Thunderbolt And Lightning (Speeds)

HDVideoPro by Neil Matsumoto

One of the biggest topics at NAB 2011 was the arrival of Thunderbolt, a new I/O technology that offers lightning fast data transfers when working with high-resolution displays and/or data devices through a single port and cable. At the present time, Thunderbolt is only available on the latest MacBook Pro (as well as the just announced iMac), which brings dual and quad Core processors and high performance graphics. Because of the simplicity and super speed of Thunderbolt, you’ll now be able to edit remotely on your laptop with uncompressed HD files, which was previously only possible on powerful desktop workstations.

Created by Intel and based on PCI Express and DisplayPort, Thunderbolt is compatible with existing DisplayPort devices, uses native software drivers and can also be bus-powered. Featuring two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to a whopping 10Gbps, Thunderbolt devices also have only one common connector, which enables you to daisy chain different devices one after the other. You can also use other I/O technologies with adapters that use PCI Express controllers, such as Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire, or eSATA adapters using existing device PCI Express drivers.

With the low latency and accurate time sync, Thunderbolt technology will likely be targeted towards video professionals. 10Gbps is an astounding number since most of us, not working in a professional post house, were used to working with FireWire 800 drives that could only capture up to 800-Mbps. For professional I/O, editors would use their Express Card slot, which would deliver up to 2.5-Gbps. Even last year’s NAB darling, USB 3.0, at 5Gbps is dwarfed by Thunderbolt. Your laptop can now edit uncompressed HD on location without having to transport footage back and forth to your post house or transcoding in the field. According to Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty, “Thunderbolt technology will revolutionize mobile media creation. It’s a game-changer and will accelerate our ability to build the highest quality video creation products that are affordable to everyone.” read more...

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