Print 17 comment(s) - last by Darksurf.. on Jun 6 at 10:21 PM

  (Source: Intel)
New standard relies on smarter controller chip to offer optimized 20 Gbps bi-directional flow

At the 2013 Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan Intel Corp. (INTCunveiled its next generation successor to Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2.

Released in 2011, the original Thunderbolt was championed by Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  Many derided its expensive proprietary cables and the lack of peripherals.  But on paper the technology impressed with four uni-directional 10 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) channels.

Today there's many more compatible devices (roughly 80 by Intel's reckoning) and cable prices have begun to relax.  At the same time adoption among Windows personal computer makers has begun to heat up, thanks to roughly 30 compatible motherboards.

That's where Thunderbolt 2 comes enters the fray.

Thunderbolt 2
Thunderbolt line

Scheduled to land before the end of 2013, with a ramp up in 2014, the second generation technology uses a new controller chip to merge the uni-directional channels into two 20 Gbps bi-directional channels.  This will allow faster speeds when driving data primarily in a single direction (e.g. when copying files to a backup hard drive, etc.).

The good news for consumers is that owners of current generation Thunderbolt cables will be able to reuse them -- the cable design remains unchanged.  

Intel says that the new standard, previously codenamed "Falcon Ridge" will be useful in transferring 4K video from devices.  Currently transferring this resolution's massive files is a relatively slow and onerous process, depending on the video length.

Source: Intel

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RE: What can transfer at these speeds?
By Jaybus on 6/6/2013 12:24:14 PM , Rating: 3
They are for different purposes. USB uses far less power. Thunderbolt controllers use several Watts of power, whereas USB controllers use mW power levels. It is like comparing an ARM A7 to a Xeon. It's not crippled by its miniscule power bus. The lower bus power and low power usage allow it to be used in small, low poer devices.

The two do not compete with each other at all, really. There are separate uses for both.

RE: What can transfer at these speeds?
By Argon18 on 6/6/2013 12:51:39 PM , Rating: 1
I agree that they do not compete, however many consumers and peripheral makers don't see it the same way. USB Bus powered hard drives are commonplace in the consumer market, even though USB is poorly suited to both bus-powering a hard drive, and poorly suited to bulk data transfer. The reality is there is consumer market overlap between the USB and Thunderbolt.

By Silver2k7 on 6/6/2013 1:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
The new USB3 10Gbit/s is getting more power also. I don't recall how much, but it was improved for sure.

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