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Sony officially launches the first-generation of XQD cards

updated 04:55 am EST, Fri January 6, 2012

Sony XQD cards arrive to complement Nikon D4

Sony has officially launched the first XQD flash memory card , a new high-speed format designed to replace CompactFlash cards. The new format is primarily aimed at high-end SLR cameras and uses the PCI Express serial communications link interface from computers to achieve transfer rates as high as 125MB/s initially.

While Lexar has just introduced the first-ever 1,000X CompactFlash card, which can achieve transfer rate as high as 150MB/s, camera technology has not kept pace with the speeds that the very latest CompactFlash-based cards can attain. The new Nikon D4 DSLR that is designed to work with the new XQD format and will see the card able to fully support the D4's ability to shoot at 10fps continuous shooting at its full 16.2-megapixel resolution.

The XQD format also has the headroom to be extended to support 2TB in capacity, further in its development cycle. Ultimately, its transfer speeds will also peak at 250MB/s for the second-generation and 500MB/s for the third-generation.

The first XQD cards that have been released by Sony are the 16GB QD-H16 card ($130) and the $32GB QD-H32 ($230), both of which will be available from February.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yet Another Memory Card Format... Is SD[HC] cards really that bad?
    Do this format use the same form factor or do we now need new card readers with.. 20..25? different ports in them?

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...SD format is future-limiting. A new format makes sense, now we need real-world durability/performance data. I actually hope the upcoming Nikon D800 has CF and XQD like the D4 does rather than CF and SD as rumored. IMO SD format is not pro grade.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: YAMCF

    Gee, I don't know, it's way faster than SD cards. And the format allows for up to 2TB of space.

    Then again, most people would be asking the same thing about switching to display port vs. sticking with DVI. But I guess if Apple had made the call on a new card format, there'd be more "All right, just what we need!" going on.

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