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Intel Ditches 'Falcon Ridge' Codename for Thunderbolt 2

By - Source: Intel | B 13 comments

Two months after its debut, Intel has made Thunderbolt 2 official.

Intel announced the next generation of Thunderbolt way back in April, at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show. At the time, the controller was codenamed "Falcon Ridge" running at 20Gbs, a doubling of the bandwidth over the original Thunderbolt. Intel this week decided to make things formal and official. In a blog post published yesterday, Intel's Dan Snyder revealed that the next generation of Thunderbolt will (rather imaginatively) be named 'Thunderbolt 2.'


Snyder says Thunderbolt 2 will enable 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously by combining two previously independent 10Gbs channels into one 20Gbs bi-directional channel that supports data and/or display. What's more, DisplayPort 1.2 support means it's possible to stream video to a single 4K monitor or dual QHD monitors. There's also full backward compatibility to the same cables and connectors used with today’s Thunderbolt. The current iteration of Thunderbolt is limited to an individual 10Gbs channel each for both data and display, which doesn't meet the required bandwidth for 4K video transfer.

"By combining 20Gbs bandwidth with DisplayPort 1.2 support, Thunderbolt 2 creates an entirely new way of thinking about 4K workflows, specifically the ability to support raw 4K video transfer and data delivery concurrently," Jason Ziller, Marketing Director for Thunderbolt at Intel, said in a statement. "And our labs aren’t stopping there, as demand for video and rich data transfer just continues to rise exponentially."

Intel is showing off  20Gbs Thunderbolt 2 tech at Computex 2013 in Taipei this week. The chipmaker is promising Thunderbolt 2 products by end of year and into 2014.

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  • 0 Hide
    spentshells , June 5, 2013 12:09 PM
    Falcon punch
  • -4 Hide
    de5_Roy , June 5, 2013 12:32 PM
    why doesn't intel rename the unimaginatively named thunderbolt 2 to something interesting like amd's D*ck Port (previously lightning bolt)? at least amd's name leaves something up to people's imagination....
  • -1 Hide
    christop , June 5, 2013 12:36 PM
    It is cool and all but will usb 4.0 be just as fast? Reminds me of Apples fire wire connection..
  • 1 Hide
    itsnotmeitsyou , June 5, 2013 1:04 PM
    "reminds me of Apple's fire wire connection..."

    which was an industry tested solution and used by people in the audio-video arena *still*. Thunderbolt is largely intel, fortunately we are starting to see PC motherboards with TB links. As problematic as my experiences are with USB3.0 I am looking forward to getting my hands on Thunderbolt hardware.
  • 0 Hide
    vertigo_2000 , June 5, 2013 1:40 PM
    I don't have it on my MB so I'm not in the market. How widespread are Thunderbolt peripherals? And price-wise, how do they compare to USB3.0 (ie. external HDD)?
  • 1 Hide
    thundervore , June 5, 2013 1:45 PM
    Um yea sure.
    I can wait 5 years for these to be as cheap as the USB 3 alternative which is pretty cheap at the time of this post. All i see from Thunderbolt are hardware that turn the port into other ports or enclosures that cost an arm and a leg when compared to the USB3/Esata alternative. If its all just the same ill stick with current technology that proven true.
  • 0 Hide
    vertigo_2000 , June 5, 2013 2:39 PM
    I don't have it on my MB so I'm not in the market. How widespread are Thunderbolt peripherals? And price-wise, how do they compare to USB3.0 (ie. external HDD)?
  • 0 Hide
    itsnotmeitsyou , June 5, 2013 3:07 PM
    Thunderbolt peripherals are on the rise, but until the port becomes a standard feature on consumer grade PCs, its not going to be prevalent. It is a niche tool, and if you don't want it, its likely you don't need it. If you are a video pro, transferring large video archives frequently, or in my case, an IT pro who uses external storage for machine images >30gb ea, Thunderbolt becomes a very attractive option. FWIW my expectations for USB 3.0 were high, but I cant image a machine from a USB 3.0 device without consistency errors, which I could do on USB 2.0 no problem.

    A quick newegg search shows cheap USB 3.0 on-sale at $60 ("normally" $80), while the cheapest TB drive is $160, so more than double. As I said, my experience with USB 3.0 for robust external storage has been less than favorable. You determine your own needs, but search Toms for reviews and benchmarks on TB storage and the data is consistently promising. More-so than USB3.o, and the less common eSata.

    No doubt average consumers, Performance gamers, etc aren't in a hurry to get something they dont need. Industry pros dealing in sizable data chunks that need to be portable however are "all ears."
  • 0 Hide
    jurassic1024 , June 5, 2013 3:18 PM
    TB is for techies obsessed with backups, that's it. AKA, a niche market. Enjoy it while you can. TB does 4K support? pfft, HDMI 1.4a can do that, and everyone is already using it, but TB?... Garbage. TB is about as useless as tablets. I see 1 tablet for every 50 people I see with their eyes on their phones.
  • -1 Hide
    Chris Rodinis , June 5, 2013 3:56 PM
    Powered by Intel:
  • 0 Hide
    bucknutty , June 5, 2013 5:23 PM
    Whats a thunderbolt?
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , June 5, 2013 7:44 PM
    One more nail in console's coffins. Intel has no reason to keep a 1080p console alive for 8yrs when there are no chips from them in it. They'll be more than happy to sell you a 4K tablet etc though to output your game to your TV over the next 8yrs. This is the building block for doing that. Of course all the others in the soc market will benefit from 4K vs. 1080p consoles too. As the GDC 2013 game developer survey shows, 60% are planning mobile stuff only 11% planning next gen games. This margin will only get worse as mobile power grows and we approach 1.5B units per year to sell games to vs. a 35mil a year console trio total. You can sell your AAA game for $10 (assuming 7mil to make it like the witcher 1 & 2) and get rich on mobile. Think about that 1.5B number of YEARLY units for a second. Only 1million need to buy a $10 game to recover 10mil which would make a hefty profit for someone like CDprojekt with witcher 1 & 2 only costing 7mil each. EA and Square Enix already sell games from $15-20. It's not hard to get 1million out of 1.5B users to pay $10-20 if your game is any good at all. Meanwhile consoles will be trying to sell you a game for $70 if rumors of the $10 increase is true...LOL. Good luck consoles. Here comes 4k with PC's ALSO pushing their gpu's to your TV via miracast etc and you on your couch with a x360 controller...ROFL. Intel would rather have you do that than buy a console, at least they sell you a cpu (and they probably hope a gpu int he next few years). Consoles will be the same until 2021+. Consoles are about to hit a res my dad's nexus 10 already tops...Almost all tablets coming this year have that res and will continue to gain in power, memory etc around them every year to output better and better stuff to TV over 1080p stuck in stone consoles. I'm sure AMD is having to work on getting their gpu to tv now also just as NV is doing with shield. In another 2yrs everything should be able to output your PC gpu to your tv via something (win8.1 just added support for miracast). All new phones/tablets have miracast now too. Still waiting for the update for nexus 10, but nexus 4 etc already had it last year.

    Consoles are dead. If AMD hadn't made the mistake of spending wads of R&D on them, we'd have Volcanic Islands LAST xmas, not this xmas or at least SOMETHING new rather than the same 7970ghz for 2yrs with a few more games added as sales tank. Or at worst the drivers might have worked right all year instead of waiting for prototype etc to fix their problems (enduro still sucks too). Did I mention I hate consoles holding back my pc experiences? :) 
  • 0 Hide
    m1boy , June 6, 2013 7:51 AM
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