The CompactFlash Association Launches High-Performance XQD Memory Card Format

The CompactFlash Association Launches High-Performance XQD Memory Card Format


Cupertino, CA—The CompactFlash Association (CFA) released the XQD specification as a new high-performance memory card. This XQD specification is based on the PCI Express specification, which provides a solid base for future performance scaling. The CFA also announced the first Video Performance Guarantee (VPG) profile specification.

The CFA stated that the new XQD card specification offers “exciting performance and storage capabilities.” The key features of the XQD format include: a durable optimized form-factor measuring 38.5×29.8×3.8mm; a scalable high-performance PCI Express interface providing 2.5Gbps today and 5Gbps in the future; and actual target write speeds of 125MB/sec and higher. To distinguish the new memory card format, an XQD compatibility mark has been created.

“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,” said Shigeto Kanda of Canon, chairman of the board, CFA. Licensing for CFA members will start in early 2012.

The Video Performance Guarantee (VPG) Profile Specification
The first VPG Profile 1 specification for CompactFlash cards enables guaranteed sustained capture of video streams up to 20MB/sec for professional video capture. VPG Profiles are a new kind of video-stream specification developed to go beyond command definitions and simple speed requirements.

VPG profiles specify the characteristics of a video stream to ensure compliant cameras and CF cards work together to meet the requirements of professional video capture. This includes guaranteed video capture over multiple capture files and across file system updates without dropping frames, enabling Full HD 1080p video capture at high frame rates with either under- and over-cranking functionality.

The new VPG Profile specification is available for immediate download from the CompactFlash Association website: Test equipment to validate VPG Profile 1 compliance in CompactFlash cards is also available. Contact the CompactFlash office for more details.

Video cameras and compliant CF cards from multiple vendors that support the VPG Profile 1 specification are now shipping, and they can be identified by the new VPG Profile 1 logo.

“I’m excited to see CompactFlash continue to drive image capture innovation and CF cards becoming an accepted format within professional video applications,” added Shigeto Kanda. VPG profiles are just the latest advancement in CompactFlash allowing for a broader use in professional tapeless recording.”

CFA members interested in developing additional video-stream definitions are invited to participate in the VPG Profile working group.