Thunderbolt to appear in 3 future models

Intel’s Thunderbolt isn’t new and has been on the Apple Mac computers. Thunderbolt was created as a fast IO technology that allows all devices to be plugged into.

With Thunderbolt, it allows one universal bus and can be used to extend to exisiting peripherals e.g. DVI, HDMI, Displayport, E-SATA, USB, Firewire, PCIe, LAN etc.

Basically, it is one single cable for Data + Video, data on PCI Express and Video on display port. So, one cable you can extend all your existing bus to external peripherals or expansion bays.

Thunderbolt features a 10GB/s Bi Directional per channels, 2 channels per cable. Just like the old SCSI, it supports daisy chain, so you can conenct up to 7 devices (6 devices +1 monitor). It also has a 10 W bus power. It’s supports native PCIe / DP protocol, thus there is no protocol conversion required. It’s small footprint allows it to fit nicely into any backplane of a system. Unfortunately, the cable length is limited to 3 metre right now.

The Thunderbolt supports up to 10 W, higher than existing USB 3.0 at 4.5W and USB 2.0 at 2.5W. The dasy chain setup allows it to hook up to 6 devices and 1 Display port. The new generation chipset allows two ports, thus allowing 2 display port and 12 devices.

Data throughput is also higher than existing USB 3.0 at 5Gb/s. Thunderbolot can do about 10Gb/s.

In a performance test, Thunderbolot can do 864MB/s and 746MB/s write while the same test on FireWire 800 is 93MB/s and 77MB/s write, USB 2 has 41MB/s read and 28MB/s write.

Thunderbolot also supports up to 8 Streams of uncompressed HD 720p video while Firewire 800 can only support 1stream.

Currently, there thunderbolt devices are only available on Apple monitors, Mac mini and it’s Ultrabook.

In the pipeline, there are other makers are having designs supporting Thunderbolt. They include BlackMagic Ultra Studio 3D by BlackMagic Design, LaCie Little Big Disk by LaCie as storage, Matrox MX02 Family H.264 Encoder by Matrox.
In fact, we featured the Promise’s Technology Peagasus RAID Storage R6 with Fiber Channel converter sometime ago on our website at this link before link.

Other future products in the pipeline include the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt HDD, Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock whcih allows you to have external (3 x USB 3, 1 X Firewire 800, 1 Thunderbolt and 1 Ethernet port. The most interesting is OMAGMA ExpressBox 3T. It allows you to connect your PCIe Graphics card outside the casing as the box is a three slot PCI express expansion chassis.

Gigabyte mentioned that there will be introducing 3 new models featuring the new Thunderbolt on board in 2 weeks time.