If you haven’t heard of it yet, you soon will. Originally announced by Intel as Light Peak, it was re-packaged, adding DisplayPort connectivity before being officially released and given the new name. It’s already integrated into Apple’s new MacBook Pros and Intel’s Thunderbolt is about to make a serious run to become the new standard for file transfers, streaming, and connecting hardware to your computer. It’s also guaranteed to cut down the size of that mess of cables hanging off your desk. Okay, enough with the hype and onto the specs:
- Speed – Thunderbolt transfers at a constant rate of 10 gigabits per second. This is up to 20x the speed of USB 2.0 and 12x as quick as Firewire 800.
- Dual-protocol – This basically means that multiple types of device connections can be plugged into it directly, without the use of adapters. PCI Express and DisplayPort connections can be used over a single Thunderbolt port, as well as Apple’s MiniDisplay port. With the use of adapters, you’ll be able to connect an abundance of different connections such as USB, Firewire, DVI, HDMI, and VGA.
- Industry Standard – Several companies have already begun to show some serious interest in the new technology. Some of which already developing products that will support it, such as Western Digital, LaCie, Avid, and Blackmagic. Can you imagine how fast you can back up files and important data, with a Thunderbolt-compatible hard drive? Intel also has high hopes for their new standard becoming a huge hit in the audiovisual production industry.
Keep your eyes peeled because it will be available for your computer before you know it. The price tag may be a little hefty, but the benefit of transferring gigs of data in mere seconds more than outweighs that.
If you’re interested in learning more about thunderbolt, here are a few links:
Thunderbolt Technology (Intel)
What is Thunderbolt? (Gizmodo)
Thunderbolt: A Closer Look (Engadget)