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2011-12-5 16:25:16 Thunderbolt™ Technology  

The Fastest Connection To Your PC Experience1

Thunderbolt Logo

From the company with the fastest processors comes the fastest way to transfer data between a PC and peripheral and display devices.1 At 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt™ technology delivers great responsiveness with data and display transfers – in each direction, at the same time – using a single cable to connect devices in a daisy chain.

Thunderbolt technology is a foundation for innovative new product development that can expand PC capabilities and performance, quickly and easily, enabling a whole new market for innovative PC devices.

At 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt™ technology enables products that can

  • Transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds2
  • Backup 1 year of continuous MP3 playback in just over 10 minutes3

Thunderbolt™ technology recently received the Computer Graphics World Silver Edge award at the National Association of Broadcasters 2011 convention.

Another industry first

Developed by Intel (under the code name Light Peak), and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple. Thunderbolt™ technology is a new, high-speed I/O technology designed for performance, simplicity, and flexibility.

Thunderbolt™ technology features:

  • Simultaneous bi-directional, 10 Gbps transfers over a single cable
  • Dual-protocol support (PCI Express* and DisplayPort*)
  • Compatible with existing DisplayPort* devices
  • Daisy-chaining devices
  • Choice of electrical or optical cables
  • Low latency with highly accurate time synchronization for professional audio and video applications
  • Uses native protocol software drivers
  • Power-over-cable for bus-powered devices

How Thunderbolt™ technology works

Intel Thunderbolt™ chips interconnect a PC and other devices, transmitting and receiving information for both PCI Express* (PCIe*) and DisplayPort* protocols. The Thunderbolt™ chip switches between the two protocols to support communications over a single cable. Intel is making its chip available to the industry, and is working with other component manufacturers to deliver the Thunderbolt™ connectors and cables.

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What Thunderbolt™ technology means for the PC industry

By tapping into the performance and protocols delivered over Thunderbolt™ technology, designers are free to innovate new PC products and configurations, no longer constrained to the boundaries of the chassis walls.

With Thunderbolt™ technology, engineers can:

  • Design standalone performance expansion technologies commonly used in desktops and workstations, using existing native device drivers and interconnected by a single cable.
  • Introduce thinner and lighter laptops, expandable through Thunderbolt™ technology and its miniature connector designed for mobile applications, without sacrificing I/O performance.
  • Extend to reach other I/O technologies by using adapters that use widely available PCI Express* controllers. It's simple to create a Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, or eSATA adapter using existing device PCI Express* drivers.

Industry Support

Several innovative companies have announced Thunderbolt™-enabled products, or plans to support Thunderbolt™ in upcoming products, including Apple Inc., Promise Technology, Inc., and LaCie. Intel is working with the industry to enable a variety of Thunderbolt™-enabled products, including computers, displays, high-speed data storage devices, audio/video devices, and more.

Additional information: 4

Related Materials

For more details about Thunderbolt™ technology, read the technology brief for Thunderbolt™ technology.

Visit the Thunderbolt™ technology Community to learn more about developing products with Thunderbolt™ technology.

Read the Thunderbolt™ technology press release.
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