Intel's Thunderbolt to hit PCs in mid-2012

Posted by TG Daily Staff

Intel's Thunderbolt transfer protocol will reportedly hit PCs in mid-2012, as Santa Clara plans to "fully release" the high-speed I/O in April.

Several first-tier PC vendors are currently prepping Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards, notebooks and desktop computers.

Intel's Thunderbolt to hit PCs in April 2012According to industry sources cited by DigiTimes, a number of industry heavyweights are expected to embrace the new technology, including Sony, Asus and Gigabyte.

Although widespread PC adoption of the new standard was initially hobbled by cost, Thunderbolt has become a more attractive option to vendors after Apple integrated the technology into its MacBook, iMac and LED display lineup. 

"With the cost for adopting Thunderbolt technology expected to drop in the second half of 2012, the technology should be standardized gradually in the future," reported DigiTimes.

Indeed, Intel confirmed earlier this year that Thunderbolt developer kits would be made publicly available to hardware manufacturers in an effort to help promote the "quick availability" of a wider ranger of devices powered by the interconnect technology.

Thunderbolt - aka LightPeak - is capable of delivering 10 gigabits per second, while supporting "every important" I/O standard. The advanced protocol offers 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.

Thunderbolt I/O also supports FireWire, USB consumer devices, Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters and DisplayPort for high resolution displays. In addition, the new protocol works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays.