The CompactFlash Association Announces Development of XQD 2.0 Specification

The CompactFlash Association has announced the development of the XQD 2.0 specification, sponsored by Sony Corporation.

For those of you that are not familiar with XQD, it's a memory card format that uses PCI Express as a data transfer interface, and was first announced in November 2010 by SanDisk, Sony and Nikon, and was picked up by the CompactFlash Association for development. Lexar recently announced that it would be manufacturing XQD cards in the future, too.

The Final specification for XQD was announced in December 2011, and was adopted by Nikon for use with the Nikon D4 Digital SLR; and because of it's fast transfer rates and high storage capacities, Sony intends to use the XQD format in future Broadcast Camcorders, too.

Sony recently announced faster XQD S-series cards, as we reported earlier this month in our article titled Sony Sets a Speed Record with XQD Memory Cards.

But, to allow even faster performance in the future, development of a newer XQD 2.0 specification has been announced by the CompactFlash Association. The same connector interface by XQD 1.0 cards will be used by newer cards based on XQD 2.0. That will allow backwards compatibility with devices already in the market that use XQD. For example, the Nikon D4 and Sony's XQD Card Readers. Yet, the new format will have features like VPG (Video Performance Guarantee) with profiles capable of supporting digital intermediate formats like ProRes, DPX and DNXhd.

In addition, the cards can make use of a higher performance PCI Express 3.0 interface, which supports transfer speeds up to 1,000MB/Second.

We here at Steve's have noticed that some of the newer video cards from Nvidia and AMD can also make use of the faster speeds the PCI Express 3.0 interface can provide, while maintaining backwards compatibility with PCs that have PCIe 2.0 interfaces; and it's interesting to see memory cards that leverage the benefits of the PCI Express interface design.

The CompactFlash Association is targeting the completion of the XQD 2.0 specification for the second half of this year. See the full press release below.


The CompactFlash Association Invites Participation on XQDTM 2.0

XQDTM2.0 Format Leverages PCI-SIG Gen 3 to Deliver up to 1,000MB/sec Sequential Transfers

CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The CompactFlash Association (CFA) is pleased to announce the development of the XQD 2.0 specification, sponsored by Sony Corporation. The XQD 2.0 specification will be developed in the XQD Technical Workgroup and will leverage the XQD 1.0 specification which was released October 2010. Additional participation in this specification development will be welcomed.

XQD 1.0 cards and connectors are already available in the marketplace. XQD 2.0 will leverage the same connector interface as XQD 1.0 interface for higher performance and backward compatibility. Host manufacturers and media manufacturers will be able to leverage the next generation of PCI Express® technology to serve the high performance requirements of this market. The new format will have VPG (Video Performance Guarantee) capability with profiles capable of supporting digital intermediate formats such as ProResTM, DPXTM, and DNXhdTM.

The key features of the XQD 2.0 format will include:

Professional form-factor

  • Dimensions : 38.5mm x 29.6mm x 3.8mm
  • Durable & Robust

High Performance Interface

  • PCI Express 3.0: 8Gbps (up to 1,000MB/sec)
  • Legacy support for PCI Gen 1 and Gen 2

Video Performance Guarantee

  • Support for VPG New Profiles

Superior Power Management

  • 5mW standby power

"The XQD 2.0 format will enable hardware and imaging applications to leverage the performance benefits of the well established PCI Express infrastructure allowing for many years of higher performance and backward compatible products. The Video Performance Guarantee Features of XQD 2.0 will also widen its appeal meeting the needs of higher end video applications," said Mr. Shigeto Kanda of Canon, chairman of the board, CFA.

If you would like to participate in developing the XQD 2.0 specification, please contact the CFA office to inquire about membership and/or joining the XQD Technical Workgroup or the CFA website CFA is targeting for the XQD 2.0 specification to be available in the second half of 2012.

The CFA (logo), CF (logo), CF+ and CFast are trademarks of the CFA and are licensed royalty free to its members. The CFA is a licensee of the CompactFlash® and XQD trademarks and in turn will license it royalty free to its members.


CompactFlash Association
Mike Asao, +1-650-843-1220
[email protected]