Apple has introduced the first implementation of Intel’s new Thunderbolt technology for high speed communications, aimed at providing a very fast new data connection for mobile professionals.
Intel confirmed in a press release that Thunderbolt, “formerly codenamed ‘Light Peak,’” is an “Intel-developed technology” that is “coming to market through a technical collaboration with Apple, and is available first on Apple’s new line of MacBook Pro laptop computers.”
The new specification accommodates faster, simpler connections between devices, acting as a next generation FireWire but with speeds of up to 10Gbps, which Intel points out is fast enough to transfer a full length, HD movie in less than 30 seconds or to backup an MP3 collection large enough to play nonstop for a year in just ten minutes.
That’s 12 times faster than FireWire 800, and 20 times faster than USB 2.0. It’s even twice as fast as Intel’s USB 3.0 specification, which Apple hasn’t adopted yet. Unlike just an upgrade to USB, however, Thunderbolt delivers the ability to daisy-chain multiple devices without using a hub.
New MacBook Pros support six devices, such as one display and five separate peripherals, turning the professional notebooks into flexible, high powered workstations for video editors and other professionals just as Apple gets ready to release its new edition of Final Cut Pro.
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