Thunderbolt: The Fastest, Most Versatile I/O Ever

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First introduced under the code name "Light Peak Technology". When Intel Labs began the development of Thunderbolt, they had a very simple goal: "to make an incredibly fast input/output technology that just about anything can plug into." Intel Labs has done just that. Thunderbolt will soon become the preferred method of I/O, surpassing USB and Firewire. The Thunderbolt interconnect supports two 10 Gbps bi-directional channels on a common transport for 40 Gbps maximum aggregate throughput.Thunderbolt is up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and up to 12 times faster than FireWire 800. It's easy to see why Thunderbolt is being called "the most powerful and flexible piece of I/O technology ever made available in a personal computer." Thunderbolt is available now through Apple Inc's MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac and Mac mini. Also, Apple is providing the active copper cable for Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt combines PCI Express and DisplayBolt into a new serial data interface that can be carried over longer and less costly cables. Because PCI Express is widely supported by device vendors and built into most of Intel's modern chipsets, Thunderbolt can be added to existing products with relative ease.

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Thunderbolt's unparalleled power and speed gives it the ability to connect up to 6 devices, including an Apple Thunderbolt display, at once while still maintaining full performance on every single device. Now while most average consumers don't have or need to connect six devices at once, in industry this could prove to be groundbreaking. For example, a video editor could use a single port to connect his high-performance storage, a high-resolution display, keyboard, mouse and all the high-bit-rate video capture devices that play a part in post-production. In addition to Apple Inc., three storage companies (LaCie, Promise Technology and Western Digital) and four A/V companies (Aja, Apogge, Avid and Blackmagic) have signed with Intel to be on the cutting edge of I/O technology.
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  • Dual-Channel 10gps per port
  • Bi-Directional
  • Dual-protocol (PCI Express* and DisplayPort*)
  • Compatible with existing DisplayPort devices
  • Daisy-chained devices
  • Electrical or optical cables
  • Low latency with highly accurate time synchronization
  • Uses native protocol software drivers
  • Power over cable for bus-powered devices

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