SATA-IO announces USM standard for external storage

CES — The Serial ATA International Organization, otherwise known as SATA-IO, has announced a new specification for external storage devices. Dubbed USM, or Universal Storage Module, the connection standard is based on 6Gbps SATA. USM uses the same Serial ATA data and power plugs as internal hard drives, but it puts them inside a much beefier connector. Internal SATA jacks are only designed to be plugged in and disconnected about 50 times. According to SATA-IO member Seagate, USM has been engineered to withstand 5,000 connections. Here’s what the connector looks like attached to an ultra-slim storage device based on a 7-mm notebook drive.

Those familiar with Seagate’s GoFlex external hard drive interface will recognize the USM connector, which is essentially the same thing. Seagate has been working with SATA-IO since GoFlex was first introduced, and it’s now become an official standard under the USM name. The complete specification is expected to be finalized later this year. Companies like Antec and Thermaltake are already showing off USM prototypes.

The USM connector is quite a bit bulkier than eSATA, including hybrid ports that incorporate USB power, so you probably won’t see it pop up in a motherboard port cluster anytime soon. USM is meant more for consumer electronics devices and docking stations. The latter could certainly use a more robust connection standard.

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    • JMccovery
    • 9 years ago

    I wonder how long it will take WD, Fujitsu and Samsung to adopt this…

    • vargis14
    • 9 years ago

    I personally like esata over usb3 and usb2 have a thermaltake blackx dual station dock with esata or usb2 that holds two 3.5″ or two 2.5″ with a 2 tb wd green drive in it along with a 1tb wd black drive transfering files from my dell zino hd from my internal 250gb WD black drive i think i do know its 7200rpm,anyways i get full rated read and write speeds that the drives would have if they were installed internally…anyway i think its faster then usb3 and it can write from my internal 250gb drive to the 1 gb black with average write speeds of 60-70mbs to the 2tb green drive and 70-90mbs average write speeds to the 1tb wd black…very happy with it.btw i dont have a usb3 machine or devices so i could be wrong but from the reviews i have seen with usb3 i think imm faster…but its nice to have that double dock with both usb2 and esata so i can watch the 15gb HD moovies on anything with a usb2 that can handle the format hardwarewise nice to have about 400 720p and 300 1080p flicks so portable and i have great eyes and good tvs and compareing full1080p from my sony bluray player compared to my h264 copies its pretty much impossible to tell difference between the twomabey i need bigger then 47″ to see the difference but on a 37′ and 47″ lcd i cant tell btw i use media player home cinema mphc 64bit great free player i love it.
    forgot to say i cannot use esata and usb2 at same time was goin to hook it to two machinessay hdzino and laptop.

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      WTFITS?!

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      I’ll read this comment when you go back and recompose and punctuate it into sentences.

        • 5150
        • 9 years ago

        The funny part is that he actually edited it once. He must have forgot to add a period to the end. LOL

        • vargis14
        • 9 years ago

        Sorry but i do not care about proper punctuation.,?! besides i was rushed with the wife yelling “dinners on the the table” and i could not wait for broiled talapia and scallops.
        Good day to ya:)

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          I hate fish. It smells like… well, fish.

          • Trymor
          • 9 years ago

          Dude, chill. Some of us have a hard time reading things that are different than what we are used to. That being said, I am one of those pplsoiskippedoverreadingthepostintirelee!!!!!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 9 years ago

      eSATA is great…[i<]with[/i<] proper OS and driver support for hotswapping. Without it's kind of rediculous to have to reboot or whatever to have a drive be recognized if you're going to be plugging and unplugging. That's why USB 3.0 is so great, it's designed for hotswapping much more robustly than eSATA even if there are some downsides to it.

    • 5150
    • 9 years ago

    NEWS ALERT: Seagate does something right.

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]Internal SATA jacks are only designed to be plugged in and disconnected about 50 times.[/quote<] ????? I've cycled over 6,000 SATA hard drives through my Thermaltake BlacX without a problem...

      • cygnus1
      • 9 years ago

      I would imagine a dock like that is engineered a little tougher than say the connectors on a cheap backplane or motherboard

        • Trymor
        • 9 years ago

        Deleated onacountof the thumbs….

      • Trymor
      • 9 years ago

      I have had sata cables/ports cause intermittent issues too many times. The designer should have been fired.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    I can only hope that this version includes a signal notification when the release latch is depressed…

      • notfred
      • 9 years ago

      No point, the connector pins are probably designed for hot plug properly i.e. different pin lengths to mate at different times as the connector is inserted or removed.

    • BiffStroganoffsky
    • 9 years ago

    I like it. The mechanical locking mechanism looks like it is easier to use than the e-sata cables.

      • Trymor
      • 9 years ago

      Is it locking, or just self tensioned?

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