Akitio's combines two speedy technologies in blazing external SSD

The Thunder3 PCIe SSD will be priced at US$1,299 and ship in the second quarter

If you have $US1299 to spend, Akitio's external Thunder3 PCIe SSD storage system will deliver blazing speed and more.

The Thunder3 combines two technologies that help it deliver unprecedented data transfer speeds for an external drive. A 1.2TB Intel 750 SSD, based on the super-fast NVMe storage, connects to a PC through a Thunderbolt 3 port.

When the NVMe storage and Thunderbolt port are combined, the external storage drive delivers data transfer speeds of up to 2.5GB per second, Akitio says. That's extremely fast compared to regular USB-based SSDs, but slower than internal NVMe SSDs, which can transfer data at 8GB per second for each lane. There are usually multiple PCI-Express 3.0 lanes in a PC, potentially raising the speed.

The Thunderbolt 3 protocol is based on the USB-C port, and can transfer data at 40Gbps (bits per second). That's four times faster than regular USB 3.1 hard drives.

The Thunder3's unique chassis also acts as an expansion device for PCs. A display can be connected to the full-sized DisplayPort slot, which is a benefit when a connected PC doesn't have such a port.

A second monitor can also be attached through a second Thunderbolt 3 port on the storage drive. Additional storage can be daisy-chained via the second Thunderbolt 3 port.

The product is designed for creative professionals, who need fast external drives for video editing.

The product will ship in the second quarter, the company said.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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