20Gbps Thunderbolt will pave the way for '4K workflow'

20Gbps Thunderbolt will pave the way for '4K workflow'

Summary: 20Gbps Thunderbolt has enough bandwidth to be able to transfer a 4K video file to or from a storage device while simultaneously driving a 4K resolution display, all down a single cable. This is the sort of power media pros have been dreaming of for years.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware, Apple, Intel
42

Intel has announced that it plans to release an updated Thunderbolt controller which will double the transfer rate to 20Gbps, giving it a clear advantage over the upcoming USB 3.0 standard.

At the heart of the transfer rate boost is a new Thunderbolt controller codenamed Falcon Ridge. This new controller will be fully backward-compatible with existing hardware, including cables and connectors, but will offer compatible devices double the throughput currently offered by Thunderbolt.

(Source: Intel)

20Gbps might seem like overkill, and for most people it is, but what the updated Thunderbolt standard will offer is what Intel are calling a "4K workflow." This will allow for 4K video file transfer to or from a storage device while simultaneously driving a 4K resolution display, all down a single cable.

(Source: Intel)

This is aimed at high-end media professionals who have to juggle large amounts of data in the form of video. These people need all the power they can get — but it will likely come attached to a very weighty price tag.

20Gbps Thunderbolt could also pave the way for Apple to introduce Macs with 4K displays. These displays would have a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels, four times that of 1080p high-definition video. 

It is also likely that we will see much faster RAID storage devices, possibly featuring solid-state drives as opposed to the traditional hard drive.

(Source: Intel)

Initial production of Falcon Ridge is expected to start before the end of 2013, with a ramp to full production scheduled for 2014.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Intel

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

42 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Apple TV connector?

    Would this enable an Apple TV type controller device to be able to manage multiple 4k screens ?
    RILIB
    • No

      Since Apple didn't invent it & can't buy Intel, they won't allow you to use it on your Apple products.
      Jason Barkley
      • Well then there is this counter evidence.

        http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2011/5/19/intel-clarifies-thunderbolt-apple-trademark-situation.aspx

        "In a nutshell, Apple filed for the original trademark and is now transferring that trademark to Intel. At the same time, Apple will continue to have unrestricted use of the technology."

        But don't let the facts get in your way.
        YaBaby
        • My apologies

          You are absolutely correct. My bad.
          Jason Barkley
  • Kudos to Intel, sole inventor of Thunderbolt

    Glad to have innovative companies like Intel who actually invent and innovate instead of certain other companies that just contribute names and nothing else.
    toddbottom3
    • And of course you withhold your Kudos for Apple.

      Sure you can find a few motherboards with Thunderbolt, and yes apparently Windows does have a driver stack for Thunderbolt. But it is Apple that that brought Intel's Thunderbolt to market. And it its Apple that continues talk up the features of the Interface. No worries for you though, like tablets, Microsoft will eventually catch up and then you to can brag.

      Oh did you know you edit Wiki pages? I bring this up because you need to head over to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface) and edit the line "Thunderbolt was developed by Intel with technical collaboration from Apple." to insure Apple gets no credit.
      YaBaby
      • apple didn't contribute anything technical to Lightpeak

        apple contributed the name Thunderbolt. That's it. That's all they did. Go to apple's Thunderbolt page and find me the quote that suggests apple contributed technically. Go to Intel's Thunderbolt page and find me the quote that suggests apple contributed technically.

        "And it its Apple that continues talk up the features of the Interface."

        Yup. Talk. That's all apple does.
        toddbottom3
        • Okay all Apple does is "talk" about Thunderbolt.

          Lets just forget that Thunderbolt is a standard feature on the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac. And on what Microsoft product is Thunderbolt featured?

          Got to tell you, if I am Intel, I would rather have Apple "taking" about (and using) my technology (Thunderbolt specifically) than the silence that comes Microsoft.

          Did you head over to that wiki page and offer up your corrections yet? Do you ever wonder why nobody from Intel has gone over to that Wiki and made the corrections you insist are factually correct?
          YaBaby
          • What does this have to do with Microsoft?

            Are you that obsessed with Microsoft that you have to bring it up in conversations that have nothing to do with Microsoft? My kudos were for Intel. That's it.

            "Thunderbolt is a standard feature on the MacBook Air"

            So? Intel CPUs are a standard feature on many Dell models but you would look like a complete idiot if you tried to suggest that Dell "technically collaborated" on Intel CPUs.

            apple pays Intel money for licensing and pays component makers / assemblers to build them. That's it. Money for technology. Everyone does it.

            Although if we used your logic, I just invented the ipad and the iphone because I bought one of each.
            toddbottom3
          • Pretty sure I mentioned that Microsoft has a Thunderbolt stack.

            I have no obsession with bashing Microsoft, in fact I use their products everyday. Perhaps you are misinterpreting this quote?

            "No worries for you though, like tablets, Microsoft will eventually catch up and then you to can brag."

            That comment was targeted at you (Toddbottom3) and clearly it hit you right between the eyes. And in your usual fashion you rushed to Microsoft's defense when none was needed.

            So here is my final word on this topic, if Apple (having paid for the right or not) had not gotten the Thunderbolt technology into consumer circulation, by your own logic it would still be stuck in Intel's lab waiting for someone to embrace the technology. All Intel would have is your monetarily worthless Kudos, but apparently you think very highly of them and that should satisfy Intel.
            YaBaby
          • I rushed to Microsoft's defense?

            Huh? Where?

            Are you feeling okay?
            toddbottom3
          • intel doesnt cruise Wiki

            Intel doesn't cruise Wiki to correct misinformation that might harm Apple's ego as well as their legion of sheepish follower's egos.
            JABBER_WOLF
          • Apple vs Thunderblt

            Actually, Apple was the BETA testbed for Thunderbolt. Now that the technology has been proven, it will be implemented to all PC's

            Apple did not contribute to the actual technology of Thunderbolt. They were a testbed.
            NIGHTSCOUT
        • while Apple only talks

          Toddy,

          I use the Thunderbolt of my MacBook Air from day 1. Connect plenty of different peripherals trough it. Connecting anything from Gigabit Ethernet, trough FireWire, trough high resolution displays trough ultra high speed storage... on the tiny Air.

          When was the first/last time you used Thunderbolt on your brilliant Surface RT?
          danbi
          • REALLY danbi ?

            You do know what a thunderbolt port is right?
            How about an actual thunderbolt device and not naming other ports that you use so much?!
            JABBER_WOLF
          • Perhaps you should review the specs from Apple's Thunderbolt display

            http://www.apple.com/displays/

            Apples "Thunderbolt Display" performs all of the following functions through the Thunderbolt port.

            1) It is a high resolution display.
            2) It is a USB hub with three usb ports.
            3) It is a firewire host.
            4) It is a gigabit ethernet port.
            5) It is a Thunderbolt pass through.
            6) It is a web / video camera.
            7) It does stereo audio.
            8) It has a microphone.

            Do you get it? One single connection and all eight of of those interfaces are exposed.
            YaBaby
          • Very impressive

            "One single connection and all eight of of those interfaces are exposed."

            Kudos to Intel for inventing such a brilliant technology all by themselves.
            toddbottom3
          • Re: You do know what a thunderbolt port is right?

            JABBER_WOLF,

            I know, but you apparently don't.

            Thunderbolt is an x4 PCI-Express bus directly from the CPU, extending out of the computer's case. Since Thunderbolt can be daisy chained, each external 'enclosure' can connect to any of the PCI-Express lanes, just as an PCI-Express adapter attaches to the bus inside the PC case. Only this stuff is expandable.

            You can connect *anything* that can connect to PCI-Express to Thunderbolt.

            In addition, Thunderbolt multiplexes DisplayPort (which is pure digital anyway) data stream with the PCI-Express data.

            There is not such thing as "an actual Thunderbolt device". It is never late to learn.
            danbi
      • really?

        So youre entire support for Apple's collaboration was a one line quote from wiki that states :
        "Thunderbolt was developed by Intel with technical collaboration from Apple."
        What, AT ALL, was Apple's contribution?

        You are correct:
        Apple that that brought Intel's Thunderbolt to market because they probably made a deal and placed it on their motherboards. They probably had to be led by the Intel team to troubleshoot Apple's idiot team on how to do implement it correctly. THAT was their technical contribution probably.

        But it had NOTHING to do with the actual development of Thunderbolt. That was all Intel long before Apple.
        JABBER_WOLF
        • @ Jabber_Wolf

          Okay here is second source.

          http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/26/exclusive-apple-dictated-light-peak-creation-to-intel-could-be/

          I am sure you will find fault with that story as well. So now it is your turn, how about some documentation that says Apple played absolutely no role in the development of "Thunderbolt". I am especially interested in posts from Intel where they discuss those "Idiot" engineers over at Apple.
          YaBaby