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LiteOn Intros CV6 Series Value SATA SSDs

Following up on its CA3 NVMe SSD series launch from earlier this month, LiteOn introduced the new CV6 line of value SSDs featuring the SATA 6 Gbps interface. The drives come in 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch, and M.2-2280 form-factors (M-key), taking advantage of SATA 6 Gbps interface. The drives combine a Marvell 88SS1074 controller with Toshiba-made 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The controller features LDPC gen 3 error correction, and SLC caching, a feature with which it treats a small portion of the TLC NAND flash as SLC, juggling hot data in and out of it for more performance.

The 2.5-inch CV6 series is available in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB capacities, while the M.2 variant comes in 128 GB and 256 GB. All variants offer sequential transfer rates of up to 520 MB/s reads, with up to 450 MB/s writes. The 256 GB and 512 GB variants offer 4K random read performance of up to 85,000 IOPS, while the 128 GB variant offers 58,000 IOPS. 4K random write performance is rated at 28,000 IOPS for the 2.5-inch 128 GB variant, 30,000 IOPS for the M.2 128 GB variant; and up to 45,000 IOPS for both the 256 GB and 512 GB variants. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ECS Intros LIVA Z Plus ZE Mini-PC with Legacy Connectivity

ECS today rolled out the LIVA Z Plus ZE mini-PC featuring legacy connectivity, combined with otherwise modern hardware, which puts its applications halfway between retail/POS (point of sale) and educational/robotics. The mini-PC features four RS232 serial COM ports, so you can directly plug in POS peripherals such as barcode/RFID scanners, receipt printers, credit card POS machines, electronic weighing scales, etc. It comes with rather powerful 7th generation "Kaby Lake" SoC options, including Celeron 3965U, Core i3-7100U, Core i5-7200U, and i5-7500U, bolstered by Intel vPro.

Besides factory-fitted SoCs, the LIVA Z Plus ZE comes with two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory, and one M.2-2242 slot with both PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring. Besides the four RS232 ports, it features four USB 3.0 ports (three type-A, one type-C), two 1 GbE wired network interfaces, 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0 WLAN, stereo HD audio, and display outputs that include one each of HDMI 1.4 and miniDisplayPort. Measuring 117 mm x 128 mm x 51 mm (WxDxH), it supports VESA mounting, which lets you tuck it away behind your monitor. It draws power from an external 65W power brick.

ASRock Rack Intros C3758D4I-4L Mini-ITX Motherboard with Atom 8-core SoC

ASRock Rack, a new division of ASRock which deals with enterprise-grade motherboards, introduced the C3758D4I-4L, a mini-ITX motherboard based on the Atom C3758 "Denverton" SoC that embeds an 8-core CPU clocked at 2.20 GHz, 16 MB of cache, and a dual-channel DDR4 integrated memory controller supporting up to 256 GB of ECC memory, topped off with a 25W TDP. These specs lend Denverton quasi-enterprise credentials. The C3758D4I-4L can be used for low-cost rack-mount web-servers, or even high-end DIY NAS or home-server builds.

The C3758D4I-4L comes with a factory-fitted fan-heatsink cooling the pre-installed Atom C3758 BGA SoC. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors (including a 4-pin connector for external 12V). The SoC is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 128 GB of dual-channel ECC memory; and a PCI-Express 3.0 x8 slot. Storage connectivity includes a staggering 13 SATA 6 Gbps ports, five on board, eight via two mini SAS connectors. An ASPeed AST2500 provides display, legacy I/O, and remote management. The board features a staggering five 1 GbE connections with teaming, PXE, and NCSI support. The company didn't reveal pricing.

SilverStone MS09C Converts Your M.2 SSDs into USB 3.1 Flash Drives

SilverStone rolled out the SST-MS09C, an interesting accessory that converts M.2 SATA SSDs into USB 3.1 flash-drives. The accessory, shaped like a large flash drive, features an aluminium body, and encloses a PCB with an M.2 B-key slot. You can install drives up to 80 mm (M.2-2280) in length. The VIA Labs VL715 controller at the heart of this device connects to your drive over SATA 6 Gbps, converting it to 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2. You cannot install M-key (PCIe/NVMe) drives. Measuring 110 mm (W) x 9 mm (H) x 26 mm (D), it dry-weighs about 33 g. Its type-A USB 3.1 connector is mechanically retractable. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Intel "Coffee Lake" Platform Detailed - 24 PCIe Lanes from the Chipset

Intel seems to be addressing key platform limitations with its 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" mainstream desktop platform. The first Core i7 and Core i5 "Coffee Lake" processors will launch later this year, alongside motherboards based on the Intel Z370 Express chipset. Leaked company slides detailing this chipset make an interesting revelation, that the chipset itself puts out 24 PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes, that's not counting the 16 lanes the processor puts out for up to two PEG (PCI-Express Graphics) slots.

The PCI-Express lane budget of "Coffee Lake" platform is a huge step-up from the 8-12 general purpose lanes put out by previous-generation Intel chipsets, and will enable motherboard designers to cram their products with multiple M.2 and U.2 storage options, besides bandwidth-heavy onboard devices such as additional USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt controllers. The chipset itself integrates a multitude of bandwidth-hungry connectivity options. It integrates a 10-port USB 3.1 controller, from which six ports run at 10 Gbps, and four at 5 Gbps.

Colorful Intros iGame Z270I-WF Mini-ITX Motherboard

Colorful today rolled out the iGame Z270I-WF, a variant of the iGame Z270I motherboard featuring wireless networking. The socket LGA1151 motherboard is based on Intel Z270 Express chipset, and draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 4-pin ATX power connectors, conditioning it for the CPU using a 6-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to two DDR4 DIMM slots, and the board's lone PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

Storage options include four SATA 6 Gbps ports, and a 32 Gbps M.2 slot on the reverse side. Networking includes 802.11ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.1, and two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, one driven by an Intel i219-V controller, and the other by Realtek DragonLAN (RTL81118AS) controller. USB connectivity includes six USB 3.0 ports, and two USB 3.1 ports (including a type-C port). The onboard audio solution combines a 115 dBA SNR CODEC (Realtek ALC1150), with ground-layer isolation and audio-grade capacitors. The company didn't reveal pricing.

MSI Intros the B350M/A320M Pro-VD Motherboards

MSI introduced the B350M Pro-VD and A320M Pro-VD socket AM4 motherboards. Built in the slim micro-ATX form-factor, the two boards are nearly identical, and differ only with the chipset (AMD B350 and A320). The boards draw power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors; conditioning it for the AM4 SoC with a 6-phase VRM. The APU socket is wired to two DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory; a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot, and both of the boards' PCIe x1 slots. Two of the four SATA 6 Gbps ports on the boards come from the AM4 SoC. Display outputs include DVI and D-Sub. Gigabit Ethernet and 6-channel HD audio make for the rest of them. The only feature the B350M Pro-VD offers over its A320-based twin is support for CPU overclocking. The two could feature sub-$80 price-points.

Mushkin Intros Reactor Armor3D Series SATA SSD

Mushkin introduced the an update to its Reactor line of SATA SSDs with the new Reactor Armor3D series. Built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gbps interface, the drives combine Silicon Motion SM2258 controllers with 3D MLC NAND flash. The drive is available in 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB models. All three offer sequential read speeds of up to 565 MB/s. The sequential write speeds are rated at up to 300 MB/s, 500 MB/s, and 510 MB/s for the 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB models, respectively.

4K random read performance is rated at up to 63,000 IOPS for the 240 GB model, up to 80,000 IOPS for the 480 GB, and up to 77,000 IOPS for the 960 GB model. 4K random write performance of the drives are rated at up to 70,000 IOPS for the 240 GB model, and 80,000 IOPS for the 480 GB and 960 GB. As with all SMI-based drives, the Reactor Armor3D offers LPDC ECC, and SLC cache, which treats a small portion of the MLC NAND flash as SLC, and juggles frequently accessed data in and out of it, for improved performance. The drives are backed by 3-year warranties, and could replace the current Reactor series from the product stack. We expect them to be priced around $90 for the 240 GB model, $160 for the 480 GB, and $270 for the 960 GB.

Patriot Unveils the Singe and Spark SSDs

Patriot Memory unveiled its Singe series performance-segment SATA SSD, and its Spark series external SSD at Computex 2017. Built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, the drives take advantage of the SATA 6 Gbps interface. The Spark, on the other hand, features 5 Gbps USB 3.0 interface. The company didn't talk about the NAND flash type or even the controller, but focused on their performance figures.

The Singe comes in 240 GB and 480 GB capacities, and offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 555 MB/s reads, with up to 500 MB/s writes, and up to 70,000 IOPS 4K random read/write performance. The Spark, on the other hand, comes in a wider variety of capacities - 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB; and offers performance of up to 465 MB/s reads, with up to 460 MB/s writes. It uses a single cable for both power and host connectivity.

Silicon Motion Announces SM2256 SATA 6 Gbps SSD Controller

Silicon Motion Technology Corporation, a global leader in designing and marketing NAND flash controllers for solid state storage devices, today announced that its SM2256 SATA (6 Gb/s) client SSD controller now supports Micron's new 16 nm 128 gigabit (Gb) TLC NAND flash, enabling high-performance and unprecedented reliability for a new class of cost-effective TLC-based SSDs.

SM2256, the world's first SSD controller supporting Micron's 16nm TLC NAND, offers the best performance and cost-optimized four channel SATA 6 Gb/s client SSD controller in the market. Using Micron's 128 Gb 16 nm TLC NAND, the SM2256 delivers up to 540 MB/s sequential read performance and 460 MB/s sequential write, as well as up to 90,000 random read IOPS and 80,000 random write IOPS. Leveraging Silicon Motion's proprietary NANDXtend error-correcting code (ECC) technology, the SM2256 enhances the endurance and retention of TLC NAND, delivering more than three times better reliability for TLC SSD as compared to the existing BCH ECC schemes.

Icy Dock Introduces FatCage MB155SP-B Drive Module

Icy Dock introduces the FatCage MB155SP-B, a 5-in-3 SATA 6 Gbps hot swappable internal RAID backplane cage. This is the lite version of the MB45X series by removing the monitoring features, increasing the cooling performance, and reducing the overall cost, while keeping the same 3 year warranty and the core tray system for hot swapping and maintenance are kept for the best reliability in the market.

The MB155SP-B built to be a lighter module, while more importantly maintaining the same level of quality, build, and service you'd expect from an Icy Dock product. While the design has gone through some changes, the space saving design is still established. The backplane module allows up to a massive 5 x 3.5" SATA III hard drives, while only consuming three 5.25" bays.

Silicon Power Rolls Out Velox V55 and Slim S55 Solid-State Drives

SP/Silicon Power, the world's leading provider of memory storage solutions today introduces Velox V55 and Slim S55 to its 2.5 inch SATA III 6Gb/s solid state drive line. The new additions complete the product line and are positioned as one of the most cost effective models. Offering incredible performance at a surprisingly affordable price, it is no wonder that V55 and S55 are the smartest choices for users who are looking to upgrade their system to a SSD.

Dedicated to providing high quality products for the budget minded consumers, SP is proud to present V55 and S55 which feature the latest SATA 6Gb/s interface with an impressive read/write speed of up to 550 MB/s and 440 MB/s. The V55 and S55 are ideal for computer enthusiasts, gamers and multitaskers wishing to take their computing experience to a new level; they can boot a computer in seconds and load applications in a much shorter time.

Green House Announces a Line of SandForce-Powered SATA 6.0 Gbps SSDs

Green House has today revealed to the world its newest solid state drive family, the GH-SSD32A Series which is made up of four models, all 2.5-inch in size and all equipped with MLC (multi-level cell) NAND Flash memory and a SandForce SF-2281VB1 controller.

Green House's SSDs also feature a SATA 6.0 Gbps interface, TRIM support, and a three-year warranty. The GH-SSD32A line includes 60 GB (550 MB/s read speed, 480 MB/s write speed), 120 GB (550/500 MB/s), 240 GB (550/500 MB/s) and 480 GB (540/420 MB/s) drives.

Samsung Unveils New SSD Series

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced its new lineup of high-performance SSDs designed for use in personal computers. The new series supporting SATA 6.0 gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) interface comes in two tracks; one for general computing purposes and another, an advanced lineup dubbed 'PRO' for serious users.

Samsung's tiered offering for professional and general user environments provides consumers a broader choice of SSDs to best suit their personal requirements.

Kingmax Announces Client and Client Pro Series SATA 6 Gbps SSDs

KINGMAX, a world renowned leading brand of DRAM and flash memory, has launched the latest 2.5” SATA III 6Gb/s based SSD series targeting high performance users. The KINGMAX SMP32 Client and SMU32 Client Pro SSD feature the new generation SandForce controller that support SATA 6GB/s for the best performances and deliver read speed up to 550 MB/sec and write speed at 520MB/sec, thus it only takes a few seconds to boot in your operation system.

KINGMAX SSD SATA III Client series equipped with highly reliable SandForce controller supporting SATA III 6Gb/s interface to extend the lifetime of NAND Flash chips and the durability of SSD. Supporting RAISE fault-tolerant technology and ECC error correction technology to prevent errors caused by the volume of data loss, strengthen the data security inside it, and upgrade the computing performance. Moreover the data read and write times will be significantly reduced to extend the durability and lifetime of SSD.

RunCore Launches the 7 mm Pro V Ultra Solid State Drive

It has been half a year since that the concept of "Ultrabook" was proposed by Intel at Computex 2011. The concept was well-received by major brand vendors in hopes that Ultrabook can revive Notebook market demand, many of whom such as Lenovo, Samsung, Toshiba, Acer, Fujitsu, Asus, have launched Ultrabooks, or announced they are to launch one. With the expected major growth in Ultrabooks in the next few years, SSD indeed is given a great opportunity as it is one of the key components of Ultrabooks.

To seize the opportunity, RunCore, a leading supplier of high-performance solid-state drives has made its move and announced its Ultrabooks solution - 7 mm Pro V Ultra SSD. The product is a Sandforce-based SSD, and it adopts stainless steel enclosure. With SATA 6 Gbps interface it offers up to 525 MB/s read and 525 MB/s write, featuring an extreme write IOPS up to 75000.

Marvell Introduces New 88SE92 Series 2-port and 4-port SATA 6 Gbps Controllers

Marvell introduced its latest line of SATA 6 Gbps controllers, under the 88SE92 Series. The series includes the 2-port 88SE9220, 4-port 88SE9230, and 4-port 88SE9235. All three take advantage of the new PCI-Express 2.0 x2 interface. PCI-Express x2 (2 lanes) has till now only been hypothetically possible, since PCI-SIG has no slot specification for it. With increasing need for system bandwidth while keeping pin-counts and package sizes low by onboard controllers (such as SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0), PCIe 2.0 x2 has emerged as a viable solution based on the proven PCIe 2.0 specification, as PCIe 3.0 is yet to attain maturity in the industry. PCIe 2.0 x2 gives the controller system bandwidth of 1000 MB/s per direction, 2000 MB/s total. This ensures that a connected SATA 6 Gb/s device doesn't face a bottleneck at a given time, something which was impossible on older PCIe 2.0 x1 chips.

This system bandwidth bottleneck alleviation also allowed Marvell to add support for up to 4 SATA 6 Gb/s ports on the 88SE9230 and 88SE9235. All three controllers further support port multipliers. Among the three, the 88SE9230 is the top-of-the-line chip, supporting Marvell RAID software, HyperDuo (Marvell's in-house SSD caching technology), RAID 0, 1, 10 modes, AHCI, and 128/256-bit AES native encryption. The 88SE9235 is a cost-effective variant of the 88SE9230, it lacks RAID, and only features AHCI/IDE modes. It also lacks native encryption. The 88SE9220, the 2-port controller, otherwise supports all the features of the 88SE9230, except of course support for RAID 10 (since it's not possible with just 2 member disks).

OCZ Announces Indilinx Everest-powered Octane SATA SSD Family

OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs), today launched the Indilinx Everest-based Octane SATA 3.0 and SATA 2.0 SSD series, striking the ideal balance between capacity, physical size, and speed. In addition to being the world's first SSD to achieve up to a 1TB capacity in a compact 2.5 inch format, OCZ's Octane SSD series combines high-speed data transfer rates with record-breaking access times to provide a superior user experience and improved application performance.

"OCZ has reached an important milestone in the development of its own controller technology," said James E. Bagley, Senior Analyst with Storage Strategies NOW. "The high sustained performance, even with compressed files, the rapid boot feature and high access speeds using SATA 3.0 protocol puts their controller technology in the major league."
"Until now SSDs have been tailored for specific applications, forcing users into a product which maximizes performance for a narrow band of applications, but is significantly lacking in others," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. "The Octane Series solves this problem by providing the highest level of performance across varied workloads including mixed file sizes and mixed compressible and uncompressible data, all while nearly doubling NAND flash endurance."

Plextor Introduces New Line of SATA 6 Gbps SSDs

Plextor Japan introduced its latest generation of solid state drives (SSDs) in the 2.5-inch SATA form factor. The drives take advantage of the SATA 6 Gb/s interface. The lineup currently consists of two models, the 128 GB PX-128M2P, and the 256 GB PX-256M2P. Both drives make use of Marvell 88SS9174 controller, and Toshiba TH58TV68D2FDA88 Multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash built on the 34 nm process.

The 128 GB model features a 256 MB DDR3 cache, while the 256 GB model is backed by 512 MB DDR3 cache. Sequential speeds vary between the two models. The 256 GB drive can transfer data at 500 MB/s read and 440 MB/s write; while the 128 GB drive transfers at 500 MB/s read and 320 MB/s write. The drives feature SMART, NCQ, TRIM, Bad Block Management, Instant Restore, and Plextor TrueSpeed firmware. The 256 GB drive is priced at 46,800 JPY, an equivalent of US $610, while the 128 GB model is priced at 21,800 JPY, or $284.

A-Data Announces New S510 Series SATA 6 Gbps SSDs

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, today announced the release of the S510 Solid State Drive (SSD), a mid-range version of the company’s flagship S511. Implementing the SATA III (6Gb/sec) specification, the S510 is aimed at the growing pool of users who recognize the cost and performance advantages of solid state drive upgrades for both desktop and portable computers.

The performance advantages of the SATA III transfer specification are becoming well-known among consumers, and the S510 capitalizes on this trend with native support through adoption of the SandForce SF-2200 series chip. Its read and write speeds are twice that of SSDs using the older SATA II specification, and in real world test simulations reached 550/510MB read and write speeds respectively, with 4K random write speeds as high as 85,000 IOPS.

Intel Readies SSD 520 Series SATA 6 Gbps High-Performance Client SSDs

Intel is in no mood to settle down its high-end client solid-state drive (SSD) lineup, the company is preparing a new line of SSDs in the 2.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s form-factor that succeeds the SSD 510 Series. Called the SSD 520 Series, the new line consists of various size options that didn't exist with SSD 510 Series, improvements in performance and price per gigabyte, and a few new features. While the SSD 510 is available only in two sizes (capacities): 120 GB and 250 GB, SSD 520 Series comes in a lot more: 60 GB, 120 GB, 160 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB. It's as if Intel is taking SandForce SF-22xx SSDs head-on at each price-point.

Sequential and random access performance figures are known to vary between different models (capacities) with Intel SSDs, but there's one set of them that we have in hand, perhaps it's of the fastest model: up to 530 MB/s read, 490 MB/s write sequential performance; and 40,000 IOPS reads and 45,000 IOPS writes random performance. SSD 520 Series drives make use of 25 nm MLC NAND flash memory, and a complete feature-set for today's client SSDs: TRIM, SMART, NCQ, and ACS-2 compliance. The drives are rated with 1.2 million hours MTBF, can operate between 0 and 70°C, and withstand up to 2.7 G (RMS) vibration. Production of Intel SSD 520 Series SATA 6 Gb/s drives are expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Source: VR-Zone

Silicon Power Launches Velox V30 Series SATA 6 Gbps SSD

Leading memory storage brand, SP/Silicon Power today announces the launch of its first SATA III Solid State Drive (SSD), the Velox Series V30. Continuing the efficiency and stability of the V20, the V30 employs the highest spec SATA 6 Gbps interface on the market, while remaining backwards compatible with the SATA II Gbps interface. Running at over double the efficiency of the SATA 3 Gbps interface, the V30 is a top level product that can meet the needs of computer gamers and professional computer users alike.

The SP/Silicon Power V30 SSD uses a SandForce controller chip, enabling it to reach a top read speed of 550 MB/s, and top write speed of 500 MB/s. It also supports TRIM command and Garbage Collection technology, resolving the issue of decreased efficiency in SSDs used for long periods of time.

Patriot Memory Intros Pyro Series SATA 6 Gbps SSDs

Patriot Memory announced its latest high-performance solid state drive for the client platform, the Patriot Pyro. The new SSD comes in the 2.5-inch SATA form-factor, uses SATA 6 Gbps interface, and is driven by SandForce SF-2281 controller. It will be availabile in capacities of 60 GB, 120 GB, and 240 GB. The 120 and 240 GB variants will offer transfer-rates of up to 550 MB/s read, 520 MB/s write; while the 60 GB variant gives 515 MB/s read, 490 MB/s write. Similarly, the 120 and 240 GB variants offer 85,000 IOPS 4K random write performance, while the 60 GB one offers 80,000 IOPS. Backed by three-year warranties, all three variants will release in markets soon. Pricing is not known.

Intel Mulls Propagating PCI-Express 2.0 x2 Interface

PCI-Express x1 met its match with the recent flood of devices such as 2-port SATA 6 Gbps and USB 3.0 controller chips that maintain their tiny package sizes thanks to a single-lane PCI-Express bus connection. The single-lane connection is already saturated with these kinds of devices: SATA 6 Gbps is moot with 250 MB/s per direction bandwidth of PCI-E 1.1, and could face bottlenecks with 500 MB/s of PCI-E 2.0, it is a similar case with USB 3.0 controllers. Use of PCI-Expresss x4, the bigger PCI-E bus standard, is a bad option as it increases PCI-E data pins by four times (significantly impacting chip package sizes), while eating into the limited lane budget of today's desktop chipsets.

The next best thing is PCI-Express 2.0 x2. While 2-lane PCI-Express is hypothetically possible, it has never been implemented by motherboard manufactures, neither on client, nor enterprise platforms. PCI-Express' parent organisation PCI-SIG doesn't have a slot or port specification for PCI-E x2, either. Intel seems to be of the idea that PCI-Express 2.0 x2 will provide immediate relief to manufacturers of small-footprint devices such as inexpensive third-party USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps controllers, it provides a total of 2 GB/s bandwidth, 1 GB/s per direction, which greatly alleviates bandwidth bottlenecks, while not significanly increasing chip pin-counts. PCI-Express 3.0 is still in its infancy, while implementing PCI-Express 2.0 x2 is the easier, short-term solution. It will cause minimal R&D overhead on manufacturers to implement it. PCI-E 2.0 x2 will fit nicely into the limited lane budget of today's desktop chipsets.Source: VR-Zone

Thunderbolt Successor to Boast of 50 Gbps Bandwidth

For the greater part of the last decade, PC device connectivity was limited to the 480 Mbps bandwidth of USB 2.0. The pressing need for more bandwidth to run external hard drives and disk racks was alleviated by eSATA, but eSATA lacked the versatility of USB. After quite some delay, came the next big version of USB, the USB 3.0 SuperSpeed, with its massive 5 Gbps bandwidth, plenty for fast and capacious flash drives, and external storage devices.

There was, however, a potential bottleneck lurking with running SSD-based RAID boxes in USB 3.0, as many SATA 6 Gbps SSDs are getting close to the bandwidth limit of USB 3.0. There has also been the need for an interconnect faster than USB 3.0 for high-bandwidth applications such as lossless ultra high definition video streaming in professional environments, and hence came Thunderbolt, which is a copper-electric variant of a fiber-optic interconnect Intel had been working on, codenamed Light Peak. The successor to Thunderbolt is reportedly already under development at Intel Labs.
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