Etron starts shipping its first USB 3.0 flash drive controllers

Back in January Etron announced its USB 3.0 flash controllers at CES, but only now has the company started to ship the ICs. The company is aiming to bring lower cost USB 3.0 flash drive to the market with its now controller, while still offering decent performance.

Back in January Etron announced its USB 3.0 flash controllers at CES, but only now has the company started to ship the ICs. The company is aiming to bring lower cost USB 3.0 flash drive to the market with its now controller, while still offering decent performance.

The EV268-series of two and four channel USB 3.0 flash drive controller ICs should start to appear in various retail products over the coming months. Both models support SLC, MLC and TLC NAND flash built on 3xnm and 2xnm technology. Transfer speeds of up to 230MB/s is possible with the four channel controller and fast enough flash memory, but it's likely that we'll see much more modest speeds until fast flash memory comes down in price.

Digitimes is reporting that the global flash drive market is around 80-100 million units a year – we don't know how many of these products are promotional material, but we'd expect it to be at least half – and although it's not a highly profitable market to be in as far as USB 2.0 flash drive controllers are concerned, the USB 3.0 flash drive market is still in its infancy. Etron is hoping to help transition consumers towards USB 3.0 flash drives, but the company recons that for this to happen, the price difference between a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 flash drive has to be less than US$2. We have a feeling that more USB 3.0 equipped computers would also be needed, but that's a problem that's slowly but surely solving itself.

Source: Digitimes