Intel's Thunderbolt Thumb Drive is Twice as Fast as USB 3.0

Paul Lilly

World's fastest thumb drive uses Thunderbolt, not USB 3.0.

At the Computex trade show in Taipei, Intel was showing off a prototype thumb drive that it claims is the fastest in the world. Intel can make that claim because unlike most other thumb-size flash drives, it plugs into a PC's Thunderbolt port rather than a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port. In true thumb drive fashion, it plugs in without the aid of a cable, giving users fast access to 128GB of flash storage.

PCWorld snapped a pic of the prototype drive, which is in the shape of a key. It looks like it's been dropped a few times, as the black paint is worn off a bit on the edges, though it's still a neat looking drive with Intel's logo displayed prominently on the device's head.

Looks aside, the drive can transfer data at 10Gbps, or double the theoretical maximum of USB 3.0, which is 5Gbps. The High Speed USB 2.0 spec tops out at 480Mbps.

The data on Intel's drive is stored on a SanDisk SSD nestled inside the chassis. What's also neat about the drive is that the speed will go up over time as advances are made to Thunderbolt technology, such as the recent announcement of Thunderbolt 2 .

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