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Intel formally christens 'Thunderbolt 2' with 20Gbps, 4K video

updated 01:52 am EDT, Wed June 5, 2013

Doubles throughput of original TB while retaining cable compatibility

Intel, who originally developed Thunderbolt networking technology with the help of Apple (which made it a standard feature on most current Mac products) has revealed that the name of the improved version of Thunderbolt -- originally known by its codename, Falcon Ridge -- is to be simply "Thunderbolt 2." The improved version, which offers roughly a doubling of existing (and still under-utilized) Thunderbolt speeds, will enter the market early next year and offers both sufficient bandwidth for raw 4K video transfer as well as backward compatibility with existing cables and connectors.

Now offering 20 gigabits per second bi-directional support for both data and display, Thunderbolt 2 can enable video streaming to a single 4K monitor or dual QHD monitors -- enough to both view a live 4K stream and save it to disk simultaneously. The capabilities of the improved Thunderbolt 2 were unveiled in April at the NAB conference, but the technology lacked a brand name until now.

The technology also includes DisplayPort 1.2, improved power management and smaller controller sizes at lower cost with Redwood Ridge Thunderbolt controllers, aimed at fourth-generation "Haswell" Core processors. The chipmaker also promised that even thinner cables will eventually arrive, though current cables are fully compatible.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ruel24

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-17-09

    Who cares? With their tight grip on the technology, it's low adoption rate means very few accessories for it.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by ruel24View Post

    With their tight grip on the technology, it's low adoption rate means very few BUT HIGH-QUALITY accessories for it.

    There; I fixed that for you.

    This update means that three to five years from now, the entire video industry will be built around Thunderbolt, just as it is now built around Firewire.

    Pro audio is mostly on Firewire and PCI cards, but we'll see that supplanted by Thunderbolt, as well (though the 20 Gbit speeds of Thunderbolt 2.0 aren't quite as relevant to that business).

    This is big news, and it probably means that we now know about when we'll see the next-generation Mac Pro.

  1. FireWire

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 10-03-99

    Haswell has Thunderbolt integration so that my change! Ivy has only support.

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