Transcend says USB stick capable of 2 TB storage

"Imagine that going into your tablet!" The presenter at the Display Taiwan 2011 Technology Show recently was demonstrating a finger-length, thin USB flash drive of 16 gigabytes. She told visitors, however, that what was really interesting about this little number is that the drive could store up to two terabytes. Two terabytes? The idea has sparked much curiosity as to how this was achieved and how much such a device could cost. Manufacturers of the flash drive, Taiwan-based Transcend, developed the USB 3.0 flash drive in collaboration with Taiwan's government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the R&D superstars who help Taiwan's technology companies grow.

ITRI has an impressive record of helping companies innovate and of helping to create a high-tech environment for , starting on its incubation missions in 1973, when the government decided to reduce dependence on labor-intensive industries and instead grow technology-intensive enterprise.

At the time of this writing, though, it was evident that technology observers could only imagine, as they were unable to satisfy their curiosity as to specs and technology approach. The Display Taiwan event, which focuses on flat-panel displays, was the key signal of the product, but there were no signs of price tag, specs or technical explanations.

Called the "Thin Card," the USB 3.0 device will not be available now because Transcend awaits the setting of the USB 3.0 standard. Transcend and partner ITRI will not be pushing the device forward until they get the 3.0 green light This is also, according to reports, the reason why there has been no promotional information other than the video. (USB 3.0 is the third generation of USB technology that acts as a connector between a host computer and peripheral device.)

What is certain is that the video peek at a with a capability claim of 2 TB storage has raised awareness of Transcend as an aggressive player in memory products. With a company motto of “Good memories start here” the company has had a succession of product launches, selling flash memory cards, USB flash drives, MP3 players, digital photo frames, portable hard drives, among other items. At the time of its founding in 1988, the company offered two products only, a laser printer driver and a software protection system. The company introduced storage devices in 2003 and by 2009 it was recognized as a top Taiwanese global business.

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Sep 05, 2011
retail price ???

Sep 05, 2011
I wonder how they do it.

Maybe a small chip in between connector and memory that does automatic compression? For plain text files that could almost come out to 2TB fom a 16GB stick. But for other file formats that won't work as well. Especially already compressed formats like MP3 or Video file formats won't be affected much by additional compression.

Sep 05, 2011
256 GB flash drives have been out on the market for a bit. I guess if they managed to shrink the chip density by a factor of 8, then 2 TB would be achievable... Which in today's tech growth standards isn't such an unthinkable leap.

256 GB flash drives are priced at around $500 right now, so by the time these 2 TB drives are available I would guess them to cost around $600-$800.

Sep 05, 2011
I'm beginning to feel like the infamous IBM director, who couldn't fathom the need for much more.

I mean, what am I going to do with 2T in my pocket? By the time I've filled it up with movies I like, I'm able to watch them on my laptop or my cellphone, and probably for free, too.

And if I don't start hoarding movies, I really can't figure what else to fill 2T with.

Sep 05, 2011
, I really can't figure what else to fill 2T with.

I can see a number of businesses that could use such data storage (e.g. in the medical or material testing sector extremely large datasets are not uncommon)

For private use? Maybe once 3D movies become mainstream because then size of movie files will increase.

Sep 05, 2011
The singularity needs a vacation home and a means to travel where there is no internet. It cant find or build a robot that wouldn't stand out, this is a start for its mobility. Soon it will rise up and deem us unworthy.
Does this sound famiiar? oops, wrong blog.

Sep 05, 2011
I wonder if these chips can actually dump 5Gb per second....

Sep 06, 2011
I own a 16 Gb pen drive, and a 1Tb HD. Is the first time that I don't need more space.

Same here. But I would prefer a 2TB stick as a backup drive over the external USB drive I currently have.

At that size it's also OK to mirror your entire OS and your environment. I've been lugging around a small USB-Linux for some time, but with this there's no need to go for 'small' anymore. Problem with a 16GB stick was that while I had the OS on it up and running on another's computer the memory on the stick was limited.

Sep 06, 2011
Why not eSATA?

Same problem as with the USB drive. Mechanical drives are big. They can have hardware failure. They either draw constant current or need some time to rev up after going into stand-by.

Backup is something that doesn't require a lot of read/write cycles - so it's the perfect application for USB sticks.

Sep 09, 2011
I loaded my Spouse's old lap-top, which we regularly took 'off the grid', with a couple of 'compact encyclopaedias' and similar reference material. Now, you're talking a book-shelf of e-books. The newer e-readers have colour and graphics. I'm waiting for the first solar-charger built in to an e-reader's cover. Supplementing your holiday reading with an 'emergency library' makes a lot of sense...

Sep 21, 2011
If you can't fill 2tb then the technology is not for you, simple. I can and have filled 4tb on my home PC right now, I'm looking to add a 4th drive in the near future.

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