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USB 3 – Now This Is Going To Be Good

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If you have been around for more than a few years then undoubtedly you will remember the frustratingly painful floppy drives that used to be the only way to effectively transfer files between computers. Frustrating of course because often the floppy would not write or even more frustratingly would not read on the donor machine.

Also the USB 1.0 format was relatively new back in the day, devices that took advantage of the technology were relatively thin on the ground so if you were really lucky you did not have to get involved with larger files that often required spanning across many disks which was even more fraught with frustrastion.

But as files grew larger the floppy simply did not make the grade, but as time passed the CD writer came of age which could hold a hefty 500mb of data, still a little more than most people required and media was originally quite dear as well.

USB was making rapid gains fortunately and manufacturers were coming up with many new uses for this very user friendly (operating system permitting) plug and play capability, and the pen drive was borne not a moment to soon in my opinion. Mobile data transfer capacity rocketed upwards from a humble 2mb and it did not seem too long until the capacity of USB pen drives surpassed that of the CD.

The Computer repair and IT industries where some of the first serious adopters of pen drives primarily due to the fact that system tools could be easily carried on a flash drive and with the larger capacities reduced the need to carry around a number of CD disks used for diagnostics or computer maintenance utilities.

Increased capacities then drove the need for higher data transfer speeds and it was not long before USB 2.0 and then Hi-speed USB appeared and filled the need for speed

The emergence of USB 2.0 and hi speed USB was a bit of a debacle for many consumers however as many USB pen drives and PCI cards were sold at the time claiming to be USB 2.0 but it was not made clear that the devices still only had the transfer speeds of 12mbps as opposed to 480 mbps.The problem was so widespread that many countries trading standards bodies were involved due to consumer lobbying for clearer packaging.

The humble and originally very expensive thumb drive really took the market by storm and capacities rose to become greater than some people still have on their old computers, and it is now estimated than in excess of 150 million flash drives will be sold a year which of course is only the tip of the iceberg when you consider the estimated 6 billion plus USB interfaced devices in circulation which is growing at a rate of 2 billion per year.

Increases in drive capacities has raised a number of issues across many industry sectors including the Data recovery industry, which has had to evolve new USB memory recovery techniques for recovering data from these flash based devices.

It is so easy to transfer and store data on these devices that many users are really taking them for granted and not saving their data elsewhere, which is all well and good until your drive breaks or gets damaged, or perhaps the memory controller fails.

Some Data recovery companies have of course stepped up the mark and the pen drive data recovery industry is now alive and well.

Another issue these devices have highlighted is the need for security as sensitive data (business or personal) can be quickly and easily stolen from the source. Technology has answered the problem and secure pen drives are now available and manufacturing giant Fujitsu has continued its innovation in security with the invention of a smart USB drives which even have the ability to auto erase data on a USB memory device.

As it seems with all technology every development brings us even greater speed and the new USB 3.0 standard is no exception promising data transfer speed 10x greater than current specs which will give us transfer speeds around 5Gbps.

This very fast transfer speed may of course signal the end of the older firewire standard which has been falling behind more recently.

The USB 3.0 standard has now been rolled out and accepted by most mainstream technology players but it may be still be some months before we see any consumer based products or reasonably priced motherboards supporting this latest standard.

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