Glossary definition of Common Intermediate Format

Also known as: CIF, Common Interchange Format

CIF (Common Intermediate Format) describes a video resolution that is a quarter of the television drawing area. Whilst this should strictly mean 352 x 288 pixels for PAL (used primarily in Europe) and 352 x 240 pixels for NTSC (American) resolutions, the convention of 352 x 288 pixels tends to be globally adhered to by mobile phone manufacturers when describing their screens or cameras.

The acronym CIF was originally brought in to use in the late eighties to early nineties by video conferencing applications but is rarely heard these days as the resolution it describes is relatively small and uncommon, only being used in the context of VideoCD, and more recently mobile phones and low end digital cameras. Common Interchange Format is sometimes also known as D1.