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The History Of The USB Interface

Pen Drive Data Recovery

USB 1.0 which was first introduced in 1996 and remained an emerging standard for some time But as computing power grew at a fast pace the size of files seemed to grow exponentially and the floppy drive was simply not up to the job meaning many people were left having to burn very expensive CD's as burning technology came into play in the nick of time.

Flash memory technology at the time was still in its infancy as far as the mainstream consumer was concerned and it was also well beyond the affordability of all but the richest consumers.

USB started making rapid gains fortunately as the price for flash memory started to tumble due to advances in flash memory technology and leaner manufacturing processes, manufacturers started 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. 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 much to the distaste of the media sellers.

Increased capacities then drove the need for higher data transfer speeds as transfer times for larger files were somewhat slow, but were still perfectly adequate for smaller files, but it was not long before USB 2.0 and then Hi-speed USB appeared and filled the ever-growing need for speedier data transfer.

There was of course a lot of confusion between USB 2 and Hi speed USB during this transition, USB 2.0 could transfer data at an astonishing rate of 480mbps per second but a lot of early adopters and technologists were left with a bitter taste in their mouths as retail companies often sold devices and PCI cards as USB 2.0 but in reality they were only USB 2.0 compliant and still had a much slower transfer speed.

This was not necessarily the fault of the retailers but more of the manufacturers who simply failed to label their products correctly. At the time it was also argued that this was just a device to clear stock of older devices.

Time moved on though and the USB interface as a standard is now nicely matured and USB interfaces are common across a huge range of consumer and commercial products from phones to cameras. MP4 players and even video players although it was and still is to a degree questionable as to whether USB or Firewire will win the day as the truly dominant force in data transfer protocol.

The USB flash drive has really risen to the challenge to take maximum advantage of the USB interface and it has become the de facto standard for mobile storage. Pen Drive storage capacities are massive and well beyond most peoples daily requirements,

What were almost in the beginning badges of your technical know how have now become a mainstream device and sales are said to exceed 150 million units per year just for pen drives alone. The USB interface due to the ease of plug and play demanded by modern consumers has found its way into an estimated 6 billion commercial and consumer devices and this number is growing at over 30% per annum.

One problem however is 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.

USB data recovery is fortunately available and data recovery software can also be used if the drive is not damaged.

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. Identity theft is here to stay and industrial theft is also prevalent so security of flash drives has had to be developed both on a personal and commercial scale.

Technology has answered the problem and secure pen drives (and secure partitioning software) 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 well as having other key security features.

As it seems with all technology every development brings us even greater speed and the recently announced (November 2008 )new USB 3.0 standard is no exception. This latest USB standard promises blisteringly fast data transfer speeds 10x greater than current specs and over 400 times faster than the original USB 1.0 specification which means we will be seeing (subject to system limitations) transfer speeds just shy of the 5Gbps mark.

This very fast transfer speed is also being touted as the final nail in the coffin for the firewire standard which has been falling behind in more recent times, and if this happens USB 3.0 will have become the defining standard.

Most mainstream technology manufacturers and organisations have already accepted the standard and if plans move ahead as indicated we will see the arrival of consumer products using this standard mid to late 2009.

 

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