Intel Shows Off World's Fastest Thumb Drive

Dennis Faas's picture

Do you find the process of accessing content stored on USB sticks a tad too slow? Then you may be interested in what Intel is calling the "world's fastest thumb drive."

The chip maker recently showed off the 128 gigabyte (GB) device -- which hasn't yet been given a formal name and remains in prototype form -- at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan.

The device uses Thunderbolt technology, which allows it to provide unprecedented data transfer speeds. Intel says this is the first data stick to use the Thunderbolt tech. (Source:

Thunderbolt Thumb Drive: 2X the Speed of USB 3.0

The prototype Intel showed off in Taiwan was shaped like a key and a tad on the bulky side -- it was at least three or perhaps four times larger than your average USB stick.

But that size may be worth it. Intel says the Thunderbolt thumb drive can transfer data at a speed of 10 Gbps -- that's about twice the speed of any USB 3.0-compatible device and much, much faster than USB 2.0-compatible devices.

The problem is that many devices aren't yet equipped with Thunderbolt ports. Apple leads in this regard, with Thunderbolt ports in many of its MacBook and iMac devices.

There are some PCs, monitors, and external storage drives equipped with Thunderbolt ports, but at the moment they remain few and far between.

Intel's prototype, which contains a SanDisk solid state drive for storing data, remains a reference design -- for now. However, the firm says there has been much interest in building and releasing products based on the prototype.

Thunderbolt 2: Up to 20Gbps Data Transfer Speed

And the firm isn't resting there: Intel says it's working on Thunderbolt 2, which will actually double Thunderbolt's transfer speed to about 20 Gbps.

Intel says some computers could be equipped with Thunderbolt 2 ports by the end of 2013. (Source:

Intel is also working on energy-efficient Thunderbolt technology that will allow for the rapid transfer of data from mobile devices to peripherals.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet