USB 3 is the first version of USB in 20 years which makes
sense as a way to connect SSDs. All previous versions of USB were too slow to
exploit the speed potential of SSDs - and relegated the role of USB flash drives
to little more than high capacity sneakernet disks or personal
USB flash drives are not necessarily the same as USB flash SSDs.
differences (which mostly stem from
architetcture and QA
testing and verification processes) can be
profound in some
applications - such as
designs. - Whereas the differences between cheaper and more expensive
devices can be trivial if all you're doing is using the USB drive as one of
many occasional consumer backup
I've heard many stories about equipment designers - who
designed USB drives into common products like point of sale display terminals -
and who maybe qualified earlier generations of larger geometry flash. Then a few
years later - their buyers switch to newer, cheaper consumer devices - thinking
"newer must be better".
Result? - designs which worked OK
in the lab, or with older memory - are failing in the field - due to the
increasing specialization and
aspects of most consumer designs.
Here are some articles, links and
stories related to USB SSDs which you may find useful.
|Consumer SSDs - a
directory of publications|
- review of consumer flash drives
2, USB 3.0, and 10G USB Who wins? - a design blog
storage page news - from
|269 million USB flash
drives in 2013?|
Annual USB flash drive shipments were anticipated
to grow to 269 million units in 2013 - according to the
USB Flash Tracker (pdf)
- published by SCCG (Santa Clara
Consulting Group) - in the final Q4 2012 edition of their publication
for this segment of the market.
storage market research
Renice launches native USB 3 SSD with attached SCSI protocol
Editor:- September 20, 2012 - Renice Technology
launched a native
USB 3 SSD (no
bridge chips) using its own controller IP which supports the UAS (USB
Attached SCSI) protocol, has SMART and
interruption data integrity protection and R/W speeds of 400MB/s and
SSDs and USB 3
Editor:- June 13, 2012 -Does
my NAND flash need USB 3.0? - is a good summary of the value that USB 3
can bring to the SSD market - written by Eric Huang, at
RunCore's video - phone to purge USB SSD
May 22, 2012 - sometimes if I'm watching a movie I realize it's going to be
bad - but in a way which is nevertheless all too fascinating to watch. How bad
it will get? Look! - see it's getting worse - but still taking itself
seriously. So - instead of zapping it like I should - I stay transfixed.
Such bad movies are an artform.
What about promotional videos though?
- on the subject of SSDs...
Mostly these are just time wasting. But
today - in the "so dreadful I kept watching it nearly to the end"
category was a
on YouTube from RunCore about its Xapear SSD.
RunCore was the first
company to haul "phone to
over the cost
chasm which divides military
SSDs over to the
consumer SSD market
- which it did 2
years ago - and the new video is simply about their latest model which
combines RFID with the phone zap technology in an external USB connected SSD.
As a security
concept I was convinced the idea had merit - when I first wrote about it 2
years ago. So I wasn't keen to see another new video about the same topic. But
I'm glad I did - because it's an artform. ...click to
NeoMagic demos FPGA simulation of USB MagicVault controller
February 27, 2012 - NeoMagic
that the company is ready to demonstrate MagicVault, its USB 3.0 based UFD USB
Flash Drive Controller solution on an FPGA platform.
FPGA platform test results for the MagicVault flash drive solution indicate a
significant performance improvement over currently available products. In
addition to testing, NeoMagic is discussing MagicVault and other new products in
development with potential strategic partners and investors.
a new way to kill flash SSD data
Editor:- March 15,
2011 - Pangaea
Media has recently entered the
SSD backup market with a
removable 2.5" SSD
which integrates backup,
encryption and a
completely new (to me) patented
Patriot launches native USB 3 flash drive
December 9, 2010 - Patriot
a 64GB native USB 3 flash
drive - which offers faster performance than other designs which use include
a USB bridge chip.
is one of the first companies to integrate a native single-chip USB 3.0 flash
memory controller. By pairing the controller with our Quad-Channel technology,
we're able to maximize performance with the Supersonic series," said Les
Henry, Patriot Memory's VP of Engineering.
SSD Data Recovery Concepts
Editor:- December 1, 2010
- StorageSearch.com today
published a new article -
Introduction to SSD
Data Recovery Concepts and Technologies - written by Jeremy Brock,
It's hard enough understanding the
design of any single SSD. And there are so many different designs in the
If you've ever wondered what it looks like at the other end of
the SSD supply chain - when a user has a damaged SSD which contains priceless
data with no usable backup - this article - written by one of a rare new
experts will give you some idea. I've waited more than 3 years to find
someone to write an article on this subject for you. And now it's only a click
away - read the
USB3 faster than eSATA 2 for SMB disk backup
November 8, 2010 - Idealstor
announced today the release of a
removable HDD based
backup product called the Bantam.
comments:- I asked marketing manager Ben Ginster about performance - and
where the name of the product came from.
Re performance:- he said
- "When we originally were testing the unit we were planning on having
eSATA and USB3 on this drive but we found that USB3 speeds were faster than
eSATA so we decided to just go with USB3. We have controllers for
(customers with) systems that don't have USB3."
Re the Bantam (which for me having kept chickens - I had latched
onto as a opportunity to add yet another inmate to my
metaphors zoo / article) - I was wrong.
Ben Ginster told me "
We came up with name after the
Weight in boxing/wrestling. Small but
unveils USB 3 SSD for MacBook Air |
|Editor:- October 26, 2010 -PhotoFast said it
will ship a 256GB USB
SSD for the
MacBook Air at the end of November.|
Sustained R/W speeds are
250MB/s. Random R/W speeds are 50MB/s and 30MB/s respectively.
a whole new form factor SSD in the very limited time was quite a challenge"
said PhotoFast's chief engineer Eddie Wang. "Thanks to support from
SandForce, we finally
upgrading old PCs with new SSDs
Editor:- July 9,
Old PCs with SSDs is a cautionary tale published on Denali Software's blog.
I've often told readers who asked me about this subject - that they
could be wasting their time trying to upgrade old notebooks with
SATA SSDs - because
most of the speedup benefits - if any - will be lost by the latency damping
effects of cheap and slow bridge
chips on the motherboard - and that - unlike in a server - notebooks have
precious little CPU headroom.
It's nice to see these views are
shared by the author of this article who works for an
SSD IP vendor. ...read
ioSafe Launches Disaster Proof Backup SSD
January 5, 2010 - ioSafe
ioSafe Solo SSD - an ultra rugged
flash SSD with
upto 256GB capacity ($1,250) designed to provide data protection against
disasters such as fire, flood, and building collapse.
a "no questions asked"
Data Recovery policy
to help customers recover from any data disaster including accidental deletion,
virus or physical disaster.
"The new ioSafe Solo SSD is the world's most rugged and versatile
desktop external hard drive. It can be used alone or in conjunction with any
offsite or online backup
strategy to add real time, zero data loss, synchronous disaster protection to
any data that sits vulnerable," said ioSafe CEO, Robb Moore.
|USB Storage Milestones
|The original USB (for
Universal Serial Bus) was a low cost serial bus which, when shipped in
(USB 1.0), provided upto 12Mb/S. That's about 100x faster than the
style serial interfaces used in earlier generations of computers which it
The USB is now widely used in Macs, PC's and even Linux
systems. USB is typically used to connect devices such as printers, scanners,
keyboards, digital cameras, MP3 players and external storage devices.
June 2002, Intel and others started to demonstrate
USB 2.0, which increases the speed of the peripheral to PC connection
from 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on USB 1.1 to up to 480 Mbps on USB 2.0, or
40 times faster than with the older technology.
USB 3.0 - which
at 5Gbps is
10x faster than USB 2.0 - was originally expected to be available in
the summer of 2008. Instead shipments started in December 2009. It
offers throughput similar to
eSATA 2.0 - upto
The article -
USB 3.0 - A simple idea
full of challenges - summarizes the problems facing chip designers hoping
to achieve 5Gbps on cheap USB cables.
What if you're stuck with a USB 2 notebook and need fast cheap
external storage now?
Some companies, such as
are marketing USB 3.0 adapters.
Another solution - for those who want
to get more performance out of legacy USB 2.0
flash memory sticks is
to look at USB SuperCharger Software
from EasyCo which can
apparently speed up writes by 2x to about 5x.
eSATA is another option
- although for most notebooks it too - requires an adapter card.
AoE storage provides a
way for consumers to hook up a storage
network using their inbuilt ethernet - which may be easier to set up than
|9 Years Ago
World's 1st dual
interface USB+SATA SSD
|Editor:- September 13, 2005 - STEC today
the industry's first solid state drive with SATA and USB interfaces on one
Dual Interface SSD is the only available Flash drive that allows users to
easily remove a single SSD from one system and use it in a 2nd system with
different interface requirements. This makes it an optimal solution for
applications that require that the SSD have a high-speed
SATA interface for
digital mission data storage in a combat system and an industry standard
USB interface for direct
connection to a debriefing station or other PC.
STEC is demonstrating
the new Zeus drive this week at the
Defence Systems & Equipment International
2005 Exhibition and Conference in London.
Since Zeus Dual Interface SSDs offer both SATA and USB connectivity,
customers can work with an SSD design that is extremely flexible and optimized
for use as a removable
mass memory storage device. The product removes complexity from the design of
host applications by eliminating the need to design interface adapters for the
Zeus Dual Interface SSDs have a
3.5-inch footprint and
a 9.5 mm case height.and are available with capacities from 12 to 192 GB with
sustained read/write rates of 60MBytes per second. Zeus SSDs are MIL-STD-810F
compliant, and offer patented
...Later:- 2010 - this kind of dual interface technology has
since become a popular way for SSD vendors to offer user installable SSD
upgrades - in which the user transfers data from a rotating storage notebook
onto an external SSD using USB - and then (hoping for the best) replaces the
internal HDD with the SSD.
|SSD Pricing -
where does all the money go?|
|SSDs are among the most
expensive computer hardware products you will ever buy. |
the factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing and irritating
|| ...not made any easier when
market prices for identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1!
Why is that? ...read