Print 25 comment(s) - last by Silver2k7.. on Nov 9 at 1:35 AM

USB 3.0 drive to be available early next month

Super Talent Technology has been making a name for itself in the Solid State Drive market with speedy SSDs and its PCIe based RAIDDrive solutions. The company is now announcing that it plans to be the first in the world to ship USB 3.0 flash drives, with first availability at the beginning of December.
The SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface supports transfer speeds up to ten times faster than regular USB 2.0. Although it has a theoretical throughput of 5 Gbps, USB 3.0 still uses 8b10 encoding. That overhead means that real world applications will top out at around 400 MB/s, still much faster than the typical 35-40 MB/s with USB 2.0.

"This product underscores Super Talent’s continued leadership in USB drives.” said Super Talent's COO, Mr. C.H. Lee. “We’ve developed the world’s first mobile USB 3.0 flash drive. It delivers phenomenal performance and it incorporates our own patented technology”.

Super Talent's new RAIDDrive USB 3.0 series uses patented “multiple pairs of differential serial data lines technology” for optimal NAND flash performance. It will transfer data at 200 MB/s using a USB 3.0 port,  but it can reach up to 320MB/s using a UAS Protocol driver.

The USB Attached SCSI (UAS) protocol runs over the USB 3.0 interface. The specifications were developed by the USB-IF to enhance the efficiency of USB storage devices. This is supposed to result in higher speeds and more consistent performance, as well as lower CPU utilization for both Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and SuperSpeed USB 3.0 devices.

The new drive uses USB 3.0 hardware from NEC, and will be available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities. It will be fully backward compatible with all USB ports, but operates at much slower speeds. It measures a 95 x 37 x13 mm, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Super Talent states that the new drive will have more than 10 years of data retention.

"SuperSpeed allows USB to meet the transfer demands of modern mass storage devices," said Yoshiyuki Yamada, Senior Engineering Manager, Custom SOC Solutions Strategic Business Unit, at NEC Electronics America, Inc.

The new drive comes at a good time, as the first motherboards supporting USB 3.0 have just hit the market. Pricing information is not yet available.

Part Number



32GB SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Drive


64GB SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Drive


128GB SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Drive

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"SuperSpeed" is NOT 4.8 Gbps
By void5 on 11/4/2009 11:28:25 AM , Rating: 2
"SuperSpeed" is 5.0 Gbps, NOT 4.8 Gbps (and as a result your 8b/10b math yields incorrect numbers). Read the specification at last.

RE: "SuperSpeed" is NOT 4.8 Gbps
By TETRONG on 11/4/2009 12:29:15 PM , Rating: 1
What is 8b/10b encoding?

What if you dont want your data encoded?

RE: "SuperSpeed" is NOT 4.8 Gbps
By hosps on 11/4/2009 12:44:33 PM , Rating: 1
8b/10b encoding is required to send data serially. In serial communications, it takes 10bits to send 8bits of data with the first and the last being used to synchronize each packet with the transmitter/receiver.

RE: "SuperSpeed" is NOT 4.8 Gbps
By void5 on 11/4/2009 4:55:05 PM , Rating: 3
8b/10b is used for error detection (frequency is quite high and cabling is not ideal), not for synchronization. RTFM.

You are also mixing up bytes with packets.

RE: "SuperSpeed" is NOT 4.8 Gbps
By AnnihilatorX on 11/4/2009 5:21:31 PM , Rating: 3
It's not actually used for error detection. 8b/10b is a form of line coding and is used to achieve DC-balance and bounded disparity

RE: "SuperSpeed" is NOT 4.8 Gbps
By UNHchabo on 11/4/2009 6:38:39 PM , Rating: 3
Even if you use 8b/10b for DC-balance and bounded disparity though, you get some amount of free error detection, because only a small (25%, by definition) subset of 10b codes have 8b counterparts. If you get an invalid 10b code, you know there was an error in the transmission of that byte.

RE: "SuperSpeed" is NOT 4.8 Gbps
By Pakman333 on 11/5/2009 2:08:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think I read last year it was 4.8Gbps, and now it change to 5? So either rounding or they increased the speed.

Pocket SSD
By Shig on 11/4/2009 10:31:11 AM , Rating: 4
I wants :)

The 32GB will probably be over 300$ though. With the others being insanely priced.

You can now steal government secrets off private computers at 10x the speed =D

RE: Pocket SSD
By Jedi2155 on 11/4/2009 11:20:30 PM , Rating: 3
I guess they can't use that "DOWNLOADING DATA" screen as a movie plot line anymore!

RE: Pocket SSD
By murphyslabrat on 11/5/2009 10:32:11 AM , Rating: 3
well, assuming you're loading it completely, that's 160 seconds of tension, which is more than enough. Besides, when has a movie gotten anything right, when it comes to computers?

By Aaron M on 11/4/2009 12:25:57 PM , Rating: 1
I wonder what the read/write speeds are when using standard USB 2.0. Also, how many read/write cycles are implied in "10 years of data retention".

I know Super Talent made some of the fastest SLC thumb drives, though the fastest ones topped out at 4GB, and are no longer easy to find. I wonder how these new drives compare to those, in durability and USB 2.0 performance.

Coincidentally, I was about to purchase an OCZ Rally2 Turbo 4GB thumb drive, as it's way faster and more reliable than anything else you can easily find in stores. I may hold off, pending further information regarding performance and price of these new drives.

By leexgx on 11/5/2009 12:43:11 AM , Rating: 2
35mb/s to 200mb/s is far faster
wounder what at the Write speeds be like as most do not go past 5-10MB/s on the fast ones that do not cost a lot but are fast Peak xtreme 2

peak 3 are crap they are cheap 8mb/s read less then 1mb/s Write if its 1 big file if its small files its like 200kb/s or lower

By mindless1 on 11/6/2009 12:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
You seem to have had a poor experience with USB2 flash drives, I've a MLC flash chipped Rally2 (non-turbo version) that transfers 1GB of songs in about 1.5 minutes, hardly enough time to get bothered about, you simply copy things before you're ready to stand up and leave the computer (multi-tasking 'n all...).

As for being drawn to the 1.0, if we could skip right to 2.0 I'm all for it, but why wait any longer than necessary if you wanted a board that happened to have USB3 too?

By Silver2k7 on 11/9/2009 1:35:31 AM , Rating: 2
but if your dealing with video files you might have 20GB instead of your 1.5 min you suddenly got 30 min..

then USB3 begins to shine ;)

By Calin on 11/5/2009 1:06:01 AM , Rating: 2
10 years of data retention means if you write it now, you can read it after 10 years. It has no connection with read/write cycles
Flash memory has a "forget" period - some time ago it was no more than a couple of years (and your data would corrupt itself).

It's huge!
By blowfish on 11/4/2009 12:59:31 PM , Rating: 3
Did you notice the size of this thing? It's given as 95 x 37 x13 mm! That's freakin' huge!

RE: It's huge!
By nilepez on 11/5/2009 8:49:09 AM , Rating: 2
That's what I was thinking. It's 3.75" long and almost 1.5" wide.

I've seen some ridiculously large 64gb drives and this one sounds like another...though perhaps the dimensions only apply to the largest drive.

It may be fast, but there's no way i'd carry that brick around. I already have to carry 2 cell phones.

RE: It's huge!
By mindless1 on 11/6/2009 12:18:22 AM , Rating: 2
Remember that it has to have highly paralleled chips (more of them) to attain the higher speeds, similar to the state of SSDs today.

It isn't likely they'll make drives this much faster but as small as the smallest USB2 drives any year soon, and when they do you can expect it to be with a new flash chip form-factor so there are more pins on each chip, but I doubt that'll happen any year soon as we haven't seen such a substantial increase in other memory chips recently either, they are approaching solder bump density limits.

I'd be weary
By fleshconsumed on 11/4/2009 10:44:23 AM , Rating: 2
Last time I bought Super Talent USB flashdrive I had to return it. I practically had to hammer it into my USB port because connector was too large. I googled and apparently I wasn't alone with that problem. Don't buy their stuff unless you can return it without restocking fee.

RE: I'd be weary
By The0ne on 11/4/2009 12:16:03 PM , Rating: 2
Probably got a defective one like others. ST is still a good company for memory devices, very good.

RE: I'd be weary
By mindless1 on 11/6/2009 12:32:15 AM , Rating: 2
Which USB flash drive? If it was one of their really tiny ones like the Pico(s), a lot can be excused given how little space all the stuff they crammed in there took up.

The solution I opted for with my Pico, after I broke the included chain from having to pull so hard to get it out of USB ports, was to lap it with progressively finer grades of sandpaper to reduce it's width. Doesn't look like shiney nickle plating on the sides anymore but I don't care, it works well enough and being so tiny I hardly notice it on my keychain is a definite plus.

Basic question
By JTKTR on 11/4/2009 10:40:45 AM , Rating: 2
Could someone tell me why we can stuff 128 gb onto flash drives yet every smartphone and mp3 player tends to top out at 32 or 64 gbs? It just doesn't add up for me

RE: Basic question
By ksherman on 11/4/2009 10:54:52 AM , Rating: 2
Its because many smartphone only have room for one, maybe two NAND chips. So the smartphone is limited by the amount of storage afforded by a single (cost effective) chip. That's an example of why the iPhone has half the capacity of the iPod Touch.

As for these devices, I imagine they can probably place two chip on each side of the drive (maximize the number of chips to improve performance), 8GB chips for the 32GB edition, 16GBs for the 64GB etc.

By H8ff0000 on 11/4/2009 5:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
... but this means nothing without a price range. Well, to most people anyway.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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