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New Malware Targets USBs

Data security through the internet is one of the most volatile industries in today’s world. Bug exploits, malicious code, and all kinds of data stealing programs being born through the constant fluidity of web content has led to many companies and organizations removing their valuable information from the grid altogether. A new threat on the hardware front however, may prove to be a challenge for even this avenue of data protection.
 
USB
 
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Custom USBs At Your Fingertips

Branding products isn’t a new concept in today’s marketing world, but Nexcopy has made it a lot more accessible to brand one of the most versatile pieces of technology in the industry. With the new USB7P full color inkjet printer, anyone can bring their designs or images to life on their flash drives. Check out the video illustrating the product with its features and benefits.
 
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19nm Process from Toshiba to Shrink 128Gbit Memory

Toshiba announced this morning of mass production in 128Gbit NAND flash memory with three-bits-per-cell storage in 19nm process. What this means is more storage space in a smaller area. The 128Gbit memory is only 170mm square. The reduced size implies cost of manufacturing will go down, efficiency will go up. The down side is the TLC or three bit per cell, is less stable then two bits per cell like MLC or multi layer cell technology. This isn’t a big concern for most users as the TLC flash will go into less important devices like USB flashdrives, MP3 players, phones and other hand held devices. The more crucial technologies will remain with SLC or single layer cell or MLC, multi layer cell memory. Toshiba and SanDisk share research and development and jointly invest in manufacturing. Continue Reading

Four Port 3.0 Host Controller From Renesas

Renesas is the spin off company from NEC who’s already making waves with their newest announcement of a USB 3.0 host controller which supports four downstream ports. This means the chip will provide more USB 3.0 ports to a motherboard, PCI card or embedded system applications.  In addition the new controller reduces it’s power consumption and increases performance. Renesas claims a 40% increase with this new controller, and I hate to say it, but that is a big jump from previous controllers – so I’m not totally convinced.  So it’ll need to be one of those “guilty until proven innocent” situations. Continue Reading

SuperSpeed USB Duplicator Introduced by Nexcopy

USB 3.0 hard drives and flash drives will be gaining popularity in 2011.  As with any commodity product, if you have a lot, you need something to manage them.  The new Nexcopy USB Duplicator SSUSB160PC is designed for the job – can manage any number of bulk flash drive up-loads or off-loads. The SSUSB160PC is the first SuperSpeed USB duplicator we’ve seen in the market.  We read it can duplicate 32GBs of data in about 6 minutes…just imagine how much time that will save for the promotional guys or the corporate IT guys who need to deploy loads of data on USB. Granted you’ll need to pony up for some expensive 3.0 drives, but if you’ve got the money for that, you’ve got the money for the $1,499 USB duplicator as well. The USB copier by Nexcopy Inc. can also perform some other tasks, like unique data streaming to each port, or data collecting information OFF the flash drive.  So whether it be duplication, copying or streaming, the Nexcopy unit appears to be the ticket. Continue Reading

For Real? 1.7 Billion USB 3.0 Devices Slated for 2011

If forecasting is to be believed, we are looking at 1.7 billion [with a B] USB 3.0 devices to be shipped during 2011. With the world population at just 6.8 billion, this means that nearly 1 in 5 will have a USB 3.0 product. Hmm does that number sound right? In-Stat seems to think they’ve got their numbers right, but I challange them.

USB 3.0 cable

With USB 3.0 being a slow start given that Intel wont even include the drivers in their chipset, it’s hare to believe OEMs will generate that much demand. Traditionally, OEMs lean on Intel to provide built in drivers to reduce overall cost of integration of new devices. Without the native driver, this forces integrators to go out and find solutions, like the NEC 3.0 chip. Here is a quick snap shot at some numbers for USB 3.0 and it’s related family of products:
  • USB 3.0 spec up to 5 GHz data transfer rate – about 500MB/s
  • Microsoft has not provided a native set of drivers for Windows as of yet
  • NEC shipped 3 million controllers in 2010 and expected to ship 20 million for 2011
  • USB-IF has tested nearly 120 USB 3.0 devices as of Dec 2010
  • Intel will finally provide support for USB 3.0 in it’s Sandy Bridge chipset sometime in 2011
  • Even in 2014 USB 2.0 will carry the bulk of sales for USB devices
  • By 2014 In-Stat is forecasting USB 3.0 to be in 225 million USB flash drives, seven million set-top boxes and nearly 40% of all digital media players.
Source: EETimes http://tinyurl.com/2eldj2x Continue Reading

Flash Memery – Where Did It Start

So here is a bit of information one could use for a cocktail conversation starter at your next computer club meeting, the start of flash memory. The first piece of flash memory was invented way back in 1984.  Flash was invented by Toshiba and by a guy named Dr. Fujio Masuoka.  According to Toshiba records, the term “flash” was suggested by Dr. Masuoka’s colleague, Mr. Shoji Ariizumi because the erase process of the memory contents reminded him of a flash like in a camera. Toshiba presented the new invention at the IEEE 1984 Integrated Electronics Devices Meeting in San Jose California and Intel saw the immediate value and jumped on board.  By 1988 the first commercial NOR type flash chip was commercially available.

NAND flash Toshiba

NOR based flash has long erase and write times and has a full address/ data interface.  Meaning one can read or write data to any portion of the NOR chip.  The NOR technology is mostly used for low levels of read/write cycles.  So for example, NOR is great for BIOS and firmware of a device.  NOR was the first version of flash, but everyone quickly realized a cheaper, faster solution is also needed. In 1989 the first NAND flash chip was introduced.  It had faster erase and write times, higher density, and lower cost than NOR flash – with ten times the endurance. The draw back with NAND [if you can call it that] is the I/O interface only allowing sequential access to data. Meaning you can only write to the device after the last bit of data has been written.  This makes it suitable for mass-storage devices such as PC cards and various memory cards like USB, SD and microSD, and somewhat less useful for computer memory. Source:  TutorialsWeb. Continue Reading

3 Bit Per Cell NAND Flash

3 bit per cell3 bit-per-cell NAND is sampled out the manufacturers.  The 3 bit per cell is exactly that, 3 bits of information are stored in each NAND cell.  This increased the capacity while keeping the foot print the same size.  This ultimately leads to larger storage capacity at a cheaper price.  Traditionally, SLC [Single Layer Cell] and MLC [Multi Layer Cell] technology is used is USB and SD flash, but we will begin to see TLC [Triple Layer Cell or 3 bit per cell] technology have a full roll-out by the end of this year. Over the past 18 months the biggest problem with TLC is the stability of the memory and performance, but Intel and Micron feel they overcame those problems and ready for production.  More with their press release: Continue Reading
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