Panasonic Announces Its First Thunderbolt 3 SSDs

Panasonic has unveiled its first external SSDs featuring a Thunderbolt 3 interface. Panasonic’s Thunderbolt 3 Compact Lightweight Portable SSD enables the company to offer high-performance storage devices for its TB3-enabled PCs. However, it looks like the device was not originally designed by Panasonic.

Panasonic’s Thunderbolt 3 Compact Lightweight Portable SSD will be available in 512 GB (RP-SBD 512P3) and 1 TB (RP-SBD 1TBP3) configurations, which will offer up to 1500 MB/s sequential read performance and up to 1000 MB/s sequential write performance. The device is bus-powered and does not need any external power bricks. Measuring 102×40×14.4 and weighing around 90 grams, the Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSD can easily fit into a pocket. As for rigidity, the drives come in an aluminum enclosure and can handle vibrations and shock. In fact, Panasonic claims that the SSDs can handle a drop test from 76 cm.

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It is noteworthy that Panasonic’s Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSDs bears a striking resemblance to Patriot’s EVLVR external TB3 drives introduced earlier this year, which in turn uses a reference design developed by Phison. Considering the fact that the latter sells turnkey, already-assembled products, it is more than likely that Panasonic’s storage device was designed and built by Phison. That said, the drive packs Intel’s Alpine Ridge TB3 controller, an NVMe 1.2-compliant Phison PS5008-E8 controller with a PCIe 3.0 x2 interface as well as Toshiba’s 256 Gb BiCS3 3D TLC NAND memory. Performance of such drives is well known and it is consistent with manufacturer’s claims.

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Panasonic’s Thunderbolt 3 Portable SSDs will come pre-formatted with the exFAT file system, so they will be compatible both with MacOS as well as Windows-based PCs. The drives will go on sale on December 19, yet their prices are unknown. Typically, Phison-powered SSDs are relatively inexpensive, but Panasonic may want to earn a premium for its brand.

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Source: Panasonic (via Hermitage Akihabara)

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