Thunderbolt momentum at NAB 2012

At least 28 Thunderbolt products were shown at NAB 2012. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it is because many connect Thunderbolt to existing standards. Expect a big jump in Thunderbolt momentum this year.

Intel's die shrink turns a 2-chip product into a much easier to integrate 1 chip product. Several developers skipped the Gen1 product because of the economic advantages of the 1 chip product.

What can you get? In addition to fast storage, like my Promise Pegasus R4 or the LaCie Little Big Disk, the connectivity products offer a whole new way to build powerful, flexible systems with portable components like ultrabooks.

Options include 10gigE, eSATA, PCIe, Fibre Channel, media interfaces, an HD video cam and even an optical Thunderbolt cable for long distances. Here's a picture of the Intel booth's display:

What's next? Expect to see many more products arriving over the next few months, including more really fast portable storage. But the real news is that Intel's commitment to Thunderbolt shows no sign of flagging.

The Storage Bits take For most consumers, Thunderbolt is a luxury. USB3 is fast and cheap.

But for pros Thunderbolt is rapidly becoming a must-have. And as options grow and costs decline Thunderbolt's allure will only increase.

But when the next gen Thunderbolt debuts - probably next year - with double the performance, we'll see substantial daylight between Thunderbolt and USB3 - and the latter will never catch up.

Comments welcome, of course. Do you think Intel will ever lift the 7 device limit on Thunderbolt?

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