You know the 2-flip USB rule. The USB plug won’t work, so you flip it. It still doesn’t work so you flip it again. Then it plugs right in.
Well that is all going to change.
The USB Implementers Forum announced they are working on a new plug that will work however you plug it in. Other features will include a smaller size plug and the connector design will scale for future USB bus performance. You can read it all on USB Implementers Forum document.
Smaller Type-C connectors will be an advantage to newer and smaller tablets, phones and notebooks. Alex Peleg, Vice President of platform Engineering at Intel stated his excitement over the device. He believes this will become a great all-in-one plug and the “only connector one will need across all devices.”
Current USB 3.0 standards can transfer at speeds of 5 Gbit/s. As compared to Thunderbolt 1, which can do 10 Gbit/s per channel (20 Gbit/s total).
This new connector could show up as early as mid-2014 when the USB 3.1 specification is expected to be completed.
Following on from GNC’s review of the MiniStation Air earlier this month, Buffalo have a launched the MiniStation Thunderbolt SSD. As you might guess from the name, it’s a portable SSD with a Thunderbolt connection so it’s ideal for connecting up with Apple Macs.
Combining the SSD with Thunderbolt, the MiniStation has a read performance of more than 370 MB/s and a write performance that exceeds 250 MB/s, which is pretty nippy in anyone’s book. And I think those are Bytes and not bits. PC users aren’t left out with a USB 3.0 connection too, though it’s not as fast as the Thunderbolt connections.
Paul Hudson, Sales Director for Northern Europe at Buffalo, said: “The MiniStation Thunderbolt SSD combines a highly robust and aesthetically pleasing design with exceptionally fast data transfer speed. We have seen how Thunderbolt hard drives have transformed the available speed for read and write to storage devices, but with the additional of SSD in the Buffalo range, the speed stakes are raised again providing astounding performance.”
The drive is bus-powered and will be available in two storage sizes, at a recommended price of £229.99 for the 128 GB product and £349.99 for the 256 GB version. There’s a .pdf spec sheet here.
Hopefully GNC will be bringing you a review of the MiniStation Thunderbold SSD in the not-too-distant future.
Mike Mihalik from LaCie shows off their new Thunderbolt-connected hard drives for the Apple Macs, including the previously announced Little Big Disk and the new 2big, which has two internal 3.5″ drives. Also announced was the eSata Dock, a docking station that connects legacy SATA devices via Thunderbolt.
Thunderbolt offers seriously quick data transfer speeds with write speeds of 252 Mb/s and read speeds of 459 Mb/s shown in the video.
The Little Big Disk is available now, but the 2big and eSata Dock units won’t be available until later in the quarter, with pricing to be announced.
Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast network.
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Despite the fact that Apple is not present at CES 2012, it is clearly having an impact. One of the areas where that impact is being felt is with the introduction of Thunderbolt enabled devices. In September 2010 Intel showed off Thunderbolt at the Intel Developer’s Forum. Apple introduced the first Thunderbolt enabled computer in February 2011, the Macbook Pro. However there has not been a lot of third-party Thunderbolt enabled devices appearing in the market. Well if CES 2012 is any indication the wait for Thunderbolt enabled devices maybe over.
One such device that is being shown at CES is the Intensity Shuttle by Blackmagic Design. The Intensity Shuttle uses Intel Thunderbolt technology and connects to a Thunderbolt enabled computer using a single wire. It is capable of up to 10 GB of transfer speed, which is 20x faster than USB 2.0 and 12x faster than FireWire 800. It is a full featured video capture and playback solution. It features all the video connections needed to connect video cameras, set-top boxes, gaming consoles and projectors to Thunderbolt enabled computers. This would include HDMI, component, composite, and S-Video. It uses the same high quality electronics that are available in Blackmagic Design’s high end broadcasting capture and play back solutions. You can capture live game play, archive family movies and create full broadcast quality 1080 HD video. If you capture video directly with the Intensity Shuttle it by passes the camera’s compression by recording directly from the camera’s image sensor. This allows low-end consumer video cameras to capture full HD resolution in broadcast quality.
“Using Intensity Shuttle with Thunderbolt™ technology combines the quality and speed that videographers demand”, said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “It’s incredibly exciting when technologies come together and create new opportunities for the way people work with video. The barriers of working with broadcast quality video have gone forever and everyone can create amazing looking work!”
If you depend on moving a lot of data around and are looking for ways to move it faster then the Thunderbolt technology (formerly Light Peak) is something that should be of interest to you. Companies and individuals who work in the area of video editing and transfer will be one of the first groups that will take advantage of the Thunderbolt technology. The Thunderbolt technology was developed by Intel in collaboration with Apple. The technology supports both data and display protocols simultaneously over a single cable. The Thunderbolt technology outperforms all other method of transfers by a mile.
Task that previously took a workstation will soon be performed on a consumer compact device. The new Macbook Pro is the first computer to take advantage of this technology. One of the first companies that has created a device that takes advantage of the technology other then Apple is La Cie. La Cie first show case the Thunderbolt technology at the Intel Developer Forum in September 2010. Since then it has worked even more closely with Apple and Intel to develop various storage solutions and peripherals that take advantage of Thunderbolt technology and to bring them to market. This close cooperation between La Cie and Apple is nothing new. La Cie has been working closely with Apple for over 20 years developing innovative and cutting edge products. La Cie specializes in hard drives including desktop, mobile, network storage, Raid and Multimedia Hard Drives. Their newest product called the Little Big Disk will be coming out summer 2011. The Little Big Disk was built to store large amounts of video and audio files. The integration of the Thunderbolt technology will allow that data to be transfer far quicker then any other technology. This in turn will speed up the process of both backup and editing. Task that used to take hours will now be completed in minutes without any effect on bandwidth performance. Multiple Little Big Disks can even be daisy chained together to expand storage. You can also connect other peripherals like cameras or high resolution displays. The chairman and general manger of La Cie said it best:
“Thunderbolt technology is a breakthrough in I/O technology and
represents the future of mobile computing. Soon you will be able to
carry workstation-class power and functionality in compact devices,”
said Philippe Spruch, Chairman and General Manager,LaCie. “LaCie is
excited to be one of the first to deliver Thunderbolt technology with
the LaCie Little Big Disk.”
La Cie obviously sees Thunderbolt as the the transfer technology of the future. whether it is will depend on how fast other companies create products that take advantage of it.