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Super Talent's Superspeed super cheap flash

Express Drive arrives at under $70

SuperTalent MasterDrive SX

Flash product supplier Super Talent is putting together a de-featured RAIDdrive to deliver USB 3.0 speed for less than $70.

The new USB 3.0 Express Drive will come in 16GB and 32GB capacities and measure 62 x 37 x 7.5 mm, like two USB thumb drives packed side by side in a smaller version of Super Talent's RAIDDrive.

The new drive will, it's said by Super Talent, support read transfer speeds of "up to 125MB/sec" but the company quotes a 600MB movie download time of 12 seconds, equating to 50MB/sec, the 125MB/sec being a peak speed. Still, it's much faster than a USB 2.0 transfer. Super Talent expects this sustained transfer rate to speed up when new driver technology becomes available.

Writing speed is expected to be up to 50MB/sec, so copying the 600MB movie to the Express Drive in the first place will be maybe three to four times as long as the time needed for reading it.

The theoretical maximum USB 3.0 transfer speed is 480Gbit/s, meaning 480MB/sec but the protocol handling overhead drops this to a theoretical deliverable maximum transfer rate of around 400MB/sec. The RAIDdrive produces a peak 320MB/sec transfer speed with a UAS driver.

The Express product is a RAIDDrive-like product but with features removed to make the thing more affordable, whilst still being faster than USB 2.0 product. It will of course be backwards-compatible with USB 2.0 sockets.

The Express Drive's capacity points fit fairly neatly under the RAIDDrive's 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions. It will be interesting to see how other flash product suppliers such as OCZ and SanDisk react to this move.

The USB 3.0 Express product will be available in March from Super Talent resellers worldwide. Register here for USB 3.0 product availability updates. Daily Tech reckons the 16GB Express will come in under $70, with the 32GB model costing less than $150. ®

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