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UFDA promotes new gen USB smart drives

Posted: 11 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:USB Flash Drive Alliance? UFDA? flash drive? USB? USB smart drives?

The USB Flash Drive Alliance (UFDA), a consortium of leading USB flash drive manufacturers, will endorse a new generation of USB smart drives, which allow users to run active programs from USB flash drives.

USB smart drives provide users the power of a desktop in a flash drivethe ability to run personalized programs from virtually any computer, anywhere, including games, instant messaging and photo editors, browsers with personal setting and bookmarks, as well as encryption to keep information safe.

In an era of increasing mobility and increased security risk for critical information, USB smart drives meet evolving demands by enabling ultra-portable access to personalized computing, with encryption technology readily available for safe-keeping of files, the groups said. USB flash drives sales in 2006 are forecasted to reach 150 million units, with that number growing to 340 million in 2008, consisting of approximately 75 percent smart drives, according to Web-Feet Research.

"USB smart drives will fill a need in the market for portable, convenient access to personal information and programs," said Alan Niebel, founder and CEO of Web-Feet Research. "While they have already taken a lead position in information storage, the smart drive functionality is a powerful development that takes portable computing to a new level of ubiquitous computing."

UFDA members are united in support of an open platform and standardization for USB smart drives, allowing maximum interoperability and innovation to drive development.

"Consumers have already embraced the convenience of USB flash drives for storing their personal files and sharing things like photos and presentations," shared UFDA President Steffen Hellmold. "Smart drives will give users so much more functionality and freedom with computing. And we expect to see many choices available from manufacturers by end of year."

USB Smart Drives are currently available from select manufacturers, with many more expected to release products for the 2006 holiday season.

UFDA members include Lexar, PNY Technologies Inc., Samsung Semiconductor Inc., Buffalo, Crucial Technology, Infineon Technologies, International Microsystems Inc., Kingston Technology and Peripheral Enhancement.

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