Intel says prototype Thunderbolt flash drive is the world’s fastest
is no doubt Intel’s bread and butter at this year’s Computex trade show
but that of course doesn’t mean that’s all they are showing. Case in
point is a new prototype thumb drive
that uses Thunderbolt connectivity to produce what Intel says is the
fastest technology available to transfer data between a computer and a
The 128GB drive in question looks and feels much like a traditional USB
flash drive. Inside, however, is a SanDisk solid state drive used to
store data. The device connects to a computer using a standard
Thunderbolt port and unlike most peripherals that use the interface, it
doesn’t require any expensive data cables.
Thunderbolt technology has a rated speed of 10Gbps which is about twice
as fast as USB 3.0 and worlds faster than the UBS 2.0 standard. Despite
the massive speed increases, the technology has been slow to catch on.
As of writing, only a handful of PCs are equipped with Thunderbolt ports
(Apple’s Macs also carry the port) and there’s a limited number of
peripherals on the market that use it – mostly monitors and some
external storage drives.
The prototype drive is just that, for now. Thunderbolt engineer Oren
Huber said there is some interest in building products based on the
design but it’s unclear if that will ever come to fruition.
If you recall, Intel announced Thunderbolt 2
just yesterday as a follow-up to the current generation. The new
interface will boost data transfer speeds to 20Gbps by combining two
independent 10Gbps into a single 20Gbps bi-directional channel.