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When relationships dissolve, drama, sometimes, necessarily ensues.
In the case of Lexar and the XQD memory card format, the break up boils down to one big name: Sony.
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An announcement that has made its way through the rumor mills for some time now, Lexar has publicly proclaimed that they are abandoning XQD in favor of CFexpress. CFexpress, for its part, is a more recent medium and first came out in 2016, six years after XQD.
Of course, as PetaPixel points out, the XQD format has long existed as a source of drama for Lexar.
Acquired by Micron in 2017, that company ended Lexar’s own production of the XQD, but this line was later revived once the company was then transferred to a Chinese concern, Longsys, that declared it would bring back production.
If that isn’t a winding road to the decision that you don’t want to really be in the game, we don’t know what is.
These plans went awry because, as Lexar pointed out, Sony controls a lot of the market for XQD and that it is a niche segment at that. In fact, the trend toward the CFexpress format has become markedly more pronounced in the past year, making the future market for XQD unappealing at best.
PetaPixel quoted Nikon Rumors, which received word from Lexar that, “While Lexar is eager to pursue the XQD technology, the product availability of XQD has been held up by multiple parties including Sony (who owns the IP) which is preventing us from moving forward…In addition, we are diligently working on the future standard of CFexpress through our efforts in the Compact Flash Association and partnerships with key camera manufacturers.”
An older format by this time, XQD debuted back in 2010 with Sony, Nikon, and SanDisk supporting the format. As mentioned before, CFexpress is a bit newer and, best of all, cameras that use XQD can download a firmware update to utilize CFexpress.