Intel shows 'world's fastest thumb drive'

Thumb drive receives speed boost with Thunderbolt port connection

Intel's prototype Thunderbolt thumb drive, which the company claims is the world's fastest thumb drive

Intel's prototype Thunderbolt thumb drive, which the company claims is the world's fastest thumb drive

Intel is showing off what it called the "world's fastest thumb drive," which uses Thunderbolt technology to provide breakthrough data transfer speeds compared to flash drives that plug into USB ports.

At the Computex trade show in Taipei, Intel showed a key-shaped prototype 128GB thumb drive that plugged directly into a computer's Thunderbolt port. The drive required no cable and resembled flash drives in size.

This is one of the first thumb drives demonstrated using Thunderbolt connectivity, which is the fastest technology available to transfer data between computers and peripherals, said Oren Huber, a Thunderbolt engineer at Intel Israel.

Thunderbolt can transfer data at a speed of 10Gbps, which is faster than USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. Right now USB 3.0 is about half the speed of Thunderbolt.

Apple's Macs and some PCs are equipped with Thunderbolt ports. Only a handful of Thunderbolt peripherals -- mostly monitors and external storage drives -- are available, and most of them require expensive optical or copper Thunderbolt cables to connect to Macs and PCs. A two-meter long Thunderbolt cable is available from Apple for $39.

The Thunderbolt thumb drive does not require cables, and has a SanDisk SSD to store data. The prototype is a reference design, and Huber said there has been some interest in building products based on the design.

The speed of the thumb drive will go up over time with advances in Thunderbolt technology, Huber said. Intel this week announced Thunderbolt 2, which doubles the speed of the protocol to 20Gbps. Thunderbolt 2 ports will be available in computers by the end of this year.

Thunderbolt supports the PCI-Express 2.0 data transfer and DisplayPort protocols. Enhancements in Thunderbolt include support for the latest DisplayPort 1.2 standard.

Intel is also developing a low-power Thunderbolt technology for data transfers from mobile devices to peripherals.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags computexSSDDrivesstorageComponentsInput-OutputintelPersonal storage peripherals

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?