Intel Shows Off Prototype 128GB Thunderbolt Thumb Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Intel introduced a 128GB Thunderbolt thumb drive at the Computex trade show in Taipei today, reports PCWorld. The drive, which Intel is calling the "world's fastest thumb drive," is similar in size to a standard flash drive and does not require an expensive Thunderbolt cable to connect to a Mac or PC.

    Intel's thumb drive uses a SanDisk SSD for storage, though that may change if the product goes into production. At this point, the thumb drive is just a prototype, with no potential price point provided.

    Given the high prices and limited adoption of Thunderbolt, it may be quite some time before a consumer version of the Thunderbolt thumb drive is available for purchase. Earlier this week, Intel officially announced the next iteration of Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2, which will begin production in late 2013.

    Article Link: Intel Shows Off Prototype 128GB Thunderbolt Thumb Drive
  2. macrumors 6502


    Sep 9, 2008
    San Juan, PR
    The most expensive Thumb Drive on the Planet.
  3. macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2010
    No kidding. Thunderbolt 2? Does anyone have the first version at this point.
  4. macrumors 68040

    Feb 2, 2008
    Also the fastest, by far. And at 128GB it's besides it's physical size closer to a regular drive.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    That is insane, you could transfer the entire contents of the Thumb Drive in under 5 mins.
  7. macrumors 6502


    Sep 9, 2008
    San Juan, PR
    This is faster than Thunderbolt and USB 3 together.
  8. macrumors 6502


    Jan 26, 2006
    SLC, Utah
  9. macrumors 6502a


    May 29, 2007
    Portland, Or
    I wouldn't mind a smaller one of these like 32gb even as a scratchdisk for photoshop. I work on some rather large files and would like to see if this could help performance.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2011
    Thunderbolt 2?? I haven't even been able to use my Thunderbolt 1!
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2007
    Thunderbolt 2 simply means: "Whoops... we messed something up with thunderbolt 1... so here's something completely new instead."
  12. macrumors 68040

    Feb 2, 2008
    At full speed, in 1 minute and 42 seconds. :D
  13. macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    It's hard to imagine the pricing for this being announced by anyone but Doctor Evil.

    Will it necessarily be that fast? I was under the impression that the bottleneck in most typical thumb drives was slow (cheap) memory that wasn't even as fast as the interface. Are there USB3 thumb drives that actually transfer half a gig per second?
  14. macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2007
    2x faster ...2x more expensive?
  15. macrumors 68040

    Feb 2, 2008
    Not necessarily, but in this case it uses a Sandisk SSD. It would be pretty dumb to just use regular thumb drive internals.
  16. macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    It's not completely new, just the same thing but double the speed. I don't know what would be messed up about the first version, it just hasn't been widely adopted and thus is still expensive, but I haven't heard any complaints about the technology itself.

    Thanks, I missed the SSD part. It would be pretty crazy to have SSD thumb drives running at full speed. I wonder if the "thumb" form factor could potentially keep down the price compared to putting an SSD into an external TB hard drive case. I would hope so.
  17. macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    The "half gig per second" you quote is theoretical speed. It's near impossible to reach that in real life especially for (relatively) small files that most people use thumb drives for. Thunderbolt can easily saturate the connection. Also, flash memory (the cheap memory you mentioned) and SSD, in very technical terms, two different storage mediums. I don't want to get technical here but there's a reason why SSDs right now are like 500MB/s (BYTE not BIT) read/write and USB flash drives are much much slower.

    That being said, I'm going to venture out and guess that this won't be cheap. Certainly not USB drive cheap. USB 3 is roughly $1/GB, give or take. This is so much faster with better memory chips. Plus, Thunderbolt ports aren't as ubiquitous as USB 2/3. Not many PCs have them, while pretty much any 1-2 year old Mac does.
  18. macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
    I wish I could send that to my teenage self in the 80s... My mom would never have found my "stash"...
  19. Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
  20. macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2007
  21. macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    Sunny England!
    This may well be the fastest thumb drive in existence. It may well be quite large at 128GB.

    The only way it would be a success is if it retailed at £80-£100. High speed Thunderbolt for the masses. It won't though. It'll most likely hit £250-£300 minimum.

    Which makes it pointless. USB 3.0 isn't exactly slow and I can get a 64GB drive shipped from Amazon for £27.
  22. macrumors 68040

    Feb 2, 2008
    The bottle neck isn't USB with a regular thumb drive. They are really slow, regardless of interface. If someone puts a Sandisk SSD inside a USB thumbdrive, it will not cost 27 pounds, you may have to add a zero.
  23. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    How much is your time worth, though?

    If you need to transfer a lot of data, and you value your time highly, this price may not seem as crazy as I imagine you thought it was when you wrote your post.

    It's probably nowhere near that price, though. I'd estimate it's no more than $500, based on the price of flash storage and lightning connectors.
  24. macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    On sale for $1449 duh!
  25. macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2011
    This is not your typical transfer thumb drive for simple file transferring, though.
    It's actually a removable ssd-speed disk expansion. You can actually use it as a main boot / system drive for any mac you own.

    Possibilities are way beyond a thumb drive as we know it.

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