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Power Over Ethernet to USB-C From Far Away

USB-C is great. Ultra fast data transfer rates close to 10Gbps and increased power to charge laptops, monitors and TVs. However; the power improvement from USB-C doesn’t last over longer cables. The USB-C (or USB 3) specification indicates the optical power and transfer rates will retain as long as the cable length is under two meters, or about six feet.

POE or Power over Ethernet, is a way to get both data and power to longer destinations via cable. PoE Texas has unveiled such a product for USB-C connections.

“As a standard USB-C offers amazing speed and power delivery. Unfortunately, USB-C can only transmit power less than ten feet (three meters), and the cable infrastructure comes at a cost premium. Ethernet cable, nearly ubiquitous in modern construction, can transmit power and data 328 feet (100 meters). USB-C power and data transmitted over Power Over Ethernet significantly lowers the cost of adopting USB-C by eliminating the need for new electrical infrastructure.”

Let’s give an example of how the PoE USB-C product could work – the following is a real life example from our own experience:

A user has a work station about 30 feet away from the production unit it needs to communicate with. The production unit is a USB-C duplicator by Nexcopy. The work station has a manager who controls the data to be loaded to USB-C flash drives, and the production unit, or USB duplicator, is manned by a production manager who physically connects and disconnects the USB sticks during the duplication process.

Because a standard USB-C cable cannot be used, as the distance is too far, the User could employ the USBC Power Over Ethernet product and get both the power and data to the destination.

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USB4 Is Coming: Here Is The Speed

USB 3.2, the most recent, shipping, standard sees a maximum transfer speed of 40Gb per second. USB4 will double that. Said another way, 80Gbps is equal to moving 10,000MB in one second. Said another way, that’s about 10GBs in one second.

Keep in mind, this is all theoretical, maxium speed. Real world applications will not get to this point. Never has, never will.

USB4 flash drive

USB4 is built on Intel’s Thunderbolt technology. You know, the technology Apple tried to force everone to use back in 2012. The big change for USB is the interface. The Thunderbolt licensing setup is expensive and thus, we never saw low priced accessories to accommodate the technology. This is why Intel was always so interested in getting Thunderbolt to be the backbone for USB. It would gain in both speed and reduced price.

USB4 is also backwards compatible with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3. Since the new standard merges both USB-C and Thunderbolt, we should start to see decreasing accessory price points that utilize faster speeds as USB4 gains popularity.

USB4 device manufacturers must also include USB Power Delivery technology, which regulates device charging. PD can quickly charge your phone or gaming laptop, sending the optimal amount of wattage for each device to charge quickly without damage.

Expect to see the first USB4 products hit the market as early as mid-2020.

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Features to Consider When Buying a USB Duplicator

Came across an article today, which I thought was a very good read. It’s a niche article, but for anyone who deals with flash drives, I would suggest checking it out.

From the article:

The optical drive is nearly dead – they are no longer found in laptops and rarely found in tower PCs. With that said, the trend for giving out data is shifting to USB flash, not CD or DVD media. Because of this shift, many companies are taking a closer look at buying a USB duplicator.

There are several factors one must consider before spending thousands of dollars on a USB duplicator. We have broken down the most important considerations into four categories. After reviewing these four categories, you should have an excellent idea of which type of duplicator is best for your organization.

USB Duplication Speed

Speed is the first area you should analyze to figure out which direction you should go. When considering speed, we are not simply talking about the copy speed of the USB duplicator, but other factors as well, such as number of USB sockets and the user interface required for feedback during operation. Questions you should ask, include:

# How many USB drives will you need to copy in a day or week?

# How large is the data load in MBs or GBs?

# What kind of turn-around time do you have between a duplication request and when that request should be completed?

# Is there printing, or branding required, on the outside of the USB?

# Do you need proof of performance via a log file?

Answering the above questions will give you an idea of what type of USB duplicator to consider. The type of duplicator will be size, how many USB sockets, copy speed of the duplicator and what type of software, if any, your organization will need.

Buy, USB Duplicator Your Production Crew

Your next step is to consider the production crew who will be running the equipment. Will there be non-technical people running the equipment, or will a more hands-on approach be required? Is the IT department looking to restrict user access to the equipment or restrict access to the data content during the duplication process?

Much of the above depends on how the data is received before copied to the USB flash drive. For example, a duplication company might receive a physical master from a client; where-as a fulfillment house may get content delivered from a server from an on-line order submission process.

Will the organization require multiple USB duplicators located in different parts of the world? Said another way, many global companies standardize on one manufacturer so the user experience is the same across multiple locations. This also makes production easier as both support and experience can be shared between divisions to streamline processes on a global scale.

Knowing the production crew, their capabilities and responsibilities will help narrow the search for the right piece of equipment.

Read-Only or Read-Write

The third category worth investigating is asking the state of what the USB should be once sent delivered. Is the organization looking to ship out a read-only flash drive? By default all flash drives are read-write. Because of this, many organizations fear a virus could jump onto the drive and spreading to other computers. With that fear in mind, most companies are looking for a USB duplicator which creates a read-only drive product. This means the USB drive is locked, or write protected. The files cannot be deleted or formatted off the drive, and more importantly, files cannot jump onto the drive.

Nexcopy is world leader in read-only flash drive duplicators and therefore used as an example of a duplicator system worth considering.

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Steampunk USB, The Gatling Gun Flash Drive

The Gatling gun is one of the earliest known rapid-fire, hand cranked weapons. The Gatling design is a forerunner of the modern machine gun and rotary cannon. Invented by Richard Gatling, it saw occasional use by the Union forces during the American Civil War in the 1860s.

Megan Kening at Etsy has taken this concept and made a steampunk USB flash drive. The Gatling gun USB has incredible detail, impressive color LED during operation and a rotating cannon when power up.

steampunk usb, Gatling gun

Megan’s collection includes the Gatling gun and a ball-point pen in a nice wooden case. Both devices are 100% hand made from a collection of materials that include copper, brass, glass tubing, USB and motorized engine with gears.

Mr. Kening has been mentioned before on GetUSB and his work continues to impress. With a near perfect, five star rating, we are confident to say any purchase from Megan is worth the money. Additional pictures after the break…

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Satechi USB-C Hub for New 2018 iPad

Satechi, a company based in San Diego California unveils a new USB hub for the 2018 iPad Pro.

Designed specifically for 2018 iPad Pro to conveniently access peripheral devices while on the go.

Satechi USB hub

Featuring stunning 4K 30Hz HDMI display (2K 60Hz limitation for iPad Pro), USB-C PD 3.0 charging, USB 3.0 (up to 5 Gb/s) and 3.5mm headphone jack, all over a single USB-C connection. The USB 3.0 socket is the only USB port which transmits data, the USB-C socket sends only power. It’s worth noting the power features USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 charging, so it will deliver optimal power to the connected device while your iPad is churning through 4K video on some other application.

The hub is well designed an in-line with Apple’s design standards. This isn’t a chunking add on to your new iPad.

Satechi is offering the USB hub at $59 and you have the option of two colors while ordering: Silver or Space Grey.

Satechi USB hub
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Could USB 3.x See 40Gbps?

It could be said the top five topics for CES 2018 were robots, driverless cars, virtual reality, internet of things and drones; however, we should keep our eye on less flashy topics like our beloved USB.

We learned at CES the USB Implementer Forum is looking at the capability to increase data transfer rates up to 40Gbits/second. Translated into a more common term, that is about 5,000 MB/second.

It was reported Jeff Ravencraft, president of the USB Implementers Forum, was said this is a real possibility and the wiring currently used, is capable of such speeds.

chart of all USB connectors

Those who favor Thunderbolt because it’s speed capability will no longer have a debatable advantage over USB, because once this new specification is released the speed between USB 3.x and Thunderbolt would be the same, maxing out at 40Gbps.

It’s always nice to appreciate our past before looking into the future. With that said, here is a chart of the USB ports currently available:

USB speeds

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