The LaCie Little Big Disk is one of the first external hard drives to support Intel's new Thunderbolt technology. In a nutshell, Thunderbolt is a super-fast peripheral standard with the speed of 10Gbps and almost no overhead. This means devices can be connected at a real-word throughput speed of around 1.25GBps. Thunderbolt is compatible with DisplayPort 1.1 and later.
The Little Big Disk has two 250GB solid-state drives inside and comes with two Thunderbolt ports, allowing for daisy chaining with up to six other devices.
Designed to store large audio and video files, LaCie says that thanks to the support for Thunderbolt, the Little Big Disk can deliver multiple streams of HD video plus hours of content in just minutes instead of hours, as in the case of USB 2.0 or FireWire. Basically, the external hard drive now offers speeds previously available only from rack-mounted storage arrays, allowing general and professional users to access a large amount of data in real time in a matter of seconds.
As Thunderbolt runs two protocols (PCI Express and DisplayPort) simultaneously over a single cable, it provides two channels of up to 10Gbps in both directions. This means users can connect their notebooks to high resolution displays, cameras and storage all at the same time and push video and data both ways without compromising the bandwidth.
The LaCie Little Big Disk will be available by mid-year. Final pricing and capacity options are still to be determined.