Samsung: 1.8" Spinpoint N3U HDD With Native USB - HotHardware
Samsung: 1.8" Spinpoint N3U HDD With Native USB

Samsung: 1.8" Spinpoint N3U HDD With Native USB

It's not often that hard drives break new ground. Sure, Western Digital's 1TB monster was an exception to the rule, but in most cases, each new HDD we see is a logical successor to the ones that came before. Maybe a bump in cache, an increase in capacity or a new spindle speed, but hardly anything ground-breaking.

For those bored with the status quo, let us introduce to you Samsung's Spinpoint N3U. Said drive is a 1.8" HDD with 250GB of capacity, but what makes it special isn't all that room in such a small space. It's not the dual-platter design that holds 125GB per platter. No, it's the totally wild decision by Samsung to bypass the bridge circuit board to convert the hard drive’s PATA interface into a USB interface and allow this unit to have a native USB interface.

We know it's hard to fathom, but the simplest way to put it is this: the Spinpoint N3U is an external hard drive, without the case. Choel-Hee Lee, vice president of marketing Storage System Division, Samsung Electronics, had this to say about the introduction: "The new high-capacity 1.8” 250GB drive enhances Samsung’s product offerings and is ideal for consumers who require a small form factor, high capacity data storage. It is easy to carry around and it is designed to withstand a free fall drop of up to 50 centimeters and be resistant to a maximum shock incident of up to 1500G."



As a native USB interface device, the Spinpoint N3U eliminates possible points of failure due to loose cable connections and optimizes performance by eliminating the interrupt service time for the bridge board to convert PATA to USB signals. And the N3U 1.8” drive also consumes about 40 percent less power than a 2.5” hard drive of an equivalent capacity. The Spinpoint N3U comes in 120-, 160-, 200- and 250-GB capacities and has 8MB of cache, and while the disk rotation speed is a tad slow at just 3600RPM, we're willing to let it slide due to the revolutionary USB 2.0 interface. We're hoping to see this kind of approach take off with quicker and larger drives in the future, but these trend-setters are expected to land next week with prices starting around $200. The full press release is pasted below.

Samsung Introduces High-Capacity 250 Gigabyte 1.8” Hard Drives

Seoul, Korea – July 8, 2009: Strengthening its line up of portable 1.8” hard drives for external storage markets, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced its 250 Gigabyte (GB) 1.8 inch hard disk drive, the Spinpoint N3U which incorporates a native USB controller on its printed circuit board. This optimized design results in a smaller foot print, less power consumption and optimized performance, which is ideal for portable external storage devices. The Spinpoint N3U stores up to 125 Gigabytes per platter for a total 250GB data storage capacity.

    Most external hard drives require the addition of a bridge circuit board to convert the hard drive’s PATA interface into a USB interface.   Samsung’s N3U drive, however, uses a native USB interface and as such does not require this bridge board.

“The new high-capacity 1.8” 250GB drive enhances Samsung’s product offerings and is ideal for consumers who require a small form factor, high capacity data storage,“ said Choel-Hee Lee, vice president of marketing Storage System Division, Samsung Electronics. “It is easy to carry around and it is designed to withstand a free fall drop of up to 50 centimeters and be resistant to a maximum shock incident of up to 1500G.” 

As a native USB interface device, the Spinpoint N3U eliminates possible points of failure due to loose cable connections and optimizes performance by eliminating the interrupt service time for the bridge board to convert PATA to USB signals. And the N3U 1.8” drive also consumes about 40 percent less power than a 2.5” hard drive of an equivalent capacity.
    Samsung now ships industry leading areal density levels for all of its hard disk form factor products with up to 1.5 Terabyte for 3.5” drives, 500GB for 2.5” drives and 250GB for 1.8” drives. The Spinpoint N3U comes in 120-, 160-, 200- and 250-GB capacities, the disk rotation speed is 3600rpm, and it supports a USB 2.0 interface. The drives are equipped with an 8MB cache memory. Initial shipments to OEMs are scheduled from mid-July with a MSRP at $199.00.

About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2008 consolidated sales of US$96 billion. Employing approximately 164,600 people in 179 offices in 61 countries, the company consists of two business units: Digital Media & Communications and Device Solutions. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.

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