LaCie ships fastest portable external storage18 March 2014
The new LaCie Little Big Disk can deliver up to 1375MBps, fits in a laptop bag, and connects via Thunderbolt 2, to offer truly portable storage for editing 4K video in the field. Claimed to be the “fastest portable storage solution ever”, the unit is available with 1TB SSD capacity for £1059 (€1259) inc VAT.
To achieve the full potential of Thunderbolt 2 speeds, LaCie (which is the premium brand from Seagate Technology) included “some of the best–performing solid state drives on the market” (a pair of 500GB PCIe Gen 2 SSDs).
For multi-stream 4K or 3D editing, it is possible to push the technology even further by daisy chaining two Little Big Disks to achieve speeds faster than the maximum Thunderbolt 2 transfer rate. By connecting them in parallel to Apple’s new Mac Pro, they can deliver speeds up to 2600MBps (depending on RAID mode used – these transfer rates were achieved using AJA System Test when connected to a 15-inch MacBook Pro 2.0Ghz Quad Core and 8GB RAM with 32k block size).
In addition to its post–production benefits, the units can transfer dailies ten times faster than any mobile USB 3.0 hard drive, making it possible to transfer 300GB of 4K rushes in under three minutes.
As it has two 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 ports, the Little Big Disk can be daisy chained with other devices, so five of the disks plus a 4K display can be connected to a computer via a single cable.
“Thunderbolt 2 creates an entirely new way of thinking about 4K workflows, specifically the ability to support raw 4K video transfer and data delivery concurrently,” said Jason Ziller, marketing director for Thunderbolt at Intel. “LaCie’s Little Big Disk brings this advanced capability to a small, sleek and very portable storage solution that works with 4K streams in the field in ways previously not possible.”
“It’s no small feat, incorporating the most advanced storage technologies into a portable product,” added Erwan Girard, business unit manager, LaCie. “With the Little Big Disk, LaCie engineered a remarkably powerful product to fit in the palm of your hand. Something no one else in the industry can claim.”
LaCie has also optimised the compact, 620g Little Big Disk’s interior design to improve cooling efficiency, and simultaneously reduce noise. It added two heat–dissipating aluminium plates plus a larger, thermo-regulated fan, so that the fan only turns on when necessary, and when it does, it creates hardly any noise.
The company already offered a few Thunderbolt 1 (10Gbps) products, including the 785MBps 5big Thunderbolt Series with its five-disk capacity (with 10TB, 20TB or 25TB), aimed at HD and 2K editing. It also offers the LaCie 12big Rack Fibre 8, with 8Gbps Fibre Channel storage, which can handle uncompressed 12-bit 4K.
By David Fox