The storage sector is in the vanguard of adoption of next-generation connection technology, and already the signs are of a battle royal between USB 3.0 and Intel's Thunderbolt.
So far the vast majority of uptake in peripherals has come from the storage market, Liz Conner, senior research analyst with IDC's Storage Systems and Personal Storage Group, told V3.co.uk.
"Storage is leading the way. It's the technology that immediately benefits the most," she explained.
"We saw the same thing with the adoption of USB 3.0. Everything else really doesn't need that speed. When you're talking storage, you can cut backup times for terabytes of data from two hours to 20 minutes."
USB 3.0 was launched in 2009 and picked up early traction in the storage market. However, it has yet to be installed as standard on most PC and laptop lines.
Some have speculated that Intel has delayed implementing the technology in order to give its own connection system more support.
Looking further head, Conner said that the key to Thunderbolt's success is moving away from its Apple base. If Thunderbolt is to be anything else than a top-end media device connector, other PC manufacturers will have to adopt it. Intel has said it expects PCs using the technology early next year.
In the storage market, La Cie and Promise had hardware available at launch, but other manufacturers have been less enthusiastic.
Western Digital told V3.co.uk that it had plans to implement the technology in its product line but did not specify when.
"There's a mess of interfaces and a huge battle coming," Connor said. "FireWire will probably die out and USB and Thunderbolt will go head-to-head for dominance."
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