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Intel Shows 'World's Fastest' Thumbdrive Using Thunderbolt

Chances are, if you've read the word 'Thunderbolt' this week, it was related to Intel's new Thunderbolt 2 technology. However, Thunderbolt 2 wasn't the only iteration of Thunderbolt on show at Computex. Intel has also been flaunting a thumbdrive that uses Thunderbolt tech to deliver super fast speeds.

 

PCWorld reports that the drive is 128 GB in capacity and is a prototype device. In fact, it's one of the first thumb drives demonstrated using Thunderbolt connectivity. It's based on Sandisk SSD storage and requires no cables for data transfer. Though Intel's Oren Huber says there has been some interest in building products based on the design, Intel didn't mention any plans to bring the thumbdrive it had on hand to market.

Intel announced the next generation of Thunderbolt in April of this year. The controller, originally codenamed "Falcon Ridge," runs at 20Gbs, doubling the bandwidth over the original Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt 2 enables 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously by combining two previously independent 10Gbs channels into one 20Gbs bi-directional channel that supports data and/or display. Intel says we can hope to see Thunderbolt 2 products before the year is out.

  • Spooderman
    This is interesting, but more PC's need to come with Thunderbolt ports before anything good can come of it. I mean prebuilt ones, since the main consumer audience will not be building their own.
    Reply
  • beoza
    I completely agree with you Spooderman, right now the only company even putting Thunderbolt ports in their products is Apple as far as prebuilt goes. I have seen very few if any systems on the Windows side that have Thunderbolt.
    Reply
  • TheCapulet
    @vkg1
    USB speeds are rated in burst speeds, just like it's always been, while firewire and thunderbolt operate on a constant data rate.
    2 different things, two different uses. And coincidentally, thunderbolt doesn't have anything to do with apple, unlike firewire. It's simply a third party interface that they've integrated into their hardware.
    Reply
  • onover
    vkg1, you don't really know what you're talking about. The reason why USB won over Firewire was the cost to implement it. Currently, USB 3.0 has theoretical speed of up to 4.8Gbps. Thunderbolt has theoretical speeds of 10Gbps. The difference being (besides the speeds) is that USB's bandwidth is shared across all the devices connected to that hub. With Thunderbolt, it is 10Gbps for every single device (up to 6) for the one hub.
    Reply
  • NightLight
    with usb(3) being what is is now, it's gonna be hard to introduce this form factor to the masses. Look at e-sata, it's much faster, and almost nobody uses it...
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    10939157 said:
    @vkg1
    USB speeds are rated in burst speeds, just like it's always been, while firewire and thunderbolt operate on a constant data rate.
    There is no such "rating in burst speed", USB can do sustained transfers at the exact same rate it can do 'bursts' at. USB1/2's problem is half-duplex and host-based polling to emulate interrupts which makes it a lot less efficient - due to lack of full-duplex (or double-simplex for nitpickers) the USB host needs to periodically waste bandwidth polling all devices that may have interrupts to see whether or not there actually is one.

    Ironically, USB3 addresses a few of USB1/2's core weaknesses but at the same time, USB3 introduces more complex cables than the FireWire cables it was originally intended to avoid.
    Reply
  • Soda-88
    10939361 said:
    I'm quite sure that 99.9% of thumbdrives cannot saturate a USB3.0 connection. So, why do we need a thunderbolt compatible thumbdrive?

    Did you even read the article? It's based on Sandisk's SSD
    Reply
  • cphorn15
    10939481 said:
    10939361 said:
    I'm quite sure that 99.9% of thumbdrives cannot saturate a USB3.0 connection. So, why do we need a thunderbolt compatible thumbdrive?

    Did you even read the article? It's based on Sandisk's SSD

    On top of the fact that Intel is doing it just because they can. They don't necessarily want to bring it to market because they don't believe there will be enough interest in it.
    Reply
  • Usersname
    @ vkg1
    Intel and Apple developed Thunderbolt. USB didn't take off until Apple made it ubiquitous via the iMac and peripheral device manufactures. USB devices always worked/work on a Mac. I quite often had to struggle to get the same device to work under Windows. You really are dumb if you think USB, FireWire and Thunderbolt are remotely similar in application.
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    Even using an external SSD drive wouldn't see much benefit from Thunderbolt as SATA 3 is just a little faster then the USB3. We need to see SATA4 before this will help but by that time USB4 will be out. Only thing I can think of that will utilize that speed is Raid setups with SSD's or the PCI-E SSD's. Also, I don't want to go back to having 20 different connectors on back of my computer to use everything. We already have 3 or 4 competing video interfaces for computer monitors which is annoying enough.
    Reply