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Print 21 comment(s) - last by Klinky1984.. on Dec 13 at 8:18 PM

Limited and pricey for first few weeks

Many technology enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting products supporting the USB 3.0 interface, which has a raw throughput of 5 Gbps. This is ten times that of the older USB 2.0 interface (USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with the older USB 2.0 interface). The ubiquity of USB led to the replacement of floppy drives and Zip disks by USB flash drives.

Super Talent announced the first USB 3.0 flash drives in November. The 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. However, it will top out around 35 MB/s in older USB 2.0 ports due to interface limitations and even slower in USB 1.1 ports. It uses USB 3.0 chips supplied by NEC.

DailyTech has learned that Super Talent will start shipping the first batch of drives out this week, with availability next week. The company is still ramping up production, so only a few thousand will be available initially. Interest is reportedly strong, with many units pre-sold already.

The first motherboards supporting USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA hit the market last month, so there is already a steadily growing market. Most of the early adopters of the new USB 3.0 flash drives are expected to be professionals who rely on their data and carry around large amounts of it.

Only 64GB versions will be available at first, priced around the $400 mark. Although this seems pricey, the first 1GB USB 2.0 drives hit the market five years ago around the $300 mark and were readily gobbled up by enthusiasts. Pricing is not expected to drop for the next couple of months, as NAND flash prices remain high after doubling in the last six months.

Update: We have received unofficial retail pricing information from Super Talent.


Part Number

Description

Unofficial Pricing

STU32GSSK

32GB SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Drive

$299

STU64GSSK

64GB SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Drive

$399

STU28GSSK

128GB SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Drive

$650

 



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RE: meh
By Klinky1984 on 12/13/2009 8:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, we've come along way what with USB drives taking over from floppies. No one wants to carry around a CDRW disc, plus those things are fragile. USB sticks have the main purpose of durability & portability, speed is going to play second fiddle. You can get sustained MB transfer rates into the teens on even cheap USB sticks. It doesn't matter if you're transferring at 100KB/sec when you're saving a tiny document. Most people are dealing with large files these days, or multiple images. If you're trying to use a USB stick as your OS boot drive, then you're the dummy.

SSDs already went through some of their growing pains, they were basically the same technology as USB sticks but with SATA/IDE adapters. Now controller tech has matured & so has the NAND memory itself. I don't see the SSD market sliding backwards, nor is the USB stick market sliding backwards either.


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