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FiXT February 24, 2011 08:13 AM

Thunderbolt Technology: The Fastest Data Connection to Your PC Just Arrived
 
Intel Corporation today announced the availability of Thunderbolt technology, a new high-speed PC connection technology that brings together high-speed data transfer and high-definition (HD) display on to a single cable. Running at 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt technology can transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds. This Intel-developed tech... [ Read full article ]

SKYMTL February 24, 2011 08:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CMetaphor (Post 489326)
With today's announcement of the new line of Macbooks comes something far more interesting: Thunderbolt. Specifically a new connect with up to 10Gbps speeds that is compatible with existing displayport devices.

Read more here:
Thunderbolt™ Technology

The technology uses both displayport and pci-express protocols - meaning most likely that we will be seeing PCI-express (more likely 8x, but maybe 16x) add-on cards to allow any system to add this connection type.

Now, my question? Will it be compatible with the Displayport connections on current-generation graphics cards?

1) The Thunderbolt controller connects to the PCH via a 4x PCI-E interface which means 8x / 16x add in cards would be pointless.

2) No. Thunderbolt requires a signal to be sent from origin controller to destination controller. That means if a graphics card doesn't have a TB licensed chip, it will not be compatible with TB products.

CMetaphor February 24, 2011 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SKYMTL (Post 489334)
1) The Thunderbolt controller connects to the PCH via a 4x PCI-E interface which means 8x / 16x add in cards would be pointless.

2) No. Thunderbolt requires a signal to be sent from origin controller to destination controller. That means if a graphics card doesn't have a TB licensed chip, it will not be compatible with TB products.

1) Alright then, my mistake on that part. But add-in cards COULD still be coming out soon (as opposed to having whole new motherboards to have this feature). That was my whole point: That the controller itself would work fine via PCIe so there's no reason they couldn't make add-in cards.

2) Thats unfortunate. But what is the requirement for a controller to be designated as "licensed"? Is there a physical proprietary chip that is required? Or can it be implemented with code and added to existing displayport products?

SKYMTL February 24, 2011 10:51 AM

There are add-in cards coming and yes, it requires a proprietary host controller chip.

Desiato February 24, 2011 12:42 PM

I'm interested in how much this tech will cost:
- cables
- hubs
- added cost to computers and devices

I'm kind of intrigued by Thunderbolt, but I don't like the politics behind it that are interfering with the adoption of USB 3; which currently makes more sense than thunderbolt for more than 99% of users in my opinion.

I wonder what the impact on HDBaseT -- which is also about 10Gb/s -- will be. I guess the technologies could be complementary with the use of hybrid hubs. From what I know of each tech, I would prefer widespread support for HDBaseT; in the short term at least.

Polygon February 24, 2011 01:44 PM

I remember hearing about intels "cable to replace all cables" thingy a while ago, is this the same thing?

Quote:

Intel is working with the industry on a range of Thunderbolt technology-enabled products including computers, displays, storage devices, audio/video devices, cameras, docking stations and more.
so what will this mean, are there any specifics? Will USB, SATA, HDMI, CAT6 all get replaced by this super cable?

SneakySnake February 24, 2011 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Desiato (Post 489412)
I'm kind of intrigued by Thunderbolt, but I don't like the politics behind it that are interfering with the adoption of USB 3; which currently makes more sense than thunderbolt for more than 99% of users in my opinion.

Well the only real reason I need USB3 is for external HDD's, I would way rather get an external for thunderbolt then USB3. I bought a 2 TB external HDD 2 days ago that I am going to return now, Lacie and Pegasus have already committed to making thundrbolt externals so I'll get one of those and a thunderbolt add on card for my mobo

Desiato February 24, 2011 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SneakySnake (Post 489463)
Well the only real reason I need USB3 is for external HDD's, I would way rather get an external for thunderbolt then USB3. I bought a 2 TB external HDD 2 days ago that I am going to return now, Lacie and Pegasus have already committed to making thundrbolt externals so I'll get one of those and a thunderbolt add on card for my mobo

How will that benefit you?

lowfat February 24, 2011 03:43 PM

I can't wait till good Thunderbolt/Lightpeak hubs are available. Imagine eSATA, DisplayPort, USB3.0, etc all on a single hub w/ a single cable. http://smiliesftw.com/x/eek5r.gif

Desiato February 24, 2011 04:39 PM

What's exciting to me is a Thunderbolt home network where each device is accessible by any "dumb terminal" consisting of a hub/dock, display and keyboard/mouse/game controller. So in theory, your Xbox 720 in the living room could be played in your bedroom with only a hub, controller and display. Or docking your phone in your kitchen and use it from any device on the network. And so on.

We're far from that, but it's conceivable. Current applications aren't worth the money to me.


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