SOURCE: SMART Modular Technologies

May 11, 2005 09:00 ET

SMART Modular Technologies Introduces High-Speed, Embedded USB 2.0 Flash Drives in Densities up to 2GB

Providing 24 MB/s Read and 15 MB/s Write Speeds, These Low-Cost, Flash-Based Drives Target Embedded Systems Designs With a Range of High-Density, High-Performance Configurations

FREMONT, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 11, 2005 -- SMART Modular Technologies, Inc., a leading independent manufacturer of memory module products and services, has leveraged its expertise in solid-state non-volatile memory technology to offer a portfolio of Embedded USB (EUSB) Flash Drives. Available in densities from 16 MB to 2GB, the drives feature a small form factor, low-power consumption, and high storage capacity for applications such as gaming, embedded computing, industrial, and point-of-sale workstations.

These drives feature sustained read speeds of up to 24 MB/s, write speeds up to 15 MB/s and seek time of typically 500 µs. SMART's EUSB Flash Drives are compatible with the USB 2.0 Hi-speed protocol standard for high-performance, low-power, mass storage devices. Unlike rotating media (such as traditional hard drives) EUSB Flash drives can operate at a very low idle current, which is crucial for embedded systems design. For instance, with a 2GB drive at +5 VDC, idle mode draws typically fewer than 70 mA, active mode draws fewer than 130 mA, and standby is fewer than 0.75 mA.

"Solid-state USB memory keys have largely become the storage media of choice for transporting and sharing files, data, and programs," said Grady Lambert, Director of Engineering, SMART's Flash Division. "SMART's EUSB Flash Drive represents a natural extension of our existing product offering, and it offers competitive advantages to OEMs working on embedded systems designs."

For instance, EUSB Flash Drives enable OEMs to benefit from a reliable serial protocol standard. SMART's new product offering extends beyond industry standards by specifically targeting the unique design requirements of embedded systems, such as low-voltage operation, hardware reset and write protection, and a small form factor.

The attributes of the EUSB Flash Drives' solid-state design include extremely fast data access and improved in-system reliability. The MTBF rating for EUSB Flash Drives is better than 1 million hours, while a typical rotating hard drive only offers 45,000 hours of working life. Functioning in extreme operating environments, the drives are able to withstand extended vibration conditions up to 15 Gs (traditional drives operate at up to 1G) and operate across both commercial (0 degrees to +70 degreesC) and industrial (-40 degrees to +85 degreesC) temperature ranges.

SMART's EUSB Flash Drives support either +5.0 or +3.3 VDC operation. In addition, SMART's product roadmap includes products that require even lower supply voltage, such as +2.5 and +1.8 VDC. The drive is configured using one or two Flash devices, depending on the performance and density requirements of the target application. Multiple connector solution sets are available, including the SBC standard 10-pin (5x2), 8-pin low-profile, and 9-pin connector with 2-I/O serial data interfaces to the host. The 9-pin configuration allows two stacked drives to function as two separate devices while still retaining the footprint of one drive.

With a small form factor that is attractive for embedded applications, the 2 GB drive measures 1.5 in(2) and requires only 0.1 in(2) on the motherboard to connect the USB interface signals. This is more than 10 times smaller than the typical 40- or 44-pin IDE connector or 50-pin CompactFlash® card socket used in traditional hard drive designs.


SMART Modular Technologies is a leading provider of memory products and liquid-crystal display (LCD) solutions, offering more than 500 standard and custom products to top-tier OEMs working in computer, industrial, networking, gaming, telecommunications, and embedded applications. Taking innovations from the design stage through manufacturing and delivery, SMART has developed a comprehensive memory product line that includes DRAM, SRAM, and Flash in various form factors. The Display Products Group operates from two locations, the U.S. and Asia (through its affiliate, Estecom), allowing it to quickly and cost-effectively deliver worldwide thin film transistors (TFT) LCD solutions to customers developing casino gaming systems as well as embedded applications such as kiosk, ATM, point-of-service, and industrial control systems. Manufacturing facilities, design centers, and sales offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America enables SMART to provide its customers with proven expertise in international logistics, asset management, and supply chain management.

CompactFlash is a registered trademark of CompactFlash Association.

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