Intel to double next-gen Thunderbolt speeds to 20Gbps

Intel to double next-gen Thunderbolt speeds to 20Gbps

Summary: Media pros that are willing to pay for pricey Thunderbolt cables will get double the performance, as USB 3.0 closes in on existing Thunderbolt speeds.

TOPICS: Networking, Apple, Intel

Intel has offered a peek at its next-generation Thunderbolt controller which doubles the maximum 10Gbps transfer rate the existing version offers.

Intel showed off an early prototype of the next-generation technology codenamed Falcon Ridge at the NAB conference for broadcasters in Las Vegas yesterday. The Thunderbolt standard is a product of efforts by Intel and Apple, which first included hardware interfaces for the standard in the MacBook Pro in 2011.

The next generation Thunderbolt will enable 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously, with initial production planned before the end of the year and "ramp" in 2014.

The announcement comes shortly after the USB 3.0 Promotor Group announced the new specification for that standard which also doubled performance up to 10Gbps, bringing it close to the existing Thunderbolt technology.

USB 3.0 boasts 720 devices on the market and will be compatible with existing USB hardware. According to Intel, there are over 200 Thunderbolt licensees and more devices. Also, the new Thunderbolt will be backward compatible with older Thunderbolt cables and connectors. 

Topics: Networking, Apple, Intel

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Wired thunderbolt should go away. If I want thunderbolt at all I want it

    optical. Go big or go home.
    Johnny Vegas
    • optical

      You dream of IrDA like Thunderbolt? Not likely to happen -- not in this universe, that is.

      In mean time, those who have it, are happily using the current version of Thunderbolt to connect their peripherals, using either copper or optical fibre cables. The grapes are sour.