At CES 2019, Western Digital is demonstrating a prototype of a 4TB thumb drive with a Type-C interface. To be more precise, the form factor is that of a thumb drive, but the Type-C connector currently hangs off a wire. Given that it is a prototype, and has little chance of hitting the market at reasonable price points in the imminent future, this is expected. The main intent is to showcase the technological prowess of SanDisk's flash solutions. As expected, the prototype carries the SanDisk branding.

Based on the form factor, we believe that the product is using the 1.33Tb QLC 96L NAND that started sampling in Q3 2018.

The prototype bodes well for compact high-capacity thumb drives in the near future. These will be for use-cases where high performance is not a requirement (think of reads and writes in the 20 - 200 MBps range). We are waiting on WD to provide additional technical details regarding the actual configuration used in the prototype. We have also requested for the performance numbers they are able to achieve in such a compact form factor with the high-capacity dies.

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  • Impulses - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    No system could deal with it unless you also send a C to A adapter back in time... :P
  • Arbie - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    Every Sandisk thumb drive I've had ran hot enough to cause burns. I finally gave up and switched to Samsung. Yeah, I realize this will be a very different process. I also realize that Sandisk will market it no matter what.
  • Arbie - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    Oops - Thought this was a Sandisk announcement. Got confused changing pages...
  • Arbie - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    Well, it is Sandisk label under WD. Too bad we still can't edit comments here on Anandtech.
  • Impulses - Monday, January 14, 2019 - link

    SanDisk was making some pretty dodgy thumb drives for a while there, and they love obfuscating the specs at the low end... Some of their earliest OTG and USB-C drives were literally mSD cards sealed into a reader. /smh Their higher end stuff tends to be much better tho, the M.2 external Extreme drive AT reviewed is excellent.
  • Ashinjuka - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    Only 11.5 years for Kimiko Ross's 4TB flash drive to move from fiction to reality!
  • Dragonstongue - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - link

    be nice if something like this were expected to last for say 3-5 years with cooling and power write endurance were part of it, would be nice to have a 1-4tb SSD "in my pocket" if the price were reasonable, though speeds must be in the 200+ constant range and say 600 on the endurance for 1tb or better price not above $80 ^.^

    Also I would really love if all these drive makers that label something as 500gb or 1TB is exactly that amount when the drive is fully initialized even if that means it requires an extra cell or extra ring however you want to word it, flat numbers are so much easier to work with.
  • AdditionalPylons - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - link

    Unless you use it as a boot drive for a system that runs something very write-intensive (HPC, disk caching, big data analysis or big database web hosting) I wouldn't worry.
    TBW scales with size, so flash endurance is not going to be a problem whatsoever for anyone considering a portable drive like this.
    I would be more concerned with wear and tear of the built-in cable.
  • nukunukoo - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    Finally! A thumb drive that’s almost big enough to store MS Windows/Office EULA agreements.

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