March 18, 2012, 7:13 AM —
When my editor in chief handed me a Thunderbolt-enabled solid-state drive recently, my first thought was: "I didn't think these existed yet." I was close to being right.
The Elgato Thunderbolt SSD is the first Thunderbolt storage device that will fit in your pants pocket. The drive weighs only 9.5 oz. and measures 5.2 x .8 x 3.3 in., typical of 2.5-in. external backup drives.
The Thunderbolt connectivity protocol, announced last year, offers twice the performance of the latest SuperSpeed USB (3.0) interconnect . So there's reason to believe it could someday overtake USB, the most ubiquitous external I/O technology ever created.
Apple has gone all in with Thunderbolt and there are a dozen or so manufacturers ready to ship Thunderbolt-enabled systems this year, according to Intel. At the Intel Developer Forum in September, a dozen new products were displayed with Thunderbolt ports.
OCZ plans to release its own Thunderbolt-enabled SSD this summer, and Windows systems with Thunderbolt support are expected to begin shipping later this year.