SHCC WYSIWYG Article from June 2012

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the June 2012 WYSIWYG newsletter.

USB 3.0

by Don VanSyckel

Here's an anomaly for you: 64G USB2 thumb drive. Huh? what do you mean anomaly? Have you ever tried to copy even 8 Gb of data to a USB2 drive? Thumb drive or hard disk, doesn’t matter, it takes a long time and that's only 8 Gb. Now let's copy to a 64g Gb thumb drive. I don't know how you do math but my way 8 "long time"s equals "too long a time to be usable". So why aren't the new 64 Gb thumb drives being built using USB 3?

I believe we're right on the cusp. There are currently multiple manufacturers shipping thumb drives built with USB 3. In fact there are 64 Gb, 128 Gb, and 256 Gb thumb drives and possibly larger that I didn't happen to read about all available with USB 3. The high capacity drives are either thicker than an average thumb drive and twice as long or they are flat and quite wide and high sort of the size of a palm It might be more accurate to call these drives palm drives. These drives all come with a cable so they stick out from the from of the computer to be sheared off by a passer by.

These drives are available from manufacturers that most of us have not hear of. This is because the drives are expensive and not being marketed to consumer. With a USB 3 drive like this and an internal USB 3 port you have a solid state disk.

How fast is it? By spec, USB 3 is up to 10 times faster than USB 2. Apparently a device can be USB 3 compatible and not be a full 10 times faster. This means speeds up to 5 G bits / second. With overhead there are about 10 to 12 bits / byte so 5 G bits / second is about 400 to 500 M bytes / second. This is even 5 times faster than gigabit internet.

The various devices are reported to achieve some of their speed from building with the memory in parallel but none of the description I read list more detail With speeds like this a 256 Gb drive could be loaded in 11 minutes or so. I'll have to wait until the prices come down, besides by then I'll pick up a one terabyte drive in a smaller case.

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