Thunderbolt port coming to Acer and Asus PCs in 2012

For the past several months, the only way to get a PC or notebook with the fast Thunderbolt port was to buy a product from Apple. That will be changing in the coming months. Infoworld reports that Thunderbolt's owners Intel have announced that the port will be a part of Windows-based PCs starting sometime in 2012. Acer and Asus will be the first PC makers that will provide the Thunderbolt port on their products.

Thunderbolt was first announced back in February and allows for data transfers at speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. The port was first made available on Apple's MacBook Pro notebooks and has since been used on other Apple PCs. However Intel owns the trademark and had always planned to expand the reach of the port technology to other products. Today at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel had a onstage demo that showed Thunderbolt could transfer a video from a solid state drive to a PC at speeds of 700 megabytes a second.

The Thunderbolt port will likely compete for PC space with USB 3.0, the latest version of the Universal Serial Bus port technology that is just beginning to find a way into new PCs. While USB 3.0 has data transfer speeds of up to 5 gigabits per second it is also backwards compatible with all of the older USB 2.0 devices that have been released. Microsoft also announced that its upcoming Windows 8 operating system will natively support USB 3.0.

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13 Comments

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Firewire Take 2? There is already 2 different variants of Firewire in production - although the Non-Mac PC World doesn't really take on Firewire 800, they stay at Firewire 400 unless your in real high end multimedia.

To quote a post by Breach here on Neowin....

http://www.neowin.net/news/int...ormally-known-as-light-peak

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

Look at the theoretical max transfer speed of Light Peak / Thunderbolt, and also look at the "INTEL" not "APPLE" Its an Intel standard, that Apple utilises, not an Apple Standard.

Apple Utilises it because it allows them to combine the existing Mini-Display Port in most of their modern laptop designs, and remove the Firewire port. I need to get a new Thunderbolt HD to back up my Air as a result, but the speed boost is worth it. But while its not backwards compatible with Firewire itself, it is backwards compatible with the Mini-Display port, and has a current forward projected capability towards fibre optic connections using the same connection - with the transmission between copper and fibre to occur in the cable.

USB is, and always had been, processor intensive. Having used both USB 1.0 vs Firewire 400 and USB 2.0 vs Firewire 800 I have always gone for Firewire over USB. When I can copy data at twice the rate over firewire compared to USB - rough estimate I always chose Firewire. While theoretically USB 2.0 is 480 not 400, its a burst speed value, not a sustained.

High End Multimedia Users and Network Admin's that use HD's for either Audio/Video or Large Volume/Speed transfers, usually choose Firewire over USB where that option exists. To put it simply - if your encoding Video, your USB Transfer Speed slows down dramatically - a BIG problem if your exporting over the same protocol/port... With firewire this does not occur. I could Image a Mac via Firewire while booted from the same drive - 12 minutes.. Switch to the USB port on the same HD, same computer and you would be expecting roughly 30 minutes.. Multiply that by a lab of computers - (esp when you are trying to avoid saturating the network with a multicast) and you run into big time differences)

Sony used Thunderbolt in the Vaio - but utilised a non-standard USB style connector.
It appears the Acer and ASUS are going to use the Mini-Display port shaped connector which adheres to the standard.

As for why there are so many standards? Well if there wasn't you would still be using a 486... Because that was a standard.. Standards change as improvements in capabilities change. You would think that you would understand that as your commenting on tech site.. Look at the difference between IDE and SATA - thats a different connector, different standard - but guess which is more common today... or improvements with AGP and then PCI to PCIe...

Who cares, USB 3 is the way to go. Its backwards compatible, nuff said. Thunderbolt = Firewire take 2. We need universal standards amoungst devices. This ideaology of proprietary connectors is an old one and its an Apple one. You know for a man made field, the tech industry is pretty fricken complex. I guess it illustrates the lack of agreed upon elegant solutions and instead shows people ****ing on walls to mark their territory much like ally cats.

Geranium_Z__NL said,
Thunderbolt? I bet it will have some weird name.,, Since apple does want to keep this name for themselves?

Thunderbolt is Intel's name for the tech.

Wasn't Thunderbolt already present in Sony Vaio Z series? (which Sony still calls Light Peak)
Mac isn't the only way to get Thunderbolt.

Ka74ever said,
Wasn't Thunderbolt already present in Sony Vaio Z series? (which Sony still calls Light Peak)
Mac isn't the only way to get Thunderbolt.

The Vaio Z uses a proprietary connector…

It seems nobody learned anything from FireWire; once again computer buyers will be sacrificing a precious USB port for something they'll never have anything to plug into.

Wiggz said,
YAY let's more away from universal standards again - yay Intel! (fools)

That's the problem here, even though the tech is cool. I'm going to have to get a USB3.0 add-on card since my mobo doesn't support it, in the future when I'm ready to upgrade to Win8.