Memory vendor Super Talent Technology announced a new USB 3.0 drive that sells for under $2 per gigabyte of capacity.
The new Express Duo USB drive comes in 8GB and 16GB capacities, and sells for $14 and $29, respectively. The company claims the drive hits data-transfer speeds of 67MB/sec.
The USB 2.0 specification has a theoretical maximum data-transfer rate of 480Mbit/sec. or 60MB/sec. Real USB 2.0 speeds tend to run between 13MB/sec. and 34MB/sec. when protocol overhead is figured in. For example, Corsair's fastest Flash Voyager GTR USB 2.0 drive offers up to a 34MB/sec. read speed.
The USB 3.0 specification, also known as USB SuperSpeed, offers a theoretical data-transfer rate of up to 5Gbit/sec. Actual data-transfer speeds come in at around 3.2Gbit/sec. or 400MB/sec. Unfortunately, laptop and desktops PCs don't currently come with USB 3.0 ports. However, a dual-port USB 3.0 adapter card can be had for about $20.
As with all USB 3.0 products, the Super Talent Express Duo drives are backward-compatible to work with USB 2.0 systems, but the speed will also be limited by the latter protocol.
"The most amazing part of this product isn't the form factor or the 67MB/sec. The most amazing part of this product is the price point we're able to hit," said Peter Carcione, Super Talent's director of marketing. "Sixteen-gig capacity at less than $30. That's a USB 2.0 kind of price."
Carcione demonstrated the 16GB version of the Express Duo drive in a YouTube video that displayed a 67MB/sec. read speed using 512-byte random reads. The drive hit 11MB/sec. using 4KB data block sizes for data transfers.
"There's no reason to buy a USB 2.0 drive anymore," Carcione said. "It's future-proof. You can buy it today, use it as a USB 2.0 drive, and when your USB 3.0 becomes available, you can pull these kinds of speeds."
Super Talent is now shipping samples and plans to take orders for the drive this month.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.