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Thread: Intel Looking to Make Thunderbolt Even Faster With PCI Express 3.0

  1. #1
    Default Intel Looking to Make Thunderbolt Even Faster With PCI Express 3.0



    According to IDG News Intel is working on moving its Thunderbolt I/O standard to the PCI-Express 3.0 protocol.

    Currently Intel and Apples I/O lovechild Thunderbolt is based on the PCI-Express 2.0 protocol. The move to PCI-Express could potentially double data transfer speeds over current implementations of Thunderbolt.

    Intel in the future will support the PCI-Express 3.0 protocol to shuttle data faster between host devices and peripherals, an Intel spokesman said in an email. Computers with Thunderbolt interconnect currently communicate with external devices using the older PCI-Express 2.0 technology. — IDG News
    The company will incorporate PCI-Express 3.0 in Thunderbolt, but could not provide a time frame for when it will be accomplished.

    PCIe 3.0 offers a raw data transfer speed of 8GT/s (gigatransfers per second, one GT = 8GB) compared to PCIe 2.0’s 5 GT/s, which is a 60% increase, but other PCIe 3.0 requirements could push the effective bandwidth closer to doubling current speeds. PCIe 3.0 is already built into a few Intel products including the recently launched Xeon E5 chips and the still absent Ivy Bridge chips.

    However, moving this technology to to Thunderbolt and getting peripheral manufacturers on the same page will take some time. This will be especially apparent considering the slow adaptation of Thunderbolt outside of Apple. Honestly though, the speeds of PCIe 2.0 still haven't come close to being maxed out by today peripherals, so the implementation of 3.0 almost becomes moot.

    Hopefully the release of Intel’s next generation line of processors, and the supposed influx of Thunderbolt capable accessories this year will push the lightning fast I/O tech into the mainstream. Otherwise LaCie’s Little Big Disk and other similarly priced products will continue to dominate the market place. And not too many can afford that.

    Source: IDG News [via MacRumors]
    Last edited by Phillip Swanson; 03-09-2012 at 08:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Ugh, just bought a new MBP too. Already outdated... How it usually goes. At the moment, though, I don't have a huge need for Thunderbolt anyway. My Mac Mini is hooked up to my TV via HDMI, so Thunderbolt <-> HDMI is not needed. There are not many External HDDs that support Thunderbolt, yet. If I had some monitors to daisy chain, sure. I feel the same way about the PCI-Express slot in there too. If I were not a screen size whore, I honestly would get more use out of an SD slot. Booting from SD for debug or partition repair seems a lot nicer.

  3. #3
    I still need to get a taste on how fast thunderbolt is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase Hainey View Post
    Ugh, just bought a new MBP too. Already outdated... How it usually goes.
    I am in the same boat. Usually I brush it off, but with this tech, it's a little ridiculous. We hardly have ANYTHING utilizing it, and they are already making it better and faster? Disappointed on this one, to say the least.
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