Another industry first in connectivity
Developed by Intel (under the code name Light Peak), and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple. Thunderbolt™ technology is a new, high-speed I/O technology designed for performance, simplicity, and flexibility.
Thunderbolt™ technology features:
Simultaneous bi-directional, 10 Gbps transfers over a single cable
Dual-protocol support (PCI Express* and DisplayPort*)
Compatible with existing DisplayPort* devices
Choice of electrical or optical cables
Low latency with highly accurate time synchronization for professional audio and video applications
Uses native protocol software drivers
Power-over-cable for bus-powered devices
How Thunderbolt™ technology works
Thunderbolt significantly simplifies the end-user experience by concurrently supporting data and display connections over a single cable.
Intel Thunderbolt™ chips interconnect a PC and other devices, transmitting and receiving information for both PCI Express* (PCIe*) and DisplayPort* protocols. The Thunderbolt™ chip switches between the two protocols to support communications over a single cable. Intel is making its chip available to the industry, and is working with other component manufacturers to deliver the Thunderbolt™ connectors and cables.
The end result brings a new balance of performance, simplicity, and flexibility to end users and product designers.
Read the brief for Thunderbolt technology >
Read the press release for Thunderbolt technology >
Visit the Thunderbolt technology Community to learn more about developing products with Thunderbolt technology >
What Thunderbolt™ technology means for the PC industry
By tapping into the performance and protocols delivered over Thunderbolt™ technology, designers are free to innovate new PC products and configurations, no longer constrained to the boundaries of the chassis walls.
With Thunderbolt™ technology, engineers can:
Design standalone performance expansion technologies commonly used in desktops and workstations, using existing native device drivers and interconnected by a single cable.
Introduce thinner and lighter laptops, expandable through Thunderbolt™ technology and its miniature connector designed for mobile applications, without sacrificing I/O performance.
Extend to reach other I/O technologies by using adapters that use widely available PCI Express* controllers. It's simple to create a Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, or eSATA adapter using existing device PCI Express* drivers.
Several innovative companies have announced Thunderbolt™-enabled products, or plans to support Thunderbolt™ in upcoming products, including Apple Inc., Promise Technology, Inc., and LaCie. Intel is working with the industry to enable a variety of Thunderbolt™-enabled products, including computers, displays, high-speed data storage devices, audio/video devices, and more. Source
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