Thunderbolt: Ahead of its time or wave of the future?

Premiumbeat by Ashley Kennedy

Why is Thunderbolt’s crazy fast data transfer a bit slow to catch on?

No doubt by now you’ve heard a bit about the new Thunderbolt technology by, a collaboration effort between Apple and Intel in 2011 for Apple’s new line of MacBook Pro laptops (as well as MacBook Air, Mac mini and iMac)—and though the hype and performance boost have editors drooling, a year later, adoption could still be a ways off for many users.

A quick summary of Thunderbolt from Intel:

  • It’s ridiculously fast, simultaneous bi-directional, 10 Gbps transfers over a single cable
  • Supports both data and display on a single cable, enabling greater simplicity, flexibility and new and exciting ways to use a PC
  • Daisy Chaining devices without performance loss

Let’s just go back to the first point—a transfer speed of 10 Gbps is obviously a huge improvement over the 800 Mbps transfer rate of Firewire. To get a true sense of how fast this can be, you can view the video of Intel’s demo on transferring a full-length HD Video in 30 seconds. This speed transfer, with compatible RAID devices, holds immense promise for improved portability, efficiency and real-time updating. read more...


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