New memory card format revealed

XQD memory card
A new memory card format, the XQD, has been announced today

The CompactFlash Association has announced a new memory card format called XQD, which is slightly bigger than the standard SD card and can provide write speeds of 125MB/sec or higher.

Specification of the new memory card is based on the PCI Express specification, which is designed to provide a solid base for future performance issues.

Measuring 38.5 x 29.8 x 3.8 mm, the card is bigger than the standard SD cards which are used in many digital cameras. According to the CFA claims the new card is also durable and robust.

At the moment, the standard memory card format for professional and top-end cameras is the Compact Flash card, which is capable of higher read and write speeds than SD cards, which are more commonly found in enthusiast and beginner DSLRs and many compact cameras.


At the moment, it's not known when exactly the new cards will be available on the market, but the Association has said it will license the design in early 2012, with backing coming from both Nikon and Canon.

Mr Shigeta Kanda from Canon, who is chairman of the Compact Flash Association said, "The XQD format will enable further evolution of hardware and imaging applications, and widen the memory card options available to CompactFlash users such as professional photographers."

For those keen to take a look at the new cards, the CFA said they will be shown at its booth at the CP+ 2012 show taking place in February in Yokohama, Japan.

The Compact Flash Association is an organisation that was set up in 1995 by a group of international companies with the goal of creating industry standard flash-based memory cards for the imaging, video and industrial markets.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.