CompactFlash Cards to Be Replaced with the Smaller XQD Format

Perhaps in response to the growing capacities and falling prices of SD cards, the CompactFlash Association has announced a new format to replace CF cards for professional photographers. It’s called XQD, and has a size that falls between CF and SD cards (it’s thicker than SD cards, but smaller than CF cards). The interface used is PCI Express, which has a theoretical max write speed of roughly 600MB/s, though the target for real-world write speeds at first will be 125MB/s. It’ll start making public appearances at trade shows early next year, and will be licenced out to card makers around the same time.

(via CompactFlash)

  • will hall

    just for context, what’s the theoretical and real world speeds for current CF and SD?

  • ★★★ Tam Nguyen ★★★

    that usually depends on the camera as well. if you go on dpreview, they often have the card performance page where they show the speeds.

  • Anonymous

    Urgh.  Do we really need yet another card format?

  • SteelToad

    Hey Canon … 1DX ???

  • Brent
  • Brent
  • Mr. T in DC

    What’s the point? SD cards will continue to grow in capacity and speed, fall in price, and they’re already the standard for most entry-level DSLRs, why not just go with them and drop the CF card, rather than replace it with something in between?

  • sacredgeometry

    yes, faster write and read speeds means the buffer can clear quicker, better response, transfer speeds, not to mention bigger storage etc lots of reasons. Or would you rather we still used punch cards? 

  • Matt

    Ya, none of that would be possible without a different size card…

  • AJ

    The only reason I see for the introduction of this format is that they will introduce it at a crazy price point. After a few years, when the price drops sharply, like it did with CF cards, they introduce a new format at another high price point.

  • Luke

    I just hate SD cards because they are slow and flimsy. If I drop a CF card or throw one in my pocket/bag, I don’t have to worry about it breaking nearly as much as an sd card. The capacity at a cheaper price point would be nice.

  • mike

    The point is you could with the right connector hook this directly into a SATA2 connector. Meaning that you can get a (maximum transfer) download speed of 6g/s or 0.75G per second to transfer from the card to your PC. Sure, a HDD can only write 150MB/s at it’s best, but with a RAID 5 array you can get significantly faster. This means really that you could download an entire 32G card in about 215 seconds or just short of 4 minutes assuming that you have the stars and the moon correctly aligned.

    The current speeds on a USB connection are significantly slower than that due to the limitations of the design of the CF cards, and the SD cards.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see anything in the story or linked page about a SATA2 connector.  I do recall an attempt to make a next-generation CF card that was SATA, but that seems to have failed, this is something different, being based on PCIe instead of SATA.

  • Fotographix

    XQD doesn’t quite roll off the tongue does it?

  • Anonymous

    CFast was an attempt to make a SATA version of Compact Flash, for all the good it did.  Given that failed, I don’t understand where this will succeed.  The plain fact is SD has been creeping up and taking away usage points from CF.  CFast might have been nice for making RAIDs, but maybe you’re better off using conventional SATA SSDs.

  • Drew Church

    Because I much prefer my SanDisk 90MB/s Extreme Pro UDMA 6 CompactFlash card to a 10MB/s Class 10 SDHC card?

    The only “in between CF and SD” in this scenario is physical size.

  • Paintman12

    What i wonder is if this will make it impossible to buy new CF cards, after purchasing a 7D a few months ago i wonder if this will lower the value. Would we maybe see a xqd to CF adaptor? 

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  • Peanuts

    I like my CF cards thank you.

  • Cochese

    10mb/s? on a class 10? You’re out of your mind. I’ve got an 8gig Class 4 that does 12mb/s average. And it’s not even a high quality Class 4 card. I think you don’t know a damn thing about card speeds…

  • Paul Bryant

    I’m all for it, if they ditch the FAT32 file system. I shoot primarily video, and I’d love to see the 4 GB/12 minute cap on clips go away.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t say I’ve ever damaged any memory card, SD or not, short of an intentional disection.  CF cards are durable, but given the pin hole contacts, I still wouldn’t want them anywhere there might be collecting cruft, such as a pocket or a bag, without a clamshell.

  • Peter “Pots”

    Sweet Jesus, another card and how are we going to read these things and do we retrofit our cameras??? I don’t think so…just another techno slap in the face.