CompactFlash Association announced XQD 2.0 specifications

CompactFlash Association announced version 2 of the XQD memory card specs which could provide transfer speeds of up to 1,000 MB/s:

The CompactFlash Association Invites Participation on XQD 2.0

XQD 2.0 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.

Via Engadget

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  • Camaman

    Good luck with anybody taking them seriously…
    Seeing how “flexible” they are at giving OK to poor performing cards.
    The only thing standardised is licence to cheat and not disclose real obtainable speed…

    • Ken Elliott

      Uh… this is a spec, not a product.

  • Ken Elliott

    This is a very good thing. In a nutshell, this brings the XQD spec in alignment with the SATA 3 spec. This means that chips and technologies developed for solid state drives in PCs will transfer to the digital camera world. I suspect this is why XQD 1.0 was only supported by Sony. Realizing that XQD 1.0 was based on the older SATA 2 spec, I’m sure Sandisk decided to wait for the spec to catch up to SATA 3.

    BTW, the name of the spec is “CFast 2.0” and the marketing name is “XQD.” Just like the spec was IEEE 1394, but Apple used the marketing name “Firewire.”

    Did anyone notice a Canon employee is the chairman? I’m pretty sure you know what that means.

    • It’s based on PCI Express, not SATA, so that makes it better specwise.

  • Adam

    I hate to break it to you, but CFast and XQD are different standards. CFast is the same size as Compact Flash, but with a serial (SATA) instead of parallel interface:

    XQD has a different physical format, along with being based on PCI express, commonly used internally in computers:

    • Ken Elliott

      Dang – you are right. I totally misread the CFA statement. Thanks for clarifying that.

      (BTW, had you hit the “reply” link below my post, it would have been linked together.)

      • Adam

        Sorry about that. I was mostly hoping that the admin would correct the post to remove all references to CFast (it has nothing to do with XDQ v2).

        • Not Surprised

          What the heck are you nerds rambling about? Does this techno mumbo-jumbo mean faster cards for the Nikon D800/D4, or not?

          If not, then I knew it was wrong for Nikon to include it! And if so, then I never doubted them for a minute. By the way, my laptop can’t these XYZ cards, so I hope they transfer wirelessly.

          (Re: When are we going to see something real out of this. Nikon’s implementation was 100% completely worthless — and actually cost users money — as CF cards would have worked exactly as well.)

          • Adam

            It means that XQD is using a faster underlaying protocol (PCIe gen 3 vs gen 2). This will make the cards faster if, and only if, the underlying flash memory is faster. Since even the original XQD could do 500 MB/s and the fastest cards only could supply 125 MB/s, flash is the limiting factor.

            Since the fastest mode for CompactFlash cards is UDMA7 (167 MB/s theoretical maximum), that means that a camera XQD will be be better able to keep up with future increases in memory speed. And I suspect that this is why Nikon chose it for the D4.

            What we’ve been rambling about is that the article is talking about a second unrelated format (CFast). It’s like saying SD and CompactFlash are the same.

          • It will take few years until we see this card on the market.

        • I think they changed the press release – see the link to Engadget, it also talks about XQD 2.0

  • Rob

    Admin: The press release is not yet available on the CompactFlash Association’s website. That is what is causing the confusion. Their press release from April was about CFast 2.0. Their new press release is about XQD 2.0. They basically use a form for their press releases, which is why the two are so similar. They just update the details in the form for what the press release is about.

    CFast is not XQD, and the two have nothing to do with each other. Hopefully they will post the XQD press release on their website soon and you can link to that to avoid confusion.

    • Yes, I got confused because both standards have similar specs – the press release on their website did not have a date. I updated the post.

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