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Flash disk standard for embedded SBCs

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Advantech , M-Systems and PQI have jointly created a new USB 2.0-based flash disk standard for embedded single board computers (SBCs).

In order to assist the penetration of USB storage devices in the embedded space, the three companies have agreed on a worldwide industry standard connector and form factors for the SBC market and eventually for motherboard manufacturers.

“The new standard is a big step towards the fast adoption of USB in the SBC market. It reduces the design cost and minimises the risk by securing second source for current and future products,” says Advantech CEO K.C. Liu. “It is a win-win situation for all parties involved in the standard definition and particularly good news for the embedded SBC market.”

The embedded market is currently suffering from the performance limitation imposed by the IDE and CompactFlash-based flash disks, Liu says. The market now requires higher performance and higher capacity to support larger OSs, heavier, GUI-based applications, a wide variety of installed applications and local data storage.

“While the legacy IDE bus frequently cannot deliver to the requirements of today, embedded systems designers are looking to USB 2.0 as the next breakthrough in embedded flash storage,” PQI chairman Jance Lu continues. “PQI's new USB DiskOnModule product is therefore expanding our traditional offering to the market.”

With the new worldwide standard for embedded USB flash products now defined and jointly promoted, the companies expect greater market focus to be on product merits rather than on standards.

Power Quotient International (PQI) is an IC storage developer based in Taiwan, while M-Systems is a NASDAQ listed flash disk developer. Advantech maintains an Australian presence in Hornsby, north of Sydney, and also in Melbourne.

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