The CompactFlash Association is looking to gain some ground back from SD cards with a new format designed for high-end cameras: XQD. The new cards will measure 38.5 x 29.8 x 3.8mm in a casing that CompactFlash calls "durable and robust." That size is smaller than current CF cards but still slightly larger than SD. The extra bulk brings benefits, however, with write speeds pegged at 125MB/s in the real world. The new standard is based on PCI Express, which means that both read and write speeds have significantly higher theoretical maximums.
Although no camera makers have officially signed on to support the new format, CNET notes that Canon and Nikon looks likely to come on board at some point. Actual cards will be shown off at the CP+ conference in Yokohama this coming February. CompactFlash says that it will begin licensing in early 2012, so there is no word yet on when actual products could start shipping.