Remember the scene in This is Spinal Tap when guitarist Nigel Tufnel showed off amplifiers whose volume went all the way up to 11? Well it looks as though Kingston has taken a similar approach with its new DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 flash drive that can store as much as 1TB — yes, that’s one terabyte — of data. Needless to say, such an enormous flash drive packs some decent speed as well and Kingston says it delivers a maximum 240Mbps read speed and a 160Mbps write speed. Kingston hasn’t yet announced pricing for its 1TB flash drive, but given that its 512GB drive sells for $1337, then it’s highly likely that the 1TB version will be in the $2,500 range.
Although NAND flash, the storage that’s found in smartphones, tablets and many computers today, is faster than traditional platter-based hard drives, it does have its limitations as well. For starters, NAND flash storage is usually only good for about 10,000 read/write cycles before it fails. Taiwanese engineers from Macronix plan to announce at the 2012 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting that it has figured out how to improve NAND flash storage read/write cycles from 10,000 to 100 million cycles using a “self-healing” process that uses a flash chip with “onboard heaters that could anneal small groups of memory cells.” The result is a chip that can be erased and rewritten on over and over, even when it should theoretically break down. As promising as Macronix’s breakthrough could be for the mobile industry, there are no plans for a commercial product to be released any time in the near future.
One of the reasons ultrabook prices are so high is because their solid-state storage drives, which offer improved performance and reliability over traditional spinning hard drives, are so costly to vendors. The current generation of solid-state drives are cheaper than ever, however, and multiple companies are now offering drives lower than the dollar-per-gigabyte threshold, according to a study from The Tech Report. The publication analyzed pricing data that was compiled by Camelegg from early 2011 through June 2012, and found that the average price of flash storage drives has fallen 48% over the past year. If the current pricing trend of solid-state drives continues, ultrabook prices may finally drop to a more reasonable level. Earlier reports have indicated otherwise, though. More →