The Flash Tide Is Rising

If you haven’t noticed the shift yet, there is no doubt you’ll see it in 2011.  We are talking about the shift from disk drive storage to solid state storage.  Sure we’ve heard netbooks run off flash and some other high end laptops, but not until Steve Jobs announced their new MacBook will be all flash did we notice the tide beginning to change.

MacBook Air Flash Drive

I’m not glorify Steve Jobs as the man who saw this coming, no, but understanding that Apple is the largest consumer of flash memory in the world – puts a different perspective on things. Apple will single hand drive the consumer PC market away from disk drives to flash chips as their hard drives.  Apple will do this in two steps.  Step 1:  Pass along their great discounts they undoubtedly get as being the largest consumer and Step 2:  Decreasing boot time when the MacBooks are powered on. We all curse at our PC during boot up because it just doesn’t happen fast enough.  Folks who have iPads have already had the “crack” and are addicted.  This will spread with the advent of flash in the MacBooks.  This will undoubtedly challenge Windows competitors to equal the performance levels. The Wall Street Journal did a more pragmatic approach to the subject if you’re looking for numbers and details.  Check here. Continue Reading

32GB microSD Card From SanDisk

Lets start the clock ticking for when microSD media will take over the world for flash storage.

I am still amazed at the small size of the microSD media and it’s expansive ability to keep growing in GB capacity.  Today SanDisk is officially selling the 32GB version of their microSD card.  Sure, it’s $200 USD but when you are an overseas airplane ride and need hours and hours of video content to stream through your 3 inch screen, this will be very handy.  I will forget the fact that a DVD player is less than that…but we’re talking cool factor here.

The new 32GB card makes use of SanDisk’s three-bit-per-cell storage technology and is able to hold around 7,000 songs.  That translates into 19 solid days of listenting to music, without break, 24/7. So forget the $200 price tag and maybe you can be lucky like me and find a microSD card, 2GB capacity for $3 off Amazon.com. Continue Reading 3 Comments

45 Target CF Duplicator From Nexcopy – CF450PC

Nexcopy Corporation released a new line of flash memory duplication systems, the CF Duplicator 150PC, 300PC and 450PC.   These PC based systems are ideal for doing bulk data loading to Compact Flash cards.

CF Duplicator

Nexcopy has some unique features to make any data loading job a breeze.   For example, you can put unique files to each CF card through their Unique Data Copy function.   Or a user can easily copy bootable Compact Flash cards by using the bit for bit Short Image copy function.   The Short Image copy function means only the data clusters used on the CF card will be copied to the target devices…rather than the entire thing.

However, Nexcopy also provides a Full Image copy function if that is required.   I’m thinking this would be good for Ext2 or Ext3 Linux formats where there are potential files that could be in any sector of the CF media.

Nexcopy Inc.   CF Duplicator line starts out with the CF150PC at $1,200 with an upgrade path to the 30 port and 45 port systems.   So the CF Duplicator is modular in design.

Nexcopy also mentions a user can mix and match duplicator boxes, so you could now copy to SD media, CF media and USB sticks all through one software interface, and at the same time!   Not bad.

CF Duplicator Copy Modes

The Drive Manager software offers six copy modes to accomidate any need a user may have. The six copy modes are:

  • File Copy
  • File Copy Add
  • Image File Copy (.img)
  • Unique Data Streaming to each card
  • Device Copy – short
  • Device Copy – full

You can learn more by visiting the product page: CF Duplicator by Nexcopy.
https://www.nexcopy.com/cf-duplicator/

CompactFlash (CF) cards are primarily used for storing digital data in a wide range of devices, especially those that require high-capacity and high-performance storage solutions. While their popularity has somewhat waned with the emergence of other storage formats like SD cards and SSDs, CF cards are still utilized in various applications, including:

Digital Cameras: CF cards have long been favored by professional photographers and enthusiasts for use in digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and high-end digital cameras. Their large storage capacities and fast read/write speeds make them well-suited for capturing high-resolution images and recording high-definition video.

Video Cameras and Camcorders: CF cards are commonly used in professional video cameras and camcorders for recording high-quality video footage. Their fast data transfer rates and reliability make them ideal for capturing high-definition video in demanding production environments.

Embedded Systems and Industrial Applications: CF cards are frequently used in embedded systems, industrial computers, and electronic devices that require rugged and reliable storage solutions. Their durability, high storage capacities, and resistance to shock, vibration, and extreme temperatures make them suitable for use in harsh operating environments.

Data Storage and Transfer: CF cards are also used for general-purpose data storage and transfer in various devices, including computers, laptops, digital audio recorders, and handheld devices. They can be used to store documents, music, videos, software, and other digital files.

Gaming Consoles and Arcade Machines: CF cards have been used in some gaming consoles, arcade machines, and gaming peripherals for storing game data, firmware updates, and other content. While not as common as other storage formats like SD cards or internal storage, CF cards have found niche applications in certain gaming systems.

Medical Devices and Equipment: CF cards are sometimes used in medical devices and equipment, such as medical imaging devices, patient monitoring systems, and diagnostic equipment. Their reliability, compatibility, and storage capacity make them suitable for storing medical data and images.

Data Recovery and Forensics: CF cards are sometimes used in data recovery and forensic applications, where they may be used to recover data from damaged or corrupted storage media, analyze digital evidence, or perform forensic investigations.

Source: GetUSB.info.

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Super Talent Announces New Compact Flash Cards

Super Talent is pushing out a new line of Compact Flash cards, then CFast series.  The CFast has a maximum bandwidth of 375MBs which is nearly four times faster than a traditional high end CF card at 90MBs.

CFast compact flash

The new CFast storage card breaks the speed bottleneck between the SSD and the device by using a SATA interface. Super Talent has clocked these CFast cards at up to 200MB/sec read speeds. With a Super Talent CFast storage card installed, there will be no waiting time for the camera to catch up, and it will be much swifter to view pictures on a camera or to copy them to computer. Measuring 36.4 x 42.8 x 3.3mm for Type I CFast storage cards and 36.4 x 42.8 x 5.0mm for Type II, the same physical dimensions as the CompactFlash card, the CFast Storage Card has a single-chip controller and flash memory module. The SATA interface consists of a 7-pin signal connector and a 17-pin power and control connector. The card operates at 3.3V. Super Talent is offering five different CFast storage cards, 8GB and 16GB based on SLC (Single Level Cell) flash and 8GB, 16GB and 32GB based on MLC (Multi Level Cell) flash. The first generation of CFast storage cards supports transfer speeds up to 200MB/s. Source: SuperTalent. Continue Reading 2 Comments

Intel, Micron With 3-bit Cell Technology

Intel and Micron are two of the primary NAND flash memory makers and are partners in such manufacturing.  Earlier this month they announced new technology capable of 3-bit per cell storage which is based off 34-nanometer technology.

3-bit cell technology

The 3-bit per cell concept allows for more storage in the same realestat of flash memory.  This imporvement yields larger storage capacity of flash drives and SSD at a lower price. However, the new technology doesn’t come without some draw backs.  According to Kevin Kilbuck, Director of NAND marketing at Micron indicates the 3-bit per cell technology isn’t as stable as they’d like. For example, Kevin indicates the 3-bit per cell NAND technology will be found in less mission critical devices like USB flash drives, SD memory and CF memory.  The technology will not find it’s way into SolidState Disks until the manufacturing process is perfected.
“The companies explained that they need more experience in production volumes before they will be confident to position it as a chip suitable for the high-write environment of the SSD”
You can expect the 3-bit per cell to hit the streets sometime in Q1 of 2010. However, as with most technology, it’s on the way out before it’s ever even in; SanDisk and Toshiba disclosed in February that they had developed 4-bit-per-cell technology, which the two companies said was the highest-capacity flash memory technology in the industry. Continue Reading 2 Comments

Samson Q3 Is Portable Video Recorder With 32Gigs

Samson just released a great looking product, the Q3.  It’s a hand held video recorder and what is particularly nice about this unit, is the huge microphone perched at the top.  Now it’s easier than ever to capture that perfect moment – in both video and audio.

Samson Q3

In addition to the well positioned microphone, the Samson Q3 also has an expansion slot via SD card for additional memory capacity.  Up to 32GBs to be exact.  Thus the title of the article.

Samson Q3 SD slot

The Samson Q3 also has VGA output so you can easily connect the device to your TV for instant viewing. Use HandyShare to edit and share video on your favorite websites including YouTube, Facebook and MySpace. You can connect the video recorder to your computer via USB connection. Continue Reading 26 Comments

Compact Flash Linux Computer

C-Data Solutions has a mini computer the size of a Compact Flash card.  Yes, that’s right.  The form factor of this Linux computer is that of a Compact Flash card.  The solution uses a CF DAQ card as the main processor and you can expand for additional flexibility using the CF COMM cards.

CF linux computer

The Compact Flash Computer utilizes Motorola’s Coldfire MFC5272 processor. The on-board flash memory file system provides storage for the operating system (ucLinux) and user applications. Expansion is via a 16 bit bus compatible with Compact Flash devices. Up to eight devices can be integrate into a system using the Bus Extension Unit (CF type II device). Here are the impressive specifications to the CF Linux computer:
  • 43 x 37 x 5 mm
  • Compact Flash Type II Card
  • 16 Bit CF expansion bus Interfaces to CF cards
  • 32 bit Coldfire cpu
  • 32 MB SRAM
  • 8 MB FLASH
  • µcLinux
  • RS-232
  • Motorola BDM port
For more information visit the C-Data Solutions website.  Source via Hacker-Technology. Continue Reading 6 Comments

Surplus of NAND Flash Memory To Continue

DRAMeXchange published a market research paper stating that NAND flash memory will continue to flood the market at lower prices. NAND flash memory is primarily used for storing songs, photos and other data on gadget type devices like digital cameras, MP3 players and iPods. The biggest contributing factor on why the market will continue to see cheap NAND is lack of sales.

sandisk flash memory

Since production forecasts run months ahead, the market has sitting inventory. To move this inventory prices are continueing to drop. For example, DRAMeXchange reported a drop of 20% in June for NAND memory related devices.
The NAND flash market has been so bad that the creator of the chips, SanDisk, on Monday reported a surprise loss of US$68 million for the second quarter. The company blamed the supply glut for its problems, pointing out that it sold a record amount of flash, 120 percent more than the same time last year, but that prices are down 55 percent compared to then.
SanDisk also reported the flash memory pricing might get worse [better for us] in the third quarter. So, it might be a good idea to start picking out your Christmas items now and make sure it’s some type of flash gadget. On the flip side, with today’s surplus means these companies are cutting back production as well, so once this flood dries up, we could see a shortage for NAND and prices jumping up…and the cycle goes on. Source: Network World. Continue Reading 6 Comments

Solid State Drives Slurp Power Not Save It

As Gizmodo says, “swindled“  That’s what we are all feeling when Tom’s Hardware determined solid state drives don’t save power, they slurp it up like a 64oz soda from 7-11.

solid state drive power

The theory behind SSD (Solid State Drives) would be no moving parts, thus a big power savings.  This thought process seemed particularely promessing for portable laptops.  However, it seems the “moving parts” cousin – our traditional disk drives – do a better job at power management. Tom’s Hardware is drawing some conclusions from their experiment.  Since SSD has an “On or Off” mode this means when your laptop is on, that Solid State Drive is always drawing power; whereas, the old fashion disk drive only draws power when it’s searching for data and thus doesn’t always draw a certain level of power…in fact, these drives are optomized to only pull power at peak search times. Not sure how much water this theory holds, as the disk drives always need power just to know when a request is being made, but hey, Tom’s Hardware has more resources [for both testing and experience] so I’ll take their word at face value for the moment. Continue Reading

TASCAM Sports Rack Mount CF Recorder

Not that a single rack mount unit which can record to CD or CF card is all that ground breaking, the conveninece of taking a live event and dumping to CF instantly is an interesting prospect.  Once more, the TASCAM SS-CDR1 will convert CDDA audio from Compact Disc to Compact Flash.

tascam ss-cdr1

The SS-CDR1 is designed for applications which previously used cassette or MiniDisc recording to transition those digital recordings the CD or Compact Flash cards.  The SS-CDR1 records in WAVE or MP3 formats to Compact Flash media. A slot-loading CD transport is provided CD recording, MP3 conversion and audio transfer. The recorder includes balanced and unbalanced audio inputs and outputs, RS-232 and parallel control and a wired remote control. Price for the SS-CDR1 is set at $599.  WOW – that’s some serious hardware cost for a CF recorder. Continue Reading 12 Comments

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