Good information with a lot of useful facts. I wonder if the technology that enables this high-speed peripheral connectivity can be used for LAN's. Most networks are running on fast ethernet, which is still at 100 Mbps.
Thanks for the technical details. I cannot confirm them. Perhaps further independent testing will shed more light (no pund intended) on Thunderbolt.
As to the claim of Apple's 12 month exclusivity, I have checked with Intel. I have been informed that there is NO such exclusivity agreement. It is simply that Apple is the first one to come to market with it. Intel is working with many customers who have specific product plans.
I feel that, like any new technology, it will be widely adopted if it delivers what it claims at an affordable price. It will take sometime to get there so I don't believe that USB is going anywhere soon. Even when / if thunderbolt gets adopted, I still see USB having a place in the system.
Tony, like to add some more points about Thunderbolt connectivity technology. The main advantage of this new technology is, it combines both PCI Express and Display Port in a single interface, delivering up to 10 Gigabits per second per channel (1.25GB/s). This means you can have up to 20 Gbps, 2.5 GB/s bidirectional bandwidth at each given moment.
The other doubt is "Where is the catch?" 20Gbps of bi directionally available bandwidth is shared between the Display Port and the PCI Express Interfaces. They claimed that we can count on twice the bandwidth of USB 3.0 (i.e. 5Gbps times X 2), but that all depends on type of devices connected on each side of the cable. Should you connect another display in the chain, remaining bandwidth would not be dramatically wider than USB 3.0 anymore.
When we attach two displays or use higher resolutions, the remaining bandwidth for other devices is even lower, leaving only a small spark of the once mighty Thunderbolt. Also it should be noted, that it won't be able to drive any Display Port display (Resolutions above 2560x1600 require more than 10Gbps of bandwidth or needed a 10-bit professional grade displays).
For a 12-month exclusive deal, Apple is the first company going to utilize this technology for new generation of MacBook Pro notebooks, let’s wait and see the performances issues.
Thanks for the response. The Intel Thunderbolt chip has connections to the DisplayPort and PCIe on the PC printed circuit board (PCB) on one side and on the other side it goes to the connector for the external Thunderbolt cable. The same controller chip is in the peripheral it connects to. I do not think you need a PCIe expansion card for this. I do not believe that Thunderbolt is aimed at the installed base of PCs
Do not get hung up on this first implementation being introduced in an Apple MacBook. Speaking with Intel they are explicitly clear in stating that Thunderbolt is NOT exclusive to Apple. Do not be surprised to see more OEMs come out with Thunderbolt capable products in this quarter. Yes, they will likely be high end products when this rolls out. But I firmly believe that cost will come down and we will see a larger percentage of PCs and peripherals with Thunderbolt, probably within a year.
Thanks for the post Tony. It was really informative.I too feel that USB will still be around for a quite a while becuase Thunderbolt chip requires direct access to the computer's PCI Express channels. This apparently wouldn't be possible even using a PCI Express expansion card, which means we cant use this technology with the existing systems. So I guess Apple will be an exclusive user of this technolgoy atleast for sometime.
The definition to technology in this century is "the small the better, the faster or smarter" I have no doubt that Thunderbolt will cause a wave in computing market.
Even though Intel places more prominence on Thunderbolt over USB 3.0, I still believe that USB will still be around for a long while, my reason is because there are lots of USB devices out there and even now there are lots of USB 3.0 devices ranging from laptops to tablets
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