The need for high speed transfer of data has spurred many technologies like eSATA and USB 3.0 but Intel’s newest offering might just one up the others.
Codenamed Light Peak, Intel has launched it under the title Thunder Bolt. The reason to be excited about this particular technology is that it features two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to 10Gbps each.
It allows external devices to connect directly to the PCI-e interface on computers, which allows for the incredibly fast transfer speeds. The interface also provides power so users don’t have to worry about connecting extra power adapters to external hard drives. Thunderbolt is compatible with existing DisplayPort displays and adaptors.
According to Intel, Thunderbolt’s speeds will allow users to transfer a full high-definition movie (between 10 gigabytes and 20 gigabytes in size) in less than 30 seconds.
Intel also says that the interface is backward compatible with other standards; it depends only on the cable used. Using the appropriate adapter to the port Thunderbolt can connect any accessories designed to work with USB 2.0, FireWire, or eSATA.
Apple is the first company to have adopted the new technology. Their updated line of Mac Book Pros has Thunderbolt connectivity. LaCie have also released a hard drive compatible with Thunderbolt. Other manufacturers like Western Digital have entered contracts to use it and are expected to adopt it later this year or by early 2012 at most.