Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Thunderbolt hasn't quite lived up to expectations since its debut over two years ago, but that isn't stopping Intel from preparing the next generation, which promises to fly faster than ever before.
Intel's Technology@Intel blog shared a peek at the upcoming Thunderbolt 2 on Tuesday, which is now expected to begin production by year's end, with a full-scale ramp-up in 2014.
While the current version of Thunderbolt is ubiquitous on the Mac, adoption on Windows hardware has been slow going until this year, with more than 30 PCs and motherboards now available worldwide. Thunderbolt is also on more than 80 peripheral devices, with more than 200 companies around the world developing products for the technology.
Thunderbolt 2 promises to accelerate that effort by doubling the original bandwidth to 20Gbs -- enough to enable 4K video file transfer and display at the same time.
"It is achieved by combining the two previously independent 10Gbs channels into one 20Gbs bi-directional channel that supports data and/or display," explains Intel's Dan Snyder. "Current versions of Thunderbolt, although faster than other PC I/O technologies on the market today, are limited to an individual 10Gbs channel each for both data and display, less than the required bandwidth for 4K video transfer.
"Also, the addition of DisplayPort 1.2 support in Thunderbolt 2 enables video streaming to a single 4K video monitor or dual QHD monitors," Snyder adds. "All of this is made possible with full backward compatibility to the same cables and connectors used with today’s Thunderbolt. The result is great news for an industry on the cusp of widespread adoption of 4K video technologies."
Of course, what Thunderbolt really needs are more devices to plug into it, so here's hoping Thunderbolt 2 will kickstart that movement while driving prices down at the same time.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter