Kingston Digital has released a line of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flash drives based on the high-speed USB 3.0 connection standard.
The DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 line is Kingston's fastest yet, capable of read speeds of up to 100MB/s and write speeds of up to 70MB/s.
The 74x22x16mm drives are backwards-compatible with USB 2.0, with read and write speeds of around 30MB/s, and cost between $77 and $213.
"Kingston is committed to help drive market adoption of the new USB 3.0 standard and make it more accessible to the mass market," said Jim Selby, EMEA product marketing manager for Kingston Technology.
"The growing number of platforms and computers supporting the USB 3.0 standard, as well as the benefits of the single chip controllers that allow better compatibility and performance, are helping drive the adoption of USB 3.0 technology."
Demand for high-speed connections like USB 3.0 is growing, according to Liz Conner, senior research analyst with IDC's Storage Systems and Personal Storage Group. However, it is being held back because so few systems have the technology fitted as standard.
"We haven't had the sweeping migration that you saw with USB 2.0 in the consumer space, and certainly not on the enterprise front," she told V3.co.uk.
"The key reason is that Intel hasn't adopted it yet, and won't do until 2012, so most people can't take advantage of it."
The first USB 3.0 products shipped in 2009 but, without Intel's support, most manufacturers are offering it only as an optional extra. AMD produced chipsets with integrated USB 3.0 technology last month.
Intel's own Thunderbolt high-speed connection technology, which is built into Apple's latest MacBook Pro systems, has been suggested as one reason for the tardy adoption of USB 3.0 by the company. But Connor noted that industry support for Thunderbolt is very small.
"The only people running it are Apple, and I know of two consumer devices that have Thunderbolt. There are a lot of people interested in it, but unless other PC manufacturers adopt it Thunderbolt will become the next FireWire," she said.
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