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With today's introduction of Thunderbolt by Intel and new MacBook Pros from Apple featuring the technology, long-standing questions regarding how the technology would be implemented are finally coming to rest. Intel just held a media event to provide additional details on the technology, and CNET provided a live blog of the event.

True to recent developments, Thunderbolt is initially being implemented solely over a copper connection, with optical connections set to come later this year. The technology essentially combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into one protocol, allowing displays and other peripherals to be driven off of the same bus.


140014-thunderbolt_diagram.jpg


Other Notes:

- 10 Gbps per channel (bidirectional - that's about 900 MB/s).
- 10 W bus power (less than FireWire, but more than USB). According to Intel, bus power will likely not be supported over future optical cables (so no additional copper lines just for bus power)
- One bus can drive two DisplayPort displays simultaneously.
- Low 8 ns latency over 7 daisy-chained devices.
- Maximum single cable length is 3 meters for current copper implementation.
- Any DisplayPort 1.1 device needs to be the last in a daisy chain.
- In a hands-on demonstration of Thunderbolt, Engadget was able to see a 5 GB file transferred in just a few seconds. The connection was also capable of playing four simultaneous uncompressed HD video streams from a RAID device.

Vendors who have already committed to producing Thunderbolt devices include Promise (Pegasus RAID) and LaCie (Little Big Disk).

Article Link: Thunderbolt Details Emerge: Bus Power, Mini DisplayPort, and More
 
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levitynyc

macrumors 65816
Aug 19, 2006
1,104
3,271
What does this mean for end users other than having faster iPod synchs and faster backups?
 
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pesos

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2006
635
158
Does anyone know if TB can be shared?

I'm thinking it would be a great inexpensive option for 2-node clustering (like shared SAS).

The SAS protocol should be able to run on top of the TB pcie right? How are current storage products going to be controlled? Controller built into the device itself?
 
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gmcalpin

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2008
462
74
Somerville, MA
What does this mean for end users other than having faster iPod synchs and faster backups?
You could have a Wacom Cintiq that has power, data, and video all in one tiny cable.

You could have a Cinema Display act as a USB hub without using up a USB port on your computer.

Basically anything that PCI Express can do, Thunderbolt can do, too — like, perhaps, external Blu-Ray drives?
 
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SwiftLives

Contributor
Dec 7, 2001
1,345
318
Charleston, SC
So would portable storage via Thunderbolt be feasible? Either as a flash drive (I'm thinking in 2-3 years time we're going to see capacities of 16G as the low end for flash media) or even portable hard drives?
 
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JPark

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2006
659
147
Why didn't they build it into the same connector as USB again?

I read earlier in the day that the USB consortium frowned heavily at that plan. I've read so much on the topic that I don't remember where, though.
 
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ghsNick

macrumors 68030
May 25, 2010
2,773
598
I don't think I'll watch a blue ray through my Laptop streamed to my TV...Just saying. And not to sound like a jerk...but everything I have (external Hard Drive, iPod, etc.) already syncs pretty fast...so uh, ya....YA FOR USELESS TECHNOLOGY!
 
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gmcalpin

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2008
462
74
Somerville, MA
So would portable storage via Thunderbolt be feasible? Either as a flash drive (I'm thinking in 2-3 years time we're going to see capacities of 16G as the low end for flash media) or even portable hard drives?
Anything PCI Express can do, Thunderbolt can do.

So… yes.
 
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JPark

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2006
659
147
If they get rid of the power spec when it goes optical, how will it be able to replace USB for powered devices (including iPods)? Isn't that the long term goal? One port to rule them all?
 
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JPark

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2006
659
147
I don't think I'll watch a blue ray through my Laptop streamed to my TV...Just saying. And not to sound like a jerk...but everything I have (external Hard Drive, iPod, etc.) already syncs pretty fast...so uh, ya....YA FOR USELESS TECHNOLOGY!

If it syncs pretty fast, it's 'cause you're not passing very much data. Transferring large files over USB is painful. I expect people who do HD home movies feel the pain even more.
 
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genosseinski

macrumors member
Jul 10, 2008
86
0
What does this mean for end users other than having faster iPod synchs and faster backups?

it means docking one Laptop<->Display cable in your computer and you're done with Display, keyboard, mouse and that kind of stuff. This makes using Laptop as a Desktop really useful :) Pick it up and just plug one or two cables in!

It also means to copy 5 Gigs of photos in just a few seconds. For me, this sounds appealing :eek:

Most of these advantages will be seen in future, but someone has to start!

And since everything is backwards compatible (see engadget report, all Apple-adapters are working fine), I don't really see any problems with Thunderbolt...

Although something tells me that the first devices will cost a lot. AppleTax+EarlyAdaptor-ripoff
 
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ericinboston

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2008
1,918
380
I don't think I'll watch a blue ray through my Laptop streamed to my TV...Just saying. And not to sound like a jerk...but everything I have (external Hard Drive, iPod, etc.) already syncs pretty fast...so uh, ya....YA FOR USELESS TECHNOLOGY!

It's definitely not useless. I have hundreds of gigabytes of files...audio, video, and large virtual machine files.

As an example, for me to back up my 125GB collection of mp3 files, it takes about 8 hours via a USB 2.0 connection. Using Lightspeed (or USB 3.0), would cut that down to maybe 1 hour or less. 8 hours compared to 1. That's huge.

It's also a big deal if you want to "stream" anything...such as HD movies or even lossless audio...being able to have a storage device that can CONSISTENTLY push high throughput speeds for long periods of times.

Technology will always get faster and faster. Period. In your example(s), take all the times and tell yourself "it will now go 8 times faster"...so those 8 minute iPod syncs will be 1 min or less. Of course your 8 second sync (if that even exists) would go to 1 second but now we're talking about, in reality, saving 7 seconds which is the time it takes for you to plug it in, sit on your chair, and wiggle the mouse to wake up the screensaver. :)
 
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mmzplanet

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2004
221
0
Florida
Can you boot to a disk over thunderbolt? If so that should perform almost as if it were an internal drive.

Perhaps a target disk mode using Thunderbolt? That would be nice.
 
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PhoneI

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2008
1,588
542
I don't think I'll watch a blue ray through my Laptop streamed to my TV...Just saying. And not to sound like a jerk...but everything I have (external Hard Drive, iPod, etc.) already syncs pretty fast...so uh, ya....YA FOR USELESS TECHNOLOGY!

Try backing up a 300GB hard drive to an external or transfering 100's of Gigs of photos and videos. Then come back here at let us know your findings.

Faster is always better.
 
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CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
2,946
262
SoCal
If it syncs pretty fast, it's 'cause you're not passing very much data. Transferring large files over USB is painful. I expect people who do HD home movies feel the pain even more.

Right now I'm ripping hundreds of DVD's. I **NEED** several external HD's with this technology, today, right now. If I could get them right now, I'd be at the Apple store, buying a new Laptop today.

By the time I can get drives with this, I'll be done doing all my rips and the need will be much lower... Although I still wouldn't mind. :D
 
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mscriv

macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2008
4,923
599
Dallas, Texas
This is really a game changer for those that complain about Macs lacking the ability for expansion and upgrades. With Thunderbolt we're talking about one cable that opens up numerous possibilities including external graphics cards, storage, etc..

From the sound of things companies are signing on pretty quick. Once audio/video gear starts to feature the port it will be game over for the FW and USB that most of us are used to now. Think about transferring GB's of HD camcorder footage in just a few seconds. Pretty awesome if you ask me. I have no doubt that it will become a standard port on Macs across the entire line.
 
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SilianRail

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2011
352
56
Why didn't they build it into the same connector as USB again?
The USB connector sucks, it's symmetrical on the outside but not the inside, so you can't plug it in both ways and can't tell if you are plugging it in the correct way either. Mini Displayport is smaller and asymmetrical so you can see which way to plug it in. This should make the cables and plugs last longer since you aren't mashing them in the wrong way all the time, along with saving time of course.
 
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World Citizen

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2011
168
0
Do we think that there is power runing true this cables?

So, can I atach a compatible external hdd to my monitor with 1 cable.. So that i dont have to use a seperate cord to power it?
 
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