The fastest connection to your PC experience1
From the company with the fastest processors comes the fastest way to transfer data between a PC and peripheral and display devices1. At 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt™ technology delivers great responsiveness with data and display transfers—in each direction, at the same time—using a single cable to connect devices in a daisy chain.
Thunderbolt™ technology enables products that are able to:
- Transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds2
- Back up one year of continuous MP3 playback in just over 10 minutes3
Another industry first in connectivity
Developed by Intel (under the code name Light Peak), and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple. Thunderbolt™ technology is a new, high-speed I/O technology designed for performance, simplicity, and flexibility.
Thunderbolt™ technology features:
- Simultaneous bi-directional, 10 Gbps transfers over a single cable
- Dual-protocol support (PCI Express* and DisplayPort*)
- Compatible with existing DisplayPort* devices
- Daisy-chaining devices
- Choice of electrical or optical cables
- Low latency with highly accurate time synchronization for professional audio and video applications
- Uses native protocol software drivers
- Power-over-cable for bus-powered devices
How Thunderbolt™ technology works
Thunderbolt significantly simplifies the end-user experience by concurrently supporting data and display connections over a single cable.
Intel Thunderbolt™ chips interconnect a PC and other devices, transmitting and receiving information for both PCI Express* (PCIe*) and DisplayPort* protocols. The Thunderbolt™ chip switches between the two protocols to support communications over a single cable. Intel is making its chip available to the industry, and is working with other component manufacturers to deliver the Thunderbolt™ connectors and cables.
The end result brings a new balance of performance, simplicity, and flexibility to end users and product designers.
What Thunderbolt™ technology means for the PC industry
By tapping into the performance and protocols delivered over Thunderbolt™ technology, designers are free to innovate new PC products and configurations, no longer constrained to the boundaries of the chassis walls.
With Thunderbolt™ technology, engineers can:
- Design standalone performance expansion technologies commonly used in desktops and workstations, using existing native device drivers and interconnected by a single cable.
- Introduce thinner and lighter laptops, expandable through Thunderbolt™ technology and its miniature connector designed for mobile applications, without sacrificing I/O performance.
- Extend to reach other I/O technologies by using adapters that use widely available PCI Express* controllers. It's simple to create a Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, or eSATA adapter using existing device PCI Express* drivers.
Several innovative companies have announced Thunderbolt™-enabled products, or plans to support Thunderbolt™ in upcoming products, including Apple Inc., Promise Technology, Inc., and LaCie. Intel is working with the industry to enable a variety of Thunderbolt™-enabled products, including computers, displays, high-speed data storage devices, audio/video devices, and more.
Additional information: 4