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Intel Corp. this week announced final name for the next-generation Thunderbolt technology that boasts 20Gb/s bi-directional transfer speeds over copper wires. The Thunderbolt 2 will not only improve speeds, but will also enable display of ultra-high-definition video in 4K resolution (3840*2160 or similar). The new technology will create a new class of devices that will include PCs, displays, external storage solutions and so on.

At the video geekfest National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in April, Intel announced plans for an important advancement in Thunderbolt technology – the upcoming controller codenamed “Falcon Ridge” running at 20Gb/s, a doubling of the bandwidth over the original Thunderbolt. Named Thunderbolt 2, this next generation of the technology enables 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously.  It is achieved by combining the two previously independent 10Gb/s channels into one 20Gb/s bi-directional channel that supports data and/or display.

Current versions of Thunderbolt, although faster than other PC I/O technologies on the market today, are limited to an individual 10Gb/s channel each for both data and display, less than the required bandwidth for 4K video transfer. Also, the addition of DisplayPort 1.2 support in Thunderbolt 2 enables video streaming to a single 4K video monitor or dual QHD monitors. All of this is made possible with full backward compatibility to the same cables and connectors used with today’s Thunderbolt. The result is great news for an industry on the cusp of widespread adoption of 4K video technologies.

“By combining 20Gb/s 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. And our labs aren’t stopping there, as demand for video and rich data transfer just continues to rise exponentially,” said Jason Ziller, marketing director for Thunderbolt at Intel.

Professionals and enthusiasts alike will be able to create, edit, and view live 4K video streams delivered from a computer to a monitor over a single cable, while backing up the same file on an external drive, or series of drives, simultaneously along the same device daisy-chain. Backing up terabytes of data will be a question of minutes, not hours.  Since Thunderbolt 2 is backwards compatible, original investments in cables and connectors continue to pay off while supporting dramatically improved performance.  Thunderbolt 2 is currently slated to begin production before the end of this year, and ramp into 2014.

“LaCie is excited to see the Thunderbolt 2 speed advancements and DP 1.2 connectivity, which will allow us to develop new unprecedented capabilities for high performance external storage. Imagine an artist working from virtually anywhere with just a laptop and a LaCie Little Big Disk storage drive in a backpack,” said Erwan Girard, business unit manager at LaCie.

Thunderbolt 2 is due in 2014.

Tags: Intel, Apple, Thunderbolt, Falcon Ridge, LaCie, Macintosh, 4K, UHD, UHDTV


Comments currently: 14
Discussion started: 06/05/13 09:20:06 PM
Latest comment: 07/13/16 10:50:50 AM
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The title is incorrect -- 20Gb/s, not 20Mb/s.
2 0 [Posted by: gamoniac  | Date: 06/05/13 09:20:06 PM]
- collapse thread

0 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 07/07/13 02:07:31 AM]

it is almost impossible to find intel thunderbolt in any windows based pc coz intel thundebolt is too costly, AMD lightning bolt can do all same things and is much lower priced than thunderbolt.
5 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 06/06/13 12:49:06 AM]

Can it do 4K @ 120Hz???
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 06/06/13 02:10:09 AM]
- collapse thread

This is especially useful for video content creators looking to manage, in real time, 4K or 120Hz data transferring between cameras and video gear. Struggling with large video capture bandwidth is something we know about...
5 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 06/07/13 11:09:15 AM]
0 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 07/07/13 02:07:54 AM]
0 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 07/07/13 02:09:43 AM]

It is funny that both Apple and Intel, and other laptop OEMs with Thunderbolt(TB) on their products, have never pushed TB as a way of connecting an external PCI box with an external GPU, to a laptop! And now with TB version 2, the bandwidth is going to double, and still no talk, of external GPUs connected to laptops! Could it be that thunderbolt is somewhat of a threat to the laptop OEM's business model, as this would allow laptop owners to upgrade their laptop's external enclosures GPUs, not to mention external GPU boxes being able to run more powerfull desktop GPUs, with external TB/PCI based expansion boxes having thier own power! I have yet to see an external Apple TB/PCI expansion box, or an approved third party device! Intel does not appear to want this use for its thunderbolt tech, also, as it only advertises TB for video/storage, could it be that certain business models do not go so well, with users being able to upgrade their laptop's Graphics, without having to buy a new device! If Apple still has 2 physcial ports on their macbook retinia pros., that is quite a bit of bandwidth with thunderbolt ver. 2, maybe a thunderbolt external box with a firepro, or quadro GPU for graphics, or a Xeon phi for ray tracing! External thunderbolt GPUs for high end gaming may still need more bandwith than TB can provide, but for Professional graphics that do not necessarily need high frame rates, but do need high detail single images, produced with professional GPU cards, Thunderbolt could be a great external graphics solution for the macbook retinia pro owner!
0 0 [Posted by: BigChiefRunAmok  | Date: 06/08/13 07:39:55 AM]
- collapse thread

So, basically you want to take a portable device, for which all the effort was geared towards low power / compact size / high mobility, not high performance, and make it ... power hungry / big / semi-high performance ? Or in other words, after decades of trying to "transform" a desktop PC into a portable device, you want to take the portable device and make it so bulky that it becomes hard to carry around ? Why not use a desktop from the start and save you the trouble and ridicule ?

IMHO TB's best use scenarios are video data, as intended, and as a storage port, for SSD's / upcoming ST-MRAM's and maybe NVRAM's. With a capable OS you could get the OS to "sleep" on an external NVRAM drive, take that drive to another PC and boot-up there. Now THAT is something not yet done ! And it will also "fix" your need for more performance, since you can take a USB-drive sized device from your laptop to a high GPU performance desktop and do all the things you wanted on it. But in a pocket sized portable way, not bulky power hungry one. Cheers !
0 0 [Posted by: Herr Spiegellman  | Date: 06/11/13 12:32:08 AM]
Take a look at this:

However I just recently read that GFX cards don't work as there are no proper drivers for such setups.

So there is no hardware limit, why the software is limited my well be for the reasons you stated.
0 0 [Posted by: t.est  | Date: 06/27/13 06:00:16 AM]
0 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 07/07/13 02:10:14 AM]
0 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 07/07/13 02:10:34 AM]
0 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 07/07/13 02:10:58 AM]


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