Asus Unveils Thunderbolt Add-In Upgrade Card
Asus is demonstrating the first add-in card to extend its motherboards with Thunderbolt support.
Asus is demonstrating at Computex 2012 the first add-in card to extend its motherboards with Thunderbolt support. Available in July for about $200, the ThunderboltEX PCIe card is connected to a graphics card or onboard graphics via DisplayPort. The loop-through enables users to combine Thunderbolt with a powerful graphics card. According to Asus, the Thunderbolt card also functions without the DP port connection; however, in this case, it will only be able to support regular data transfers to other Thunderbolt devices, but will not support a Thunderbolt display.
Depending on model, either the Thunderbolt EX and Thunderbolt EX/Dual, the add-in cards feature one or two Thunderbolt ports, one or two DisplayPort in connectors (so you can input a video signal and output to a Thunderbolt monitor), 10 Gb/s max bandwidth total, and up to 6 devices in a daisy-chain.
Only ten Asus motherboards currently support the add-in card. A requirement for the card is a TB_Header port which is only available on Ivy Bridge boards with H77 and Z77 chipsets. The supported boards are the P8Z77-V Deluxe, P8Z77-V, P8Z77-V LE, P8H77-V, Sabertooth Z77, P8Z77-V Pro, P8Z77-V LE Plus, P8-Z77-V LK, P8H77-M Pro and Maximus V Gene.