While we may have USB 3.0 and eSATA, but the real high-speed next generation connector could be Intel Light Peak – or should we say, Thunderbolt.
Today Intel officially announced that its Light Peak technology would be branded as Thunderbolt on all platforms (not just Apple making up fancy names). We didn't feel that there was anything wrong with Light Peak; we had grown quite fond of using that name. But for the casual consumer, Thunderbolt likely sounds more like something cool out of a comic book.
Thunderbolt features two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to 10Gbps each, and delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters.
Intel boasts that the speed offered by Thunderbolt is enough to transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds or backup 1 year of continuous MP3 playback in just over 10 minutes.
Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays, which is its implementation on the Apple MacBook Pros with the shared Thunderbolt/DisplayPort.
Other features include:
* Daisy-chained devices
* Electrical or optical cables
* Low latency with highly accurate time synchronization
* Uses native protocol software drivers
* Power over cable for bus-powered devices