Intel Announces Thunderbolt Update, Backwards Compatible and 20Gbps Transfer Speeds
Intel debuted their next generation Thunderbolt interface at NAB today, upping the data rate ante to 20 Gbps in both directions.
The increased data rate effectively doubles the speed of current Thunderbolt technology, and will allow for simultaneous 4K video file capture and transfer. Intel boasted their new Thunderbolt host controllers (Falcon Ridge) would be implemented in their next generation processors due out next year.
While the increased transfer speeds are welcome, the prospect of Apple finally releasing a Retina Display iMac and Cinema Displays is finally getting closer to reality. Current Thunderbolt controllers arenít fast enough to support 4K upstream and downstream transfers. With 20Gbps of bandwidth at their disposal Apple could theoretically scale their current iMac displays up from 2560 x 1440 to 5120 x 2880 for a mind-numbing amount of pixels.
New technology wasnít the sole focus of Intel, as the company highlighted the 200 plus Thunderbolt licenses, as well as new thinner and longer Thunderbolt cables.
Sadly, the fiber-optic technology originally promised with Thunderbolt is no where to be found. And prices for accessories continue to demand a premium. Thankfully the next generation Thunderbolt controllers will use the same connector and be backward compatible with the older, slower iterations.