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