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.