Print 15 comment(s) - last by Loc13.. on Aug 31 at 11:26 AM

Toshiba announces its TransMemory line of flash drives

Toshiba has announced its new TransMemory USB flash drives that will range in capacity from 512MB to 16GB. All of the new TransMemory cards (with the exception of the 16GB Limited Edition model) will support U3 technology which allows users to not only carry along with their data files, but also their applications and personal computer settings.

TransMemory drives in capacities of 512MB, 1GB, 2GB and 4GB will be available in late November. The TransMemory 16GB Limited Edition model will be available in late December. Pricing has not yet been announced for the drives.

With memory makers creating higher density NAND flash devices, the storage capacity of all of our day-to-day consumer electronic devices are quickly on the rise. We’ve already seen Sandisk release an 8GB MP3 player and it’s rumored that Apple will take its next generation Nano to at least 8GB.

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I don't know
By peldor on 8/30/2006 1:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
if I should be happy or sad when I can backup my entire harddrive to a flash drive on a keychain.

Happy at the technological advancement, or sad that my computer is getting very old.

RE: I don't know
By Lazarus Dark on 8/30/2006 2:20:31 PM , Rating: 2
yea, my laptop has a 20gig hdd. i have xp and all my apps on a ten gig partition with a gig of free space. the other ten gig partition is for music mostly. when vista comes out i want a umpc with a solid state hdd. aside from having a media server at home for those terabytes of video, i think magnetic storage is on its way out finally. now just give me a 50 gig flash drive so i can carry my entire lossless quality music collection on my keychain instead of the 2.5" external drive i use now.

RE: I don't know
By chaosrain on 8/30/2006 3:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't Flash Memory have a limited lifetime, though? I thought that it could not be written to/read from forever, but starts to degrade after a while. If this is true, flash-based storage replacements would be longevity limited which is great for manufacturers, but sucky for consumers.

RE: I don't know
By Chris Peredun on 8/30/2006 3:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
NAND flash does have a limited lifespan, but the number of write operations per cell is approximately 100,000. The file allocation on flash drives also generally cycles through the unused space first to increase the longevity of the device.

The short answer is: yes, the drive would fail eventually, but only after about a petabyte and a half of data had been written to it.

RE: I don't know
By rushfan2006 on 8/31/2006 9:36:10 AM , Rating: 2
NAND flash does have a limited lifespan, but the number of write operations per cell is approximately 100,000. The file allocation on flash drives also generally cycles through the unused space first to increase the longevity of the device.

Didn't the "community" here that posts on these forums just have a huge debate on this very topic like 2-4 weeks ago? I distinctly remember a large majority of folks concluding that 100,000 writes would be met in no time at all if it was used in place of a HDD.

The general consensus was though flash drives are advancing nicely they still have a long way longevity wise to go before we can honesty rely on them to replace our HDD....I'm no expert by far on the technology, so I just have to trust the folks I know that know more than such person I trust tells me you'll need them to be capable of writes into the MILLIONS before its viable to replace a HDD.

RE: I don't know
By mendocinosummit on 8/30/2006 5:12:10 PM , Rating: 4
i think magnetic storage is on its way out finally

I completely disagree. I have a 320, 250, 160, and a 80 and they are all almost full. I can not wait until I can get a 1TB HD's for under 200 bucks. The future is hybrid HD's, a huge NAND cache (like 8 GB or more), for many years.

can it be used in Vista as memory module?
By Loc13 on 8/30/2006 11:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if i asked it properly. I think i read that with Vista you can put a flash drive and the OS will utilize the memory on the flash drive. So if i put in a 16GB flash drive would that be equivalent to 16GB of memory? Or maybe less?

RE: can it be used in Vista as memory module?
By goku on 8/30/2006 11:25:33 PM , Rating: 1
Memory? WTF are you talking about. Do you seriously believe that a flash drive would be used as local ram? You realize that even your HDD is faster than a flash drive? The USB interface is incredibly slow to act as computer memory, maybe in a Pentium system but I can't think of a pentium computer that comes with USB 2.0...

RE: can it be used in Vista as memory module?
By Dactyl on 8/31/2006 12:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
The answer to the previous poster is: yes. Vista can use a flash drive in a USB port to speed things up. That's outlined in this article[1] "Microsoft Windows Vista Will Use USB Flash Drive For Memory." Because it complements your main memory (RAM) by saving certain information, probably just read-only info like DLLs, and then your system can use the flash drive as virtual memory. It's faster than a hard drive and uses less electricity than RAM or a HDD.

MS even said you can pull the stick out of the computer while it's in use and it won't crash the system.


It isn't "used as local ram" it complements it as virtual memory. This is a well-publicized feature of Vista.

Your HDD is NOT faster than flash. Maybe for sustained data transfers of large files, but flash has very low LATENCY even if it can't match a HDD's BANDWIDTH.

By Loc13 on 8/31/2006 11:26:55 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the clarification. I guess my question wasn't very clear. Don't undertand why people have to be so rude on a forum when someone has a question. If i know everyone i wouldn't be asking it.

By obstreperous on 8/31/2006 2:01:11 AM , Rating: 2
I can't think of a pentium computer that comes with USB 2.0...

I can, I have an old PII-400 which I put a PCI usb2.0 card in especially for my flash drives.

You'll be able to boot off flash drives soon, makes it easy to carry around your own Op system. Vista will support pageing to flash drives, which is especially good for notebook users because NAND doesn't chew the power of a spinning disk. Also good for hibernating and things like that. This tech is comming with Santa Rosa I'm pretty sure.

Why doesn't the 16GB feature U3?
By SilthDraeth on 8/30/2006 2:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
U3 sounds cool by the quick explanation of what it does. So why wouldn't the largest of all the drives have the feature?

It seems like it would be more practical on a 16GB drive, than a 512MB drive.

Maybe I have the concept wrong though.

RE: Why doesn't the 16GB feature U3?
By PAPutzback on 8/30/2006 4:10:40 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with you there. With all these morons taking data home why would you not have that kind of security on the drive that could carry the most information. I bet some IRS employee could take the info for every living person in the US on that drive.

RE: Why doesn't the 16GB feature U3?
By haris on 8/30/2006 4:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
They might need two of those flash drives. I remember hearing somewhere that Bill Gates has to have his taxes done on a seperate computer system than the one that everyone else is on because his is so darn complicated. ;)

By JeffDM on 8/30/2006 4:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose putting a list price or street price in the press release was too difficult of a concept. Assuming linear scaling, I would assume $400 for the 16GB model as there are $99 4GB units out now. The thing is, linear scaling doesn't always work well for the high end like that.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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