Intel Corp. said Thursday that its Thunderbolt interconnection technology will be adopted by Canon Corp., a maker of consumer electronics, including digital cameras, printers, projectors and other gear. At present it is known that Canon’s video equipment will support the technology previously known as Light Peak.
“We are excited about Thunderbolt technology and feel it will bring new levels of performance and simplicity to the video creation market,” said Hiroo Edakubo, group executive of Canon’s video products group.
Intel said that Canon “joins a growing list of companies looking to build products using Thunderbolt technology”. At present the list of Thunderbolt supporters is hardly too long and includes Apple, Canon, LaCie, Promise, Seagate, Western Digital as well as a number of software companies that develop audio and video applications.
Previously known as Light Peak, Thunderbolt technology supports two low-latency communications protocols - PCI Express for data transfer and DisplayPort for displays. Thunderbolt technology works on data streams in both directions, at the same time, so users get the benefit of full bandwidth in both directions, over a single cable. With the two independent channels, a full 10Gb/s of bandwidth can be provided for the first device in the chain of the devices. All Thunderbolt technology devices share a common Mini DisplayPort connector. Intel's Thunderbolt controllers interconnect a PC and other devices, transmitting and receiving packetized traffic for both PCIe and DisplayPort protocols and thus makers need to develop or use additional controllers to make their products compatible with the TB I/O interface.
Not a lot of devices these days can take advantage of Thunderbolt. Only external graphics cards, external solid-state drives as well as RAID-based storage solutions, professional equipment and some other applications need 10Gb/s demand.