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Ultrabooks Will Be Zapped By Thunderbolt in 2Q12

Industry sources have spoken, and they declare that Acer, Asus and Lenovo will likely throw Intel's Thunderbolt connectivity technology into their Ivy Bridge-based ultrabook recipe for 2Q12, as Intel's platform supports the Thunderbolt tech. The report also indicates that these ultrabooks will use motherboards provided by Gigabyte Technology

"Gigabyte is working with Intel on introducing some of the first retail desktop PC motherboards that will be available later this year, in accordance with Intel's release guideline," the company told Tom's in an emailed statement. "We plan to continue our leadership position in the USB 3.0 desktop motherboards space with more SuperSpeed USB ports on more models than ever before, while also seeing huge potential for Thunderbolt on the desktop for PC case and other accessory vendors who want to offer multiple easily accessible high speed connectors from a single motherboard interface."

Gigabyte also informed us that it's providing Thunderbolt motherboads for desktops only, not for ultrabooks. "Acer, Asus and other notebook manufacturers make their own motherboards.

But having Thunderbolt connectivity in an ultrabook will come with a price. Sources point out that Thunderbolt is still expensive, adding $20 per unit. One of the major selling factors for ultrabooks is in fact pricing, supposedly residing below the $1000 price cap to stay somewhat affordable for the mainstream consumer.

That said, the tech is expected to be integrated into high-end models that will likely reach beyond Intel's requested limit. Thunderbolt is also expected to be integrated into high-end desktops and notebooks in 2012 as well.

So what's the big deal with Thunderbolt? We've covered every aspect of this tech for quite a while, but for the uninitiated, it allows multiple connections via one port, supporting both PCI-Express data transmissions and DisplayPort image/video transmissions. This will likely open the door to incredible upgrade options without having to purchase a new ultrabook or laptop. Paying the extra price for Thunderbolt will undoubtedly be worth the money in the long run.

In addition to Thunderbolt, sources note that Intel's Ivy Bridge will natively support SuperSpeed USB 3.0, and will be mainly equipped in mid-range to high-end PCs in 2012. USB 3.0, a nice alternative to Thunderbolt, will be fully standardized by 2013, they said, finally replacing USB 2.0.

  • classzero
    Thunderbolt is an Apple trademark, I think it has to be called something else.
    Reply
  • burnley14
    ClasszeroThunderbolt is an Apple trademark, I think it has to be called something else.Nope, it's Intel.
    Reply
  • classzero
    ClasszeroThunderbolt is an Apple trademark, I think it has to be called something else.
    I am sorry, Intel does indeed own that trademark. Please disregard my previous post.
    Reply
  • classzero
    burnley14Nope, it's Intel.
    You beat me to it.
    Reply
  • extremepcs
    Why did Apple get an exclusive license for it again? Shame on you, Intel.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    On the plus side, now people can install external GPUs. The question is, who will manufacture external GPUs that can actually run games at reasonable FPS?
    Reply
  • kenyee
    I still want 4 SODIMM slots in an UltrabooK :-P
    Reply
  • __-_-_-__
    extremepcsWhy did Apple get an exclusive license for it again? Shame on you, Intel.that's not true. Actually there's already an old sony notebook with thunderbolt.

    kenyeeI still want 4 SODIMM slots in an UltrabooK :-Pyou can already have that. and if you don't want an ultra you can have a notebook with 6 ram slots.

    A Bad DayOn the plus side, now people can install external GPUs. The question is, who will manufacture external GPUs that can actually run games at reasonable FPS?you don't manufacture external gpu's. there isn't such a thing. you either use "internal" mxm notebook graphic cards as external (which is stupid since it's external you need a power source) or you use a desktop graphic card connected to the notebook.
    the problem is always the connection. currently you can use mini pci-e and/or expresscard but that still limits the performance at about 50%. which is not bad.
    thunderbolt will enable cards to have about 80% to 95%.
    you can buy it here: http://www.hwtools.net/ they'll also make thunderbolt versions.
    more info here: http://forum.notebookreview.com/gaming-software-graphics-cards/418851-diy-egpu-experiences.htmlthere are more companies announcing external gpu's but usually most don't develop the product or the product is insanely expensive. hwtools is the way to go.

    thunderbolt will truly revolutionize mobile computing. you can have a small portable ultrabook and when connected to an external graphic card you have a high-end desktop. you can always connect to an lcd and keyboard etc.

    notebook manufacturers always avoided this from happening. they always avoided giving an upgrade path for graphic cards. mxm could deliver that and it's 10 years old. external gpu's were never and will never be implemented by notebook manufacturers. they make too much money just selling new notebooks then selling upgrades.
    but by the force of technological improvements they can't resist anymore. someone will have the thunderbolt product and make millions. now we have an almost bottleneck free interface for adding external gpu's. now you can upgrade almost everything: gpu, cpu, hdd/ssd, ram, odd, wifi, mini-pci stuff etc.

    I'm really looking forward to buy a cheap thunderbolt notebook so I can upgrade to a good cpu and add an external graphic card. then I'll sell my desktop.
    Reply
  • inthere
    You can also daisy chain external SSD's with Thunderbolt. There's a YouTube vid with 4 Lacies going for 1100mb/sec I believe.
    Reply
  • danwat1234
    I'm satisfied with Expresscard. I have Expresscard 1.0, 250MB's theoretical and a USB 3 card in it. Even though I'm a power user, I'm sure it'll be enough bandwidth for whatever I'd want to use my laptop for.

    I guess Ultrabooks won't have expresscard 2.0, no space for even 34mm cards? If all utrabooks came with USB3, I don't think many people would complain about not having thunderbolt, as long as the ultrabook came with HDMI too.
    Reply