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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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

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..

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.)

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.

Just call it thunderlightsuperfastwtfomgbbqboltcableripoffsoontobereplacedbyabettercablewithanothernamewhydidyoupayforthisweareusingcopperfornowandnotlightsothat'swhywechangedthenamecablechucknorriscable.

Woops I broke the page

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.

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.

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