Although details have been leaking out regarding Intel’s new uber-connection for a while now, today the curtain has officially been pulled back and details on the new Thunderbolt data transfer connection have been released.
Basically it is fast. Very, very fast. Originally operating under the code name “Light Peak”, Thunderbolt will allow data transfers of up to 10GBps. To put that in perspective, USB 3.0—which is still relatively new, just over two years old—transfers data at around 5Gbps at best. USB 2.0, which is still far more widespread than USB 3.0, transfers a meager 480 megabits per second. USB 1 transfers a lowly and almost pitiable 12 Mbps. Using the Thunderbolt connection, transferring a full-length HD movie will take less than 30 seconds.
Using an Intel controller chip, the system does away with copper connections and transfers data via light. Intel is also boasting that future versions of this technology could see data transferred at speeds as fast as 100Gbps.
Apple is expected to be the first company to benefit from the new connection, and many are suspecting that a new MacBook will be announced tomorrow that features the Thunderbolt. Several other companies have also announced their support for the new system, and within the year Thunderbolt may be a standard on all new computers.
Goodbye USB, and thanks for all the memories.