Intel officially announces Thunderbolt, formerly known as Light Peak

thunderbolt

Intel has unveiled their latest hardware addition to computers, dubbed Thunderbolt. Some of you may know it as "Light Peak", which can transfer data between two computers at blazing fast speeds.

Thunderbolt can handle up to 10Gbps dual-channel, per port, and is bi-directional, meaning you don't need to worry which end is which. With such fast speeds, the name definitely lives up to its data rates  that are as fast as 10Gbps. Intel claims you can transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds, and backup an entire year of continuous MP3 playback in just under 10 minutes.

As Apple unveiled their new line of MacBook Pros today, you may notice that these are the first portable laptop with this technology built-in. The thunderbolt technology is available on all three models of the new MacBook Pro, which sits alongside two USB 2.0 ports and a FireWire 800 port.

Thunderbolt is expected to launch of a variety of consumer electronics in the near future, including desktops, laptops, and high-definition televisions. Thunderbolt promises to deliver professional audio and video with very low latency and highly accurate time synchronization. Thunderbolt is the all-in-one cable that can supply a variety of different uses, including sharing video, networking, and video playback.

Intel announced that Thunderbolt will be compatible with DisplayPort devices, so consumers won't need to buy a new device to take advantage of this new technology.

Check out this "Light Peak" (Thunderbolt) demo by Intel below:

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This seems like a perfect unifying port. We could see future systems built with let's say eight thunderbolt ports and nothing else. Devices can be USB2/3, FireWire 400/800, DVI, HDMI, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, optical audio ... and their cables would have the proper connector on one end and a thunderbolt connector on the other. This could eliminate the need to have any port other than Thunderbolt on all laptops, desktops, netbooks, tablets, etc. That would be pretty convenient and amazing.

Aside from the childish, tacky name they decided to use the international safety symbol for high voltage? Is Intel being run by idiots these days?

TRC said,
Aside from the childish, tacky name they decided to use the international safety symbol for high voltage? Is Intel being run by idiots these days?

It's similar, but not exactly the same. It is also similar to the symbol for The Flash.

Just call it thunderlightsuperfastwtfomgbbqboltcableripoffsoontobereplacedbyabettercablewithanothernamewhydidyoupayforthisweareusingcopperfornowandnotlightsothat'swhywechangedthenamecablechucknorriscable.

Woops I broke the page

Faster is better. But this doesn't seem to be as big of a step as USB 2.0 was from USB 1.0. Simply because USB 1 was just so painfully slow its use was limited to keyboards, mice, and crappy web cams. USB 2.0 brought us usable portable storage devices that caused the overthrow of the IOmega Zip Drive.

USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt both seem to have the same limited market that FireWire 800 currently has. I suspect USB 3.0 will catch on faster because of the backwards compatibility features. But it won't effect the masses as much as USB 2.0 did.

I noticed in the specs that in theory this has a max cable length of 5 m (copper) & 100 m (fiber)..
do you think this technology will be a viable replacement for Ethernet in the future??

I ask cause i install corporate/small biz networks. Cat 6 Augmented is the current top standard but because of the price, size & rigid cables most company's can't or just won't use it in their data centers

Magnolia Man said,
do you think this technology will be a viable replacement for Ethernet in the future??

Eventually, but I wouldn't hold your breath yet.

Magnolia Man said,
I noticed in the specs that in theory this has a max cable length of 5 m (copper) & 100 m (fiber)..
do you think this technology will be a viable replacement for Ethernet in the future??

I ask cause i install corporate/small biz networks. Cat 6 Augmented is the current top standard but because of the price, size & rigid cables most company's can't or just won't use it in their data centers

Depending on the price point, it can indeed be an Ethernet-killer on the small-office/home network side - the biggest barrier to anything faster than gigabit copper in that area has been price. (Thunderbolt could jumpstart smart-building technology on the residential scale - again, price being the biggest roadblock.)

I hate Intel.
Prototype:
[*] Optical fibers
[*] Standard USB data protocol
[*] Standard USB port (optical/USB converter inside the USB plug)
[*] Going to be available to all OEMs
Release
[*] Copper fibers
[*] PCI-E and DisplayPort data protocols (does any HDD use either of them?)
[*] Proprietary Mini DisplayPort port (the could have at lest chosen the standard DisplayPort port; How does it sound to plug HDD in the diaplay port?)
[*] The first released device is Apple's notebook (complicated device). This means that Intel withheld specifications form other OEMs (like they did with USB3 host controller (which some people say was done to slow down USB3 adoption to pave way for LightPeak)).

RealFduch said,

Release
[*] Copper fibers
[*] PCI-E and DisplayPort data protocols (does any HDD use either of them?)
[*] Proprietary Mini DisplayPort port (the could have at lest chosen the standard DisplayPort port; How does it sound to plug HDD in the diaplay port?)
[*] The first released device is Apple's notebook (complicated device). This means that Intel withheld specifications form other OEMs (like they did with USB3 host controller (which some people say was done to slow down USB3 adoption to pave way for LightPeak)).

1 Who cares?
2 They will, and some SSDs do.
3 So the normal DisplayPort port would be better because it would confuse more people? Huh.
4 No, it means Apple codeveloped it so had access to everything. And probably got a time to market advantage in an agreement with Intel.

randomevent said,
4 No, it means Apple codeveloped it so had access to everything. And probably got a time to market advantage in an agreement with Intel.

Yeah, people seem to forget that the first prototype of Light Peak was shown off on Mac Pros.

randomevent said,

1 Who cares?

Monitors and TVs care about speed.
randomevent said,

2 They will, and some SSDs do.

Let's invent an incompatible standard every time? All prototypes used standard USB port and protocol. Not some proprietary ill-suited display gimmic.
randomevent said,

3 So the normal DisplayPort port would be better because it would confuse more people? Huh.

Have you READ what I wrote? The used USB in all prototypes and USB >>>> DisplayPort >> Mini DisplayPort
randomevent said,
4 No, it means Apple codeveloped it so had access to everything. And probably got a time to market advantage in an agreement with Intel.

Did you see ANY tech to debut in notebooks? They are always last. Controller cards and cables are always the firts things to use any new I/O tech. BTW, did Apple also ask Intel to stall USB3 adoption? Why would I like it?

roadwarrior said,
Yeah, people seem to forget that the first prototype of Light Peak was shown off on Mac Pros.

And all 5+ next prototypes was shown on PCs. So what?

[quote=RealFduch said,]Did you see ANY tech to debut in notebooks? They are always last. [quote]
Wifi ring any bells? I am fairly certain that it debuted on notebooks, not desktops. You just seem really annoyed that Apple was the first company to get this technology out the door, and are simply ranting now.

[quote=roadwarrior said,][quote=RealFduch said,]Did you see ANY tech to debut in notebooks? They are always last.
The first thing that was created with Wi-Fi ware obviously Wi-Fi access points/routers and interface cards. Why would anyone need Wi-Fi notebook if they cannot connect it to anything? Notebook makers don't like putting unnecessary things inside. It's also much easier to make adapter/interface card with a new chip than integrate it into a notebook. Again, the first implementations are always about infrastructure.

And I don't care if it's Apple or Dell. Haven't seen Dell forcing proprietary ports though..

Thunderbolt is one of greatest inovations for the past couple years and i say kill USB, SATA, etc with this.

Intel >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> everybody else

randomevent said,

It will.

But not for years. The current copper Thunderbolt release (10Gbps) does not have the bandwidth to handle a single 2560x1600x60hz monitor, let alone everything else you'd want to run in parallel with it.

So right now, it'll be a, well I'm not sure what it will be, since it shares the displayport plug, so you can either have your monitor running, or have everything else running, but not both.

Come to think of it, sharing it with the displayport plug at this time seems pretty asinine. Is the bandwidth greater than is being reported for some reason? Can someone clarify this issue?

excalpius said,

But not for years. The current copper Thunderbolt release (10Gbps) does not have the bandwidth to handle a single 2560x1600x60hz monitor, let alone everything else you'd want to run in parallel with it.

So right now, it'll be a, well I'm not sure what it will be, since it shares the displayport plug, so you can either have your monitor running, or have everything else running, but not both.

Come to think of it, sharing it with the displayport plug at this time seems pretty asinine. Is the bandwidth greater than is being reported for some reason? Can someone clarify this issue?


10gbps with two channels. So one can do your monitor and one can do everything else.

randomevent said,

10gbps with two channels. So one can do your monitor and one can do everything else.

Ah, thanks that would definitely make it more flexible and useful.

But two monitors and you can kiss it goodbye. 8P

another propietary adapter and port... i wish the industry use more standard approach, a reason why people use USB and not firewire its because of the mainstream of USB, if intel want to push lightpeak or thudnerbolt must focus on interfaces that everyone use.

i dont see many people using mini displayports, in fact i see more esata, which somehow i have a dell that have both esata and usb in a single port, its a good and reasonable approach

I don't see how this is proprietary or nonstandard. It's backed by Intel, the port was designed by Apple and I think I remember that they aren't charging any licensing for it. It's a completely new port type, I don't see how they could use an existing connection type without causing confusion.

If you look at the videos of Light Peak in action it's actually very compatible with interfaces that people already use. You can use firewire, ethernet, USB, etc. all over the lightpeak connection, you just have to have the breakout box on the other end. Just like you can plug in a USB or Firewire or <insert connection here> card into a PCI-E slot.

Stetson said,
I don't see how this is proprietary or nonstandard.

Mini DisplayPort is proprietary. DisplayPort is standard.
Stetson said,
If you look at the videos of Light Peak in action it's actually very compatible with interfaces that people already use.

It WAS compatible. Then they moved from USB to Mini DisplayPort that nobody uses.

RealFduch said,

Mini DisplayPort is proprietary. DisplayPort is standard.

It WAS compatible. Then they moved from USB to Mini DisplayPort that nobody uses.


Which is probably a very good thing because otherwise you'd have idiots plugging it into USB ports and yelling 'Why isn't this working!!!'

randomevent said,

Which is probably a very good thing because otherwise you'd have idiots plugging it into USB ports and yelling 'Why isn't this working!!!'
Then it was never compatible.

RealFduch said,

Mini DisplayPort is proprietary. DisplayPort is standard.

It might technically be proprietary, but several manufacturers are using it, including AMD, Dell, and HP (and of course Apple).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_DisplayPort

It WAS compatible. Then they moved from USB to Mini DisplayPort that nobody uses.

Not sure were you got the idea that Intel was using a USB connection for Light Peak. Also, as I pointed out above, several companies are using Mini DisplayPort.

randomevent said,

Which is probably a very good thing because otherwise you'd have idiots plugging it into USB ports and yelling 'Why isn't this working!!!'

Lol. It WAS working. It was USB port AND USB protocol. Light Peak was supposed to be about physical media, not data protocols.

roadwarrior said,

It might technically be proprietary, but several manufacturers are using it, including AMD, Dell, and HP (and of course Apple).

Yes. And hundreds of chinese companies use iPod's connectors. Still proprietary.
roadwarrior said,
Also, as I pointed out above, several companies are using Mini DisplayPort.

Connecting external hard drives through Mini DisplayPort? Do you live in some alternative reality?

roadwarrior said,
Not sure were you got the idea that Intel was using a USB connection for Light Peak.

It's all over the place. How come you don't know it?
From Intel's quote on Wikipedia:
However the clear announced intention as of 2010 [2] was "to have one single connector technology" that would allow "electrical USB 3.0 […] and, or, other protocols could, down the road, be run over optical" suggesting that Thunderbolt is a bus rather than an interface and further suggesting that Thunderbolt would piggyback on USB 3.0

Look at all prototypes - they were all USB compatible:
http://www.engadget.com/2010/0...ect-shrinks-slightly-while/
http://www.zdnet.co.uk/reviews...peak-a-tech-guide-40089748/
"Light Peak will use familiar connections like HDMI or the USB plug (and protocol) - they'll just be faster, and they may use less power."
"A prototype Light Peak cable (left): it has the familiar USB connector, but under the pre-stretched Kevlar are two optical fibres."
http://xtreview.com/addcomment...-Light-peak-technology.html
"This time we have not only notebook, but also desktop computer with the installed prototype of interface card with the support of four ports light peak. Structurally these ports are identical to USB 3.0"
http://www.sizlopedia.com/2011...ogy-light-peak-on-thursday/

All of that was talking about prototypes, not the final connectors. You obviously missed the part (which you quoted) where they said that it would also use other connectors or protocols as well. Why are you so opposed to the fact that they decided to use Mini DisplayPort? Does their choice of connector for something you don't have yet somehow affect you? As others stated above, they likely went with a connector OTHER than USB in order to avoid confusion general consumers. And it seems that you are missing the concept that various different protocols can be run over Thunderbolt, simultaneously. One Thunderbolt port can, with the use of splitters/breakout boxes run your monitor, external hard drive, network, and your keyboard/mouse.

RealFduch said,

Lol. It WAS working. It was USB port AND USB protocol. Light Peak was supposed to be about physical media, not data protocols.
Where did you get that from? Light peak from the beginning has been using the PCIe protocol and NOT USB. They were using USB connectors (that's what they wanted to use for the final product but the USB group wasn't happy about them using the same connectors and were scared that it was going to create "confusion" (or more likely benefit THunderbolt and help kill usb3 )
Because of that they switched to a license free standard. Yes it was created by Apple but anyone is free to use it.

If they're going to use Mini-DisplayPort, they should rename the damn port. You can plug more things in than monitors.

nub said,
If they're going to use Mini-DisplayPort, they should rename the damn port. You can plug more things in than monitors.

The port on new computers such as the new Macbook Pros is called a Thunderbolt port (with the new logo on it). On older machines without Thunderbolt support, it is still called a Mini DisplayPort connection.

roadwarrior said,
All of that was talking about prototypes, not the final connectors.

Obviously. How would they talk about final connectors if they were released only couple of days ago. What's your point? Reread my first post. I was talking about final product being inferior to its prototypes.
roadwarrior said,
You obviously missed the part (which you quoted) where they said that it would also use other connectors or protocols as well.

And where is that "as well"? Where is my Light Peak with USB port and protocol?
roadwarrior said,
Why are you so opposed to the fact that they decided to use Mini DisplayPort? Does their choice of connector for something you don't have yet somehow affect you?

First problem: Mini DisplayPort is an existing port only for displays while USB port is an existing port for everything (the Light Peak's goal).
Second problem: Mini DisplayPort is a non-standard and proprietary port. USB port is standard and free.
Third problem: I already have USB devices that could benefit from Light Peak's superior speeds (from the prototype with optics-USB converter).
roadwarrior said,
And it seems that you are missing the concept that various different protocols can be run over Thunderbolt, simultaneously. One Thunderbolt port can, with the use of splitters/breakout boxes run your monitor, external hard drive, network, and your keyboard/mouse.

Just like USB lol.
roadwarrior said,
As others stated above, they likely went with a connector OTHER than USB in order to avoid confusion general consumers.

You're obviously wrong. Can't you see that both Mini DisplayPort and USB ports are existing ports (so this part of confusion is out of equation). The difference is that USB is universal port (like LightPeak/Thunderbolt) while Mini DisplayPort is non-universal (unlike Thunderbolt). Showing universal technology into a non-universal existing port instead of a universal one creates confusion.
What would you say if the used PS/2 or VGA or mini-jack or Socket AM3 as Thunderbolt port? Lot's of confusion! Even Ethernet port would be better.
If they decided against USB they should have used a NEW port, not existing non-standard non-universal Mini DisplayPort.

wotsit said,
Sign of the times. My how things have changed - debuting on a Mac!

How so? There have been several technologies that either debuted or were brought to average consumers on the Mac first. Firewire, USB, & WiFi were all unheard of (or only available in high end enthusiast machines) before they were incorporated into Macs.

roadwarrior said,

How so? There have been several technologies that either debuted or were brought to average consumers on the Mac first. Firewire, USB, & WiFi were all unheard of (or only available in high end enthusiast machines) before they were incorporated into Macs.

When did Mac introduce USB? I remember having USB ports on my old PC running Windows 95.

roadwarrior said,

How so? There have been several technologies that either debuted or were brought to average consumers on the Mac first. Firewire, USB, & WiFi were all unheard of (or only available in high end enthusiast machines) before they were incorporated into Macs.
Not strictly true for USB. There were a lot of PCs that had USB ports but they also had legacy ports. Apple was the first to get rid of the legacy ports, not the first to include USB.

/- Razorfold said,
Not strictly true for USB. There were a lot of PCs that had USB ports but they also had legacy ports. Apple was the first to get rid of the legacy ports, not the first to include USB.

My point (in the case of USB) was that Apple popularized it with the iMac. Yes, some other comptuers had it earlier, but proper USB support wasn't included in Windows until Windows 98 was released (yes, I know about the USB supplement for Windows 95, and have used it, but I'd never call it "proper USB support"), and even then it was hit or miss. Most USB peripherals at the time were released for the Mac first and Windows second due to the fact that USB on the Mac "just worked". Having the port on the machine isn't much use if there isn't anything to plug into it, or drivers for the device.

roadwarrior said,

My point (in the case of USB) was that Apple popularized it with the iMac. Yes, some other comptuers had it earlier, but proper USB support wasn't included in Windows until

Wrongo... Already dead on arrival Firewire was SPECIFICALLY created and promoted by Apple ad nauseum in order to avoid going USB and paying those licensing fees. Apple lost that race and have now joined into the Light Peak (now Thundebolt) spec, announcing products using it a few days before everyone else does.

These are all Intel chips, etc. Every motherboard will have this very shortly.

excalpius said,

Already dead on arrival Firewire was SPECIFICALLY created and promoted by Apple ad nauseum in order to avoid going USB and paying those licensing fees.

Where in the hell did you get that idea?? USB was (at the time) for low bandwidth devices such as mice, keyboards, etc., while firewire was for high bandwidth applications such as digital camcorders, hard drives, and higher-end webcams like the original iSight. Firewire was never intended to be a replacement for USB, it was meant to complement it.

roadwarrior said,

Where in the hell did you get that idea?? USB was (at the time) for low bandwidth devices such as mice, keyboards, etc., while firewire was for high bandwidth applications such as digital camcorders, hard drives, and higher-end webcams like the original iSight. Firewire was never intended to be a replacement for USB, it was meant to complement it.

no actually in the start they wanted fireWire everywhere. they even wanetd your house wired with it, even hooking up stuff like electric heaters and stuff for some reason (as if networks wheren't good enough...)

This failed because Apple went in two direction on the same thing, they advertised that they wanted firewire everywhere and it was a better technology than USB (which arguably it was, it just worked and was faster). however at the same time, they required anyone to pay ridiculous amount of money for it, and for the device manufacturers, USB was just an overall better and easier alternative because they never needed the firewire speed.

then Apple decided to change their mind and pretend they never wanted firewire to take over and went all USB happy. and a few revisionist apple history books later. that's the story, Apple made USB and changed the world with USB....

Wireless is not stable enought to be transmitting 1080p video at 60hz. It's good for network reach, mouse, Keyb, Controllers, Headset etc but video need constant performance. Also the 2.4ghz band is getting really busy now a day :0

ryoohki said,
Wireless is not stable enought to be transmitting 1080p video at 60hz. It's good for network reach, mouse, Keyb, Controllers, Headset etc but video need constant performance. Also the 2.4ghz band is getting really busy now a day :0
Wireless N dual band supports 5Ghz

ryoohki said,
Wireless is not stable enought to be transmitting 1080p video at 60hz. It's good for network reach, mouse, Keyb, Controllers, Headset etc but video need constant performance. Also the 2.4ghz band is getting really busy now a day :0

What do you mean by busy? All over the world or in your neighborhood?

Because that's why the range of 2.4GHz routers isn't so big. It's not particularly a bad thing. It's to define a surrounding spot where the band will be used. All around it, the 2.4 GHz frequency is not used.

Ok, I have a question, on the wiki article for Light Peak, it says that this technology can replace not only USB and Firewire, but SATA and SCSI, etc... Does that mean that future computer will have all their innards cable as Thunderbolts connection? Actually, is that true for the new MacBook Pro or is it only that they offer external I/O connectivity for the moment?

djesteban said,
Ok, I have a question, on the wiki article for Light Peak, it says that this technology can replace not only USB and Firewire, but SATA and SCSI, etc... Does that mean that future computer will have all their innards cable as Thunderbolts connection? Actually, is that true for the new MacBook Pro or is it only that they offer external I/O connectivity for the moment?

It's possible but depends on costs, needs and ultimately market penetration. We've had Fibre Channel for years which offers dramatic bandwidth, but it's strictly reserved to the enterprise segment.

Theoretical max bandwidth breakdown:

FireWire 1394b - 800Mb/sec
USB 2.0 480 Mb/sec
USB 3.0 5.0Gbit/sec (@SS)
SATA 6Gbit/s
Light Peak 10Gbit/sec
PCI Express 2.x 64Gb/sec
PCI Express 3.0 128Gb/sec

Not bad, I'd say, waiting to see how they'll enforce adoption in the mainstream market.

Breach said,
Theoretical max bandwidth breakdown:

FireWire 1394b - 800Mb/sec
USB 2.0 480 Mb/sec
USB 3.0 5.0Gbit/sec (@SS)
SATA 6Gbit/s
Light Peak 10Gbit/sec
PCI Express 2.x 64Gb/sec
PCI Express 3.0 128Gb/sec

Not bad, I'd say, waiting to see how they'll enforce adoption in the mainstream market.

LIGHTPEAK is 2 channels of 10gigabits for each connector so if you can use both channels at once that makes 20 gigabits in each direction

This is a great technology and all, but why can't Intel and Apple work on wireless technologies that do similar functions. This is just adding more wires that we don't need!

daz411 said,
This is a great technology and all, but why can't Intel and Apple work on wireless technologies that do similar functions. This is just adding more wires that we don't need!
Intel is working on it, some new laptops come with wireless cards that support Intel's wireless display thing. And then they have MyWiFi which deals with quickly sharing files and stuff over wifi without any setup.

Mostly its just because speed is limited. I mean sure N supports upto 450Mb/s but when you consider that a high-res display requires a high data rate (2560x1600 is like 10.6Gb/s)..the wireless technology just isn't there yet to support those kinds of bandwidth / latency requirements.

Will there be Lightpeak (thunderbolt) PCIe cards so computers without the tech can get in on the speed?

I agree that the thunderbolt name is not as good as the lightpeak name. but then it was the same with Microsoft Kinnect which was known as Project Natal... old name was better IMO

Inklin said,
Will there be Lightpeak (thunderbolt) PCIe cards so computers without the tech can get in on the speed?
I don't see why not, it should be pretty easy since it's the same protocol

When I was reading up on this earlier, I believe it said that it would have to be a 16x PCIe card, so unless your motherboard has two or you want to replace your video card with a Thunderbolt card, I don't see it happening.

roadwarrior said,
When I was reading up on this earlier, I believe it said that it would have to be a 16x PCIe card, so unless your motherboard has two or you want to replace your video card with a Thunderbolt card, I don't see it happening.
Technically a 2x PCIe 3.0 slot would be enough (or 4x PCIe 2.0)

roadwarrior said,

True, but considering that most motherboards already in use probably only have a couple of 1x and a single 16x (or even only an 8x) slot, it would in practice need a 16x slot, which for many people would mean removing their stand-alone video card.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_Peak#History

The ideal solution is buying a motherboard that has built in support for it

Rudy said,
The ideal solution is buying a motherboard that has built in support for it

Yes, that is true. However, I did just now notice that I had misread the Wikipedia link I just posted. It was talking about an add-in card with 4 ports. Even so, a 1x card (even with only a single port) simply isn't going to provide the best performance.

roadwarrior said,
When I was reading up on this earlier, I believe it said that it would have to be a 16x PCIe card, so unless your motherboard has two or you want to replace your video card with a Thunderbolt card, I don't see it happening.

Guess I'm completely out of luck then, as I don't see myself replacing my mobo. Wish I could afford a sandy bridge processor to make a mobo upgrade worthwhile. I have the i5 750 currently. board is OEM.

Inklin said,
Will there be Lightpeak (thunderbolt) PCIe cards so computers without the tech can get in on the speed?

I agree that the thunderbolt name is not as good as the lightpeak name. but then it was the same with Microsoft Kinnect which was known as Project Natal... old name was better IMO

There *will* be Thunderbolt add-on cards (likely of the PCIe x4 sort) just as there are USB3 add-on cards today (there may also be combo-cards, ala SIIG ISA Master + I/O of yore).

SIIG (which is still around, by the way) made their name on replacement and capability-adding I/O cards back when the 486 was still *it*, and we already had *bus fractures* with EISA and VL-Bus, along with old-standard ISA-bus I/O cards. SIIG made add-on cards for all three buses (VL Master, EISA Master, and ISA Master with or without I/O). The ISA Master + I/O was the flagship of the ISA-bus end of the SIIG line, and for good reason:

1. In addition to supporting booting IDE hard drives, it allowed the booting of other non-hard-drive IDE devices, like optical drives, which a lot of 486-based, and most 386-based BIOSes normally banned.

2. It added faster (and well-buffered) serial and parallel ports (+I/O models) - typically two 16550AFN serial ports and an additional parallel port. (Remember, this was WAY before USB.)

3. It also didn't cost as much as replacing the motherboard. (I bought a new ISA Master + I/O for a mere $40 in 1997 for a project - retrofitting my original Windows 95 beta PC to run Windows NT 3.51 Workstation. I, like most folks, find the idea of creating the boot floppies for setting up Windows NT loathesome - however, the only reliable way around that was for booting from the NT CD, and that was something that very few non-Pentiums could do, and this was a 386DX-40. It had plenty of RAM (I had already shoehorned 16 MB of RAM into it) - the issue was the motherboard's BIOS didn't support CD-based booting. Fortunately, the ISA Master + I/O had its own onboard BIOS, which could override that of the motherboard for devices connected to it (which meant I could have the CD drive on one port. and the target HDD on another). The project was a success, earning many looks of disbelief (except from fellow members of ASUG, the Washington, DC-based Windows NT user group - they figured I'd get it done).

Rudy said,
The ideal solution is buying a motherboard that has built in support for it

Thats the idea!. Then a few months later, they will release light peak 2.0 and you will need to upgrade your motherboard, again. Its a race that you will never win but them

what said,
I wonder how retarded HTC is feeling and whether they'll file a lawsuit for this...

They can't win a lawsuit. The products are too dissimilar and the name is a generic word.

geoken said,
They can't win a lawsuit. The products are too dissimilar and the name is a generic word.

Yup but that doesn't stop some companies from trying.

Jombi said,
Sweet, faster "movie" downloads.

How is that going to work? You've found an ISP who will run a light peak cable directly to your home?

On that note. Since the fastest SSDs (and controllers) right now still can't max out even the new 6Gbps SATA3 spec, just exactly what is connected at the other end of the TB cable that delivers that movie in "10 seconds", eh?!

It sure as hell isn't a mechanical SATA3 drive...

Funny how no one has bothered to ask that in any of the hype articles I've seen.

GP007 said,
You know, the first name, Light Peak made sense, we're using light, but Thunderbolt? Really?

Well it isn't using light atm. It's copper so that's prob why.

GP007 said,
You know, the first name, Light Peak made sense, we're using light, but Thunderbolt? Really?

Erm, I'm curious... can you tell me what a thunderbolt is made of?

But yeah, Light Peak *sounds* much better to the ear.

GP007 said,
You know, the first name, Light Peak made sense, we're using light, but Thunderbolt? Really?

Copper Peak?
Copper Thunder?
Thunder Copper?

GP007 said,
You know, the first name, Light Peak made sense, we're using light, but Thunderbolt? Really?

You have to consider international marketing with a product name. For example, somewhere "light peak" translates to "one who molests chickens". Who'd want to buy that? Switching it to "Thunderbolt" solves that problem.

Hollow.Droid said,
Thunderbolts are lightning...see what I did there. No need to applaud, I'm here all week.

And lightning is actually made up of electricity, which is what Thunderbolt uses.

Neb Okla said,

You have to consider international marketing with a product name. For example, somewhere "light peak" translates to "one who molests chickens". Who'd want to buy that? Switching it to "Thunderbolt" solves that problem.


WTF

roadwarrior said,

And lightning is actually made up of electricity, which is what Thunderbolt uses.

Yup it's a play on words close to the level of Shakespeare

Neb Okla said,

You have to consider international marketing with a product name. For example, somewhere "light peak" translates to "one who molests chickens". Who'd want to buy that? Switching it to "Thunderbolt" solves that problem.


May I know which country is that?

Hollow.Droid said,
Thunderbolts are lightning...see what I did there. No need to applaud, I'm here all week.

Technically, there is no such thing as a bolt of thunder. Thunder is the sound wave produced when a bolt of lightning rapidly heats the surrounding air. Normally referred to as a rumble of thunder or even a crack of thunder.

RangerLG said,

Technically, there is no such thing as a bolt of thunder. Thunder is the sound wave produced when a bolt of lightning rapidly heats the surrounding air. Normally referred to as a rumble of thunder or even a crack of thunder.

"claps" I was wondering how long it would take for someone to bring facts into this. I'm with you though, let the kids have their silly laughs.

ccoltmanm said,
Light Peak is a better sounding name then Thunderbolt.

Completely agree.
"Do you have a thunderbolt cable handy?" See.. that doesn't work.. "Do you have a light peak cable handy?" that sounds better

ccoltmanm said,
Light Peak is a better sounding name then Thunderbolt.
Yea but the name makes no sense now that they're using copper

ccoltmanm said,
Light Peak is a better sounding name then Thunderbolt.

Light Peak sounds gay
Thunderbolt sounds bad ass geek stuff

Meconio said,

Light Peak sounds gay
Thunderbolt sounds bad ass geek stuff

Methinks someone switched the polarity on your gaydar, amigo. 8P

ccoltmanm said,
Light Peak is a better sounding name then Thunderbolt.

I agree, Thunderbolt is probably the worst technology name I have ever heard.

Copper Peak for copper variation
Light Peak for optical variation

I would love to see this become the tech standard for the cables

The article doesn't mention it, but this thing is going to be 100Gbps in just a few years (or months)

PyX said,
The article doesn't mention it, but this thing is going to be 100Gbps in just a few years (or months)

Yea, I think I read they were using copper wire for its first iterations.

Reacon said,
Yea, I think I read they were using copper wire for its first iterations.

Exactly. The Thunderbolt technology we're seeing today is NOT where Intel wants to lead us.
Ultimately, they want to lead us to fiber optics, which will be 10 times as fast.

PyX said,
The article doesn't mention it, but this thing is going to be 100Gbps in just a few years (or months)

Is it just the cable that is the bottleneck at the moment? Will you be able to buy the first iteration of this and upgrade with nothing but a better cable or does the rest of the technology need an update to work with fibre?

Meconio said,
seriously doubt it, unless the internal bus of the motherboard is also made with optic fiber.

lol. Sure it is all copper. But a long copper cable run would be the bottle neck. Short copper traces on a circuit board and a fast enough controller should work if they are designed right.

PyX said,
The article doesn't mention it, but this thing is going to be 100Gbps in just a few years (or months)

Actually it's hardly Revolutionary when you consider that Sony (Toshiba, IBM & Rambus) were doing doing 100Gbps years ago. In fact the Technology Intel is using is licensed from Rambus including the controllers on each side of the bus (actually ringbus technology)!

Rambus named their technology "Flexphase" and it does not depend on time phased and distance traces. But instead uses Frequency modulation and acceleration coupled with heavy duty Ramdacs to simultaneously transfer data in two directions at various speeds. Making them totally invisible to each other!

Rambus are already working on the Next Generation of Data Bus Technology!!!

Meconio said,
seriously doubt it, unless the internal bus of the motherboard is also made with optic fiber.

no, copper is able to transfer at the same speed as fiber technically. the problem is distance. The electric pulses in copper degrade over distance and flatten out. SO inside the motherboard the copper won't have any problem at these speeds. the only problem then there would be EM interference.

And RamBus again, the black hated sheep of the tech world, why would intel go in bed with them yet again.