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| p.1 #14 · XQD: the future of the CF bloodline |
We've previously discussed the reasons for the eventual move away from CF, and why SD is not a suitable alternative. Those reasons are summarized as follows:
1. CF is based on the PATA bus and read/write speeds cannot be increased indefinitely without breaking compatibility in some critical fashion.
2. SD is flimsy, was never designed for professional use, and its data throughput is also limited.
That said, XQD seems promising but doesn't really feel sufficiently forward-looking to last more than a decade or so. The target speed is 125 MB/s, which is faster than today's commonly-available 90 MB/s of UDMA 6 CF, but in my opinion, it's not *so* much faster that it justifies a physically incompatible form factor and hardware interface. Granted, the theoretical maximum of the PCIe bus is much higher, but the point here is that if the first devices and cards to use this new standard are not MUCH better than what CF offers, consumers may resist adopting it. This may be less of a problem in professional circles, where people are more easily (and often grudgingly) forced into adopting new standards, but XQD still needs to prove itself and get consumers on board if it is to eventually replace CF, which has a long history with lots of people already invested in the cards and devices. At 39% more speed, it seems only incremental; and UDMA 7's maximum theoretical speed actually is faster than the XQD's stated goal.