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LaCie ships Thunderbolt-compatible external drive

An 240GB SSD version of the drive is slated to ship next month

LaCie today launched its first external hard drive with a 10Gbs Thunderbolt port for use with Apple's next-generation high-speed I/O technology.

The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt series of drives are now available in Apple retail stores or on Apple's website .

A 1TB version of the drive that runs at speeds of 7,200rpm sells for $399.95, and a 2TB, 5,200rpm version sells for $499.95.

The LaCie Little Big Thunderbolt drive

The Little Big Disk Thunderbolt drives offer a 10 Gbs I/O interconnect that's 4Gbs faster than next-generation USB 3.0.

"Performance can come in small packages," Jason Ziller, Intel's director of Thunderbolt Marketing, said in a statement. "LaCie's Little Big Disk with Intel's Thunderbolt technology delivers blazingly fast transfer speeds in a truly portable form factor; we think media creators and entertainment enthusiasts alike are going to love it."

The LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt series includes a pair of 2.5-in drives in a Mac OS RAID 0 configuration. The external drive offers read speeds of up to 190MB/sec.

A 240GB solid-state drive (SSD) version of the product is expected out in October. That drive will offer read speeds of up to 480MB/sec, LaCie sad.

The more Little Big Disks you chain together, the higher the performance. Users can daisy chain several Little Big Disks to maximize the interface's capabilities and reach transfer rates around 800MB/sec., the company said.

The Little Big Disk also supports multiple RAID 1 and JBOD. Additionally, it features a heat sink casing and quiet fan for dual cooling.

All drive models will be available shortly through LaCie's reseller channel and LaCie.com. The Thunderbolt cable can be purchased separately on Apple.com.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian , or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.


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