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New USB 3.0 Flash Drive Has 2 TB of Storage 212

Posted by samzenpus
from the thumb-drive-of-holding dept.
First time accepted submitter Dr Max writes "During Display Taiwan, Transcend and Taiwan's ITRI displayed a finger-long USB stick that reportedly offers 2 TB of storage. That's no typo. It somehow holds up to 2 terabytes worth of information. So far neither company has released anything official in regards to specs or a simple introduction, nor does the high-capacity USB 3.0 stick appear on Display Taiwan's website. But as seen in the video below, the 'Thin Card' thumb drive is even smaller than a thumb, measuring slightly thicker than a penny. It offers a minimum of 16 GB and a maximum of 2 TB."

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New USB 3.0 Flash Drive Has 2 TB of Storage

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  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @08:37AM (#37252612) Journal

    you can only read back the first 1GB...

    • by wsxyz (543068)
      Yeah, any run of the mill computer store in China will sell you whatever size you need: 2 TB, 10 TB, 1000 TB: If you name it, they'll sell it to you.
      • by eviljolly (411836)

        I bought my 1 Exabyte drive there a while back. For some reason it keeps overwriting my data though!

        • by jhoegl (638955) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @09:00AM (#37252874)
          For those of you who dont get the jokes above... http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/04/08/170235/Magical-Chinese-Hard-Drive [slashdot.org]
          • It seems this kind of scam has been going on for at least 50 years. A friend from Rio (Brazil) told me that in the early 60's, you could buy cheap D cells that when you opened them up, inside was an AA-sized cell with the rest just loose filler like dirt or something. They'd pass the standard battery check when new but of course wouldn't last nearly as long. This was quite a rip-off of poor people who lived in areas with no electricity and depended on these for powering their radios, since the batteries
          • by DrXym (126579)
            EBay is full of fake cards too. I got stung for one a few years back - claimed it was 4GB but only the first 256MB worked. Packaging and card looked authentic including hologram but even so it was bogus as a test revealed. I initiated a fraud complaint and got my money back. The scam works (judging by all the A+++ comments) because very few other people bother to actually test the card so the fraudster gets away with it for a few months before being shut down. I assume they set up again with a new name and
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          I'm using it for my database. Just make sure you use the Blackhole storage engine on MySQL. Otherwise the database may not work as designed.
  • by Moraelin (679338)

    Did they come up with a hardware implementation of the wavelet intelligent compressor? ;)

  • We can fit 64MB on a microSD card, so why it it surprising that something much larger can fit 2TB?
  • Wow, and I thought we were done.

  • News is spam (maybe) (Score:5, Informative)

    by mehrotra.akash (1539473) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @08:39AM (#37252642)

    From one of the comments on the linked site:

    On the video it says "Actually the one that we looked at on display was only 16GB but the technology behind that particular 16GB stick is capable of scaling to 2 Terabytes." In other words they'll have to wait years for smaller manufacturing processes to occur before a 2 TB drive is made.

    I cannot watch the video to verify it.. but if true, then the news is as good as spam

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Something like that...

      The video says they're waiting for the USB3.0 spec to be finalized before they can release a product.

      If a 2TB version is available, why wait? Why not make a USB2.0 version of it?

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Because at USB2 speed, you could never practically use all the data.

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          There's no terabyte-size USB hard drives in the shops where you live? Maybe you could come to Planet Earth where we're more advanced?

          • I think the parent is referring to 2TB USB3 flash drives. There are 2TB HDDs with a USB2 interface these days. I assume there is a lot more engineering and problems when trying to couple the USB2 interface with flash memory that are better solved with with USB3. Current 2TB drives take a normal HDD and pair the IDE or SATA with a USB2 frontend.
            • by hitmark (640295)

              Yea, i think a flash drive is more likely to saturate a USB3 connection then a HDD. Especially if it is using some kind of connector bridge.

            • by Joce640k (829181)

              I'm fairly sure he said there was no practical way to use a 2Tb storage device with USB 2.0 ... the shelves full of terabyte hard disks seem to contradict him.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        The video says they're waiting for the USB3.0 spec to be finalized before they can release a product.

        What? The USB 3.0 spec isn't finalized yet? So what's with all those USB 3.0 devices out there?

        Such a pity. The USB IF guys certainly are good at teasing us though [usb.org]. Harumpth. USB 3.0 Spec available for download. Especially since this group of "USB 3.0" devices doesn't exist [usb.org] (dated January 2010. Yes, 2010).

        Yup, they're still waiting nearly 2 years after the spec's been available to show off their 2TB flash dr

    • by jhoegl (638955)
      You are correct, the video just assumes 2TB sticks, why USB 3.0 is linked to this capacity as well, I do not know.

      Anything for hype I guess.
    • by jimmyswimmy (749153) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @09:17AM (#37253056)

      As of right now the largest FLASH I can find is a 512 Gb unit from Micron (MT29F512G08CUCABH3-12) in a 100 ball LBGA. Couldn't find that package description but maybe a similar one is 9x15.5mm dimension. You'll need more than 32 of these to get to 2 TB, plus a couple of controller ICs.

      In short, with tomorrow's technology (what Micron is still developing), you will need a 6" long stick, covered with ICs on both sides. This will not be an inexpensive device for at least a few years.

    • Exactly, just like the SD cards when they came out. The original form of the SD card had sizes "up to" 32 GB. That was the theoretical at the time and under those standards at the time when 256MB up to 1GB was standard (back when new SD memory digital cameras came with cheapo 4MB cards in them). With the coming of other flavors of SD cards, I believe that went by the wayside but it was still a long time before anyone was seeing 32GB out of a SD card when initially introduced.

      I don't doubt one day the avg

  • USB3 devices exist. Thumb drives exist. multi-TB drives exist. With enough money, you could have all three. I looks expensive. Cool toy, though.

  • by paiute (550198) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @08:45AM (#37252690)
    Have you seen my Library of Congress? I dropped it around here somewhere.
  • by Hadlock (143607) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @08:45AM (#37252696) Homepage Journal

    What market does this target? In the past, removable solid state media like CF cards and SD cards (mostly CF cards) were well taken by professional photographers because it meant they could fit more pictures on a single memory card, which meant as long as their battery lasted, they could continue working uninterrupted.
     
    I think everyone here agrees that the 2GB-8GB flash drive/thumb drive has completely replaced the floppy drive in this decade. People are still leery about keeping important data on a thumb drive for long periods of time, either due to ease of loss or possible read/write problems down the road (cue the know-it-all slashdotter telling me that they've solved all those problems despite continued miniaturization throughout the last half-decade.)
     
    So who are these for? Eventually the 2TB thumb drives are going to drop below $500, then below $150, and be mass produced for $99 or less during a Thanksgiving Black Friday Sale in our near future.
     
    Blu-Ray is only 50-60GB completely maxed out. That's the biggest common media I can think of that consumers have access to these days. Even all of Wikipedia will fit in a 60gb rar archive. Databases are bigger than 2TB. Or if you want a better reference, the plans for the Deathstar are bigger than 2TB. I'm not sure your sysadmin would recommend you walk around with your company's (or Empire's) most important IP in your pocket where it might get lost.
     
    I'm not trying to say 640KB is enough for anyone.... but is it? How much space do consumers really need for portable, temporary storage, vs enterprise use? And do you really want your enterprise data on a portable, corporate espionage-sized device?

    • by jittles (1613415)
      What do you think Princess Leia was sticking in to R2-D2 man? That was a thumb drive w/ those Death Star plans...
    • by vlm (69642)

      People are still leery about keeping important data on a thumb drive for long periods of time, either due to ease of loss or possible read/write problems down the road (cue the know-it-all slashdotter telling me that they've solved all those problems despite continued miniaturization throughout the last half-decade.)

      More like, for the last decade (not half decade), on roughly 3 month intervals, alternate between stories about how they fail at the drop of a hat, and stories about how they've fixed all the problems and they'll never fail again in the future nope never again.

      So who are these for? Eventually the 2TB thumb drives are going to ... be mass produced for $99 or less

      Sneaker-net once again becomes faster and more convenient than trading online. Imagine every star trek episode and movie from any series and all 12 hours of LotR and the Matrix movie (2+3 never happened, right?) and all the SW, indiana jones, and jam

      • Imagine every star trek episode and movie from any series and all 12 hours of LotR and the Matrix movie (2+3 never happened, right?) and all the SW, indiana jones, and james bond movies all on a tiny keyring

        It probably won't happen for another century because the copyright owners would object. Can you think of a scenario where data created by home users would top 2 TB?

        • A few weeks of HD video of your kids?

          I have 2 boys playing hockey. If I'm obsessed, I video every practice, 3-4x per week, every game, 1-3x per week.

          That's up to 14 hrs/week of HD video for 2 kids. At 11GB/hr, that's about 150GB per week.

          Hockey season is 5 months long, or 20 weeks.

          That's 3TB. Every season. For 10+ years.

          I'm not obsessed like this, but there are LOTS of parents who are.

          • by Hadlock (143607)

            That video is going to be stored internally in the camera though.which will later be offloaded to the pc for editing. I don't see why you would need to offload the entire seasons worth of video after you put it on the pc. Even if you were going to edit down last weeks games to a highlight video on your laptop, you should only need a16 gb thumb drive for that data.

            • You've never met a hockey parent then.

              Having reference to every practice, every shot, every move, every game is REQUIRED, at ALL times.
              Thus you would never remove anything. Perhaps add a weekly highlight reel, but nothing is going to be removed.

        • because the copyright owners would object.

          And, so what? Copyright holders were probably not too happy either when we traded music cassettes in the schoolyard...

          • by tepples (727027)
            Were publishers in the mainstream media as ready to sue their own customers in the Compact Cassette era as they appear to be now (Capitol v. Thomas)?
            • How would they know whom to sue...? Guess what would happen if MAFIAA goons in dark suits hang around schoolyards trying to observe whether kids are trading USB sticks...

              That's the advantage of sneakernet: it can't be tapped, it can only be observed directly, to great risk to the observer...

        • by itsme1234 (199680)

          Can you think of a scenario where data created by home users would top 2 TB?

          I'm close to that and I really, really don't try too hard. Half of it it's "legacy" data from the previous millennium. And I was quite late to the game and I'm talking only about what I personally produced, not all my close friends and relatives.

          So, what's all about?

          500 GB is less than 20 mini-DV tapes and no, I'm not going to convert it to anything else. I like originals and I don't want to deal with the whole deinterlacing mes

          • by tepples (727027)
            So you have a point. If you have that much raw digital footage, you can keep it on platters, which are cheaper than flash drives.
            • by itsme1234 (199680)

              It's not necessarily "raw", as in it's waiting for processing, it's just the way it is. If I want to refer to some old picture or to show somebody the pictures from some random event I'll just go to the folders and use what's there.
              Of course I keep it on platters, but not by choice. It's not that much if I want to take it with me but I would prefer to have 20-30g (one beefy stick) compared to 2x192g for two external 2.5 inch drives.

      • by neokushan (932374)

        To be fair, I think you could fit all that into 64GB, providing you're not talking about HD quality.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Why would you ever want to leave anything at home if you could take it all with you? Dump your entire music collection on one of these and you never have to worry about which 64GB subset you want to bring with you.

      • Hopefully you still keep a backup at home, or there goes your lifetime data collection if ever you get mugged...
    • by Smallpond (221300)

      Video is the most likely consumer target for that much flash. As you point out, a whole wedding in hi-def will fit on 16 or 32GB so not much reason to spend an exorbitant amount to get more than that.

      Back when DRAM was driving technology there were companies doing exotic stuff like putting multiple dies in a package or stacking packages to get double density. Could do something like that with flash -- put 32 64GB flash chips on a substrate and get 2 TB. It would be fantastically expensive, tho. For the con

    • Well I know I plan on backing up all my future data on easily portable and concealable high capacity thumb drives! I'll just have a drawer full of them!

    • by Stray7Xi (698337)

      One use would be to store media libraries. It could eliminate the need to decide which dvd's to bring because it could bring them all. Could bundle with a media player and even put an autorun frontend to select show. The kids go to grandmothers and have every movie/tv show they want.

      How often do you end up somewhere and decide to watch a movie where it turns into find something on netflix.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Smart phones, lap tops, tablets. Possible ever home computers. Nice and quite, and at USB 3 data transfer rates.

      The next HD format is twice Blu-ray size, and will probably be closer to 2.5 times.

      Yeah, what corporation would want their data on a HD that use a lot less energy, would require smaller server room, cheap to replace and could be easily locked up~

      DVR tech would certainly improve. Every cable box and TV would have on. Console device would get smaller and use less energy.

      I mean, even if you never use

  • This article highlights exactly why Toms Hardware sucks so much for the better part of a decade. The video in no way says they have a 2TB thumb drive just that when the flash gets scaled down further it could support 2TB. And as always, the Slashtard "editors" make no effort to actually find any of this shit out before posting a misleading summary to a stupid and misleading article.

  • I actually bothered to watch the video. She said "imagine this as 2tb", amongst other things. She finished with "the usb association hasn't finished 3.0 so we haven't released this product yet".

    So really she was just selling what could happen, some day. She could have just as well promised 2pb or 2eb instead, and promised it inside a postage stamp.

    So in summary:
    • It isn't 2tb
    • It isn't usb 3.0
    • You can't buy it

    However

    • They managed to fool the slashdot editors and get on to the front page
  • by gweihir (88907) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @09:10AM (#37252996)

    There is no 2TB drive. This is a 16GB with an _interface_ that could support 2TB. But wit present FLASH chips that cannot be fit into the case shown. May take another 5 years or more. Incidentally, old USB2.0 can already interface 2TB.

    So this is really a rather nomal-sized 16GB USB3.0 stick, or in other words nothing special a all.

    • Here's an odd coincidence: the Secure Digital High Capacity standard [wikipedia.org] also has a theoretically support capacity of up to 2 TB (2048 GB). Sure, we can't get SD cards with more than 32GB capacity but... it theoretically supports up to 2 TB of data, just as this magic USB thumb drive.

      So, if we add a USB interface and a theoretical capacity of up to 2TB, what do we actually get? Well, a regular, plain old USB thumb drive, such as those which we've been purchasing for the past... decade? //capcha was subtle. wh

  • by Tsar (536185) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @09:27AM (#37253206) Homepage Journal
    USB 3.0 supports a MAXIMUM throughput of 5.0Gbit/sec, and even at that insane rate it would take one hour (with 10% protocol overhead) to read or write two terabytes. We're lucky though; at USB 2.0's best rate it would take over 10 hours, with Full Speed USB 1.0 it would take 2½ weeks, and good old Original USB would literally take from now until late evening of January 14, 2012. Nostalgic for floppies? Using a fast backup program, you could do the job in 3½ years with 1.39 million 1.44MB coasters. Watch out for fridge magnets though!
    • Yeah, 2TB would take too long to read/write at even at USB 3.0 speeds, so we should even bother being excited about the idea of a high-capacity, fast, small form factor removable storage device. Because everyone who will use it will always read or write a full 2TB at a time.

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Tuesday August 30, 2011 @09:42AM (#37253352) Journal

    It's an old but clever China Hack.

    I worked for a merchandise company, I was the graphic artist, and had to design numerous USB-memory sticks in all shapes, beer bottles, dolls, ice-cream...you name it, fun stuff to... but there's where the fun ended:

    Most of the cheaper sticks we got from China was fakes all the way, but they where SMART fakes. Yes, they where re-programmed 1-8 gb sticks, sold as 16-32 gb sticks back then, but programmed in a way so you...the user...never would find out that they're fakes, how? you may ask... ...simple and smart - the more you load onto the stick, the slower it will operate, the nearer you come it's actual size limit, the slower it will add files, at first...most people don't suspect a thing, they just think...oh what a slow stick...bummer...but it works, and let's face it...the average user NEVER exceed 1-8 gb with their personal stuff, you think average joe runs around with a collection of DVDs on their sticks... NO! Take it from me...I've delivered THOUSANDS of these sticks in all varieties to all companies, big or small....we get VERY few returns despite this.

    I know...because I just took a look at the boss of our company, he uses those sticks at work too...of course...we use what we sell, but he didn't discover a single thing, but I could hear him swear and curse the memory stick or the computers for being too slow... ...and it took me AGES to explain to my non technical boss that this was a programming trick inside the memory stick, he just couldn't understand how that was done, he said...but it's 32GB LOOK...and then he'd take the time to show me the properties of the drive etc...specs...etc...oh dear...all over again.

    And he's an advanced user, what do you think the average joes out there figures out. Nothing!!! And the China factories gets away with it ALL THE TIME!

    • by bkmoore (1910118)
      An acquaintance imports and sells garlic and other spices. He tried importing from China a couple of times, but always got burned. Shipments came late or not at all and what did come he was not able to sell. He gave up on China. China is probably ok if you have deep pockets or have family connections in the right place. Otherwise it's buyer beware.
    • by GlobalEcho (26240)

      Do the name-brand drives do this as well? I have suspicions about my HP v165w "16GB"!

  • The latest version of SD cards (XC) also have the capacity to scale to 2TB.

    "SDXC, the latest SD memory card standard, dramatically improves consumers’ digital lifestyles by increasing storage capacity from more than 32 GB up to 2 TB." Source: https://www.sdcard.org/developers/tech/sdxc [sdcard.org]

    Move along, nothing to see here.
  • I remember spending close to $150 of a 16GB SLC thumb drive.

    Up until about a year ago, the market was flooded with MLC drives that could not offer comparable write speed or reliability but did cost 1/10th of that price.

    Now I see some USB 3.0 thumb drives [anandtech.com] posting impressive speeds. I wonder what NAND technology they use.

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