External Type-C Solid-State Drives

The transition to the tiny, reversible Type-C connector on PC and Mac computers will bring about a huge shift in the external solid-state drive storage market. This same Type-C connector is being used for both 10Gbps USB 3.1 computer peripherals and 40Gbps ThunderBolt 3 accessories. "One Cable To Rule Them All" is the future of many if not most computing gadgets in the decade ahead.
       
Samsung T3 Type-C SSDGlyph Atom Type-C SSD
USB-C Samsung SSD

Type-C Cable Sold Separately
USB-C Glyph SSD

USB 3.1 Gen 2 Speeds

USB 3.1 SSD Backup Drives

The emergence of the USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard ups the speed of Universal Serial Bus devices to a full 10gbps - finally matching that of the initial ThunderBolt interface specification. For many PC and Mac peripherals, they won't need or even be able to fill the 10Gbps data pipe. When it comes to storage devices hard disks are the bottleneck due to mechanical and physical limitations, the SATA III standard is showing it's age. At least with single SSD drive products, the SATA interface has hit it's limits.

As such, PCIe-based solid state drive modules are now able to outperform any SATA drive, and pairing PCIe SSD modules in a striped RAID configuration is one way to maximize potential data throughput up to and beyond the 10Gbps threshold.

ThunderBolt 3 SSD Backup Drives

The evolution of Intel and Apple's ThunderBolt technology is progressing as intended, scaling up from the original 10 Gbps ThunderBolt to 20Gbps ThunderBolt 2 using the mini DisplayPort style interface - and now to the new Type-C connection providing both 40Gbps ThunderBolt 3 data and USB 3.1 data streams through the same port.

USB 3.1 vs ThunderBolt 3 Confusion

The ability to 'tunnel' USB 3.1 data through a computer's ThunderBolt 3 port will confuse the hell out of many consumers. Both types of peripherals will use the same sort of connector and cables. Visually, USB-C type ports and cables should be imprinted with the SuperSpeed Plus "SS+" USB logo, and ThunderBolt 3 ports and cables should be imprinted with the 'Lightning Bolt' symbol to help users recognize the difference.

Cables are going to matter too. To achieve reliable, full 40Gbps data speeds needed for driving multiple 4K or 5K Ultra-HD displays and pumping data to and from a ThunderBolt 3 multi-drive RAID array is going to take high quality, certified cabling. Cheaper and lesser USB Type-C cables may not cut it in data intensive computing environments.