] CompactFlash®, CFast®, and XQD® formats. [..] CFexpress is the next evolution in an open standard format for a broader set of applications
  8. ^ "Sony Announces World's First XQD Memory Cards". January 6, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  9. ^ "Sony - Sony unveils new high-speed XQD™*1 memory cards : : News : Sony Europe Press Centre". Archived from the original on March 8, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  10. ^ "Lexar Announces Support for XQD Memory Card Specification". Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  11. ^ "Sandisk, Lexar, Kingston not making new XQD cards". January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  12. ^ Shankland, Stephen (January 13, 2012). "SanDisk on new XQD memory card format: 'Meh'". CNET. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  13. ^ "Longsys Acquires Lexar Brand, a Leading Brand for High-Performance Removable Storage Solutions". Longsys.com. August 31, 2017. Archived from the original on September 1, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  14. ^ "R.I.P. Lexar Memory Cards". PetaPixel. June 27, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  15. ^ "Lexar Quits XQD Cards, Accuses Sony of Preventing Progress". October 25, 2018. Archived from the original on October 25, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2019. Lexar has abandoned the XQD memory card format and is now focusing its attention on pushing for CFexpress as the future standard. [..saying that..] "the product availability of XQD has been held up by multiple parties including Sony (who owns the IP) which is preventing us from moving forward"
  16. ^ "Sony XDCAM Micro site". Sony. September 4, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  17. ^ "Nikon announces first camera to use new XQD cards". arstechnica.com. 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  18. ^ "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 January 7, 2012.
  19. ^ "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 January 5, 2016.
  20. ^ "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 January 5, 2016.
  21. ^ "XF IQ4 150MP Camera System". phaseone.com. August 28, 2018.

External links[edit]