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Intel makes 'Thunderbolt 2' official with 20Gbps speeds, late 2013 launch

post #1 of 136
Thread Starter 
Intel on Tuesday finally put a name to its next-generation Thunderbolt protocol as "Thunderbolt 2," with the newly dubbed standard doubling the throughput of its predecessor while remaining backward compatible.

Thunderbolt 2
Illustration of Thunderbolt 2's capabilities. | Source: Intel


Previously referred to by its codename "Falcon Ridge," Thunderbolt 2 will boast a bandwidth of 20Gbps, which Intel said is good enough for the simultaneous transfer and display of 4K "Ultra HD" video.

To double the speed, Intel is using a new controller chip that combines the first generation Thunderbolt's 10Gpbs uni-directional channels into a single 20Gbps bi-directional channel. In addition, Thunderbolt 2 will carry support for DisplayPort 1.2, enabling video streaming to one 4K monitor, or dual QHD displays.

Thunderbolt 2


Because the next-generation protocol is, in essence, a modified controller chip, Thunderbolt 2 requires no new cables or accessory hardware, meaning it will be completely backward compatible with existing Thunderbolt products.

While Thunderbolt has yet to see wide adoption outside of Apple's Mac lineup, Intel claims 30 PCs and motherboards now use the I/O tech. That's in addition to the 80 peripherals and accessories that made their way to market since Thunderbolt first debuted with Apple's late-2011 Mac lineup.

Despite being marketed as a cutting-edge interconnect technology targeting professionals in the video field, Apple still does not offer Thunderbolt in its Mac Pro tower.

In a report last week, Intel told AppleInsider that it plans to extend the standard's reach beyond the few product that currently use the tech, and has up to now focused on quality over quantity.

The chip maker has yet to nail down a specific date on Thunderbolt 2's release, but said it should be in production by the end of 2013, with a ramp into 2014.
post #2 of 136
I am waiting for comments here. Pretty sure people will have interesting stuff to add. (And yeah, I'm commenting here mainly so that the AppleInsider reminder-emai reminds me there is that article when comments get added 1tongue.gif ).

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post #3 of 136
Thunderbolt was introduced in early 2011 with the MacBook line up, not late 2011 with iMacs
post #4 of 136
The article says TB has yet to see wide adoption outside the Mac, but ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, Intel and ASRock all have Thunderbolt motherboards now, it's just limited to their high end gaming motherboards. So I would say it has wide adoption just not deep.

But as for this TB2, wow. 20Gbit will have to be witnessed to be believed.
post #5 of 136

You think Apple was caught off guard by Thunderbolt 2? /s

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post #6 of 136
Now we know when the new MacPro will be out...
post #7 of 136
Imagine how quickly you could copy porn over this new standard...?
post #8 of 136

Whine, whine, whine...

 

...USB 3.

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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #9 of 136
Isn't 2x10 in fact the same as 20?
i.E. the total possible throughput on todays Thunderbolt is the same?
Not that I'd mind, except for Firewire and Ethernet Adapters I don't have any Thunderbolt hardware at all.
post #10 of 136
Because Thunderbolt 1 was such a hit! (Rolls eyes)
post #11 of 136
post #12 of 136
I am impressed. This will be the new standard for high end devices and Apple rides the horse as innovator and early adaptor. Proud to use such products for a long time :-)
post #13 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

Now we know when the new MacPro will be out...

Don't expect T2 in the new Mac Pro. I suspect it'll be released before T2 is out.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #14 of 136
My real gripe with Intel is when they introduced the new standard setting USB 3. I think it's time USB was replaced by a reversible standard. I can't tell you how many times in the last 6-8 years I've tried to put in USB connectors and memory sticks upside down. Bad design!

Lightning, while it'll have its teething period with its lack of backwards compatibility, is so great in terms of owning and using products with it. Plugging in connectors and chargers when you know you cannot do it "the wrong way" is so refreshing. Intel's USB successor should be the same in this regard. In fact, let's look 10 years down the road: what I would like to see is something like a USB and Thunderbolt successor that was one reversible connector to rule them all. Could you imagine having a laptop with a single elegant type of connector besides the headphones port? That'd be awesome!! It could replace HDMI, Thunderbolt, USB and SD Card. And all the devices that use those could switch to the new connector. I'm thinking something as thin as SD Card, and a touch shorter than USB, reversible, with throughput capable of 50Gbps. That's the future I want to live in.
Edited by Ireland - 6/5/13 at 4:47am
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #15 of 136
The mini DisplayPort / Thunderbolt connector is not really that good. I have a 2011 MBA 13" connected to a superb Dell monitor via DisplayPort, but the plug that goes into the MBA is not as well thought out as say Lightening, and likewise, the large connector that plugs into the monitor (looks like an HDMI with only one chamfered corner) is very very difficult to unplug.

It is a pity the industry could not agree on the anyway up Lightening connector for Thunderbolt and use it to usurp the ageing and not very imaginative USB connectors.
post #16 of 136

TB1 > USB3

TB2 > Beer

post #17 of 136

Backwards compatible...for all of those thousands of thunderbolt devices that are out there.

 

/sarcasm

post #18 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

Now we know when the new MacPro will be out...

Apple had early access to TB1, could it happen again? A Retina Cinema Display would presumably need this interface.

post #19 of 136
sirdir View Post

Isn't 2x10 in fact the same as 20?
i.E. the total possible throughput on todays Thunderbolt is the same?

Based on the image, I'd say it offers more flexibility for how much data is going in one direction at any given moment.

 

Oflife View Post
The mini DisplayPort / Thunderbolt connector is not really that good. I have a 2011 MBA 13" connected to a superb Dell monitor via DisplayPort, but the plug that goes into the MBA is not as well thought out as say Lightening, and likewise, the large connector that plugs into the monitor (looks like an HDMI with only one chamfered corner) is very very difficult to unplug.

It is a pity the industry could not agree on the anyway up Lightening connector for Thunderbolt and use it to usurp the ageing and not very imaginative USB connectors.

A few towers at my workplace have the big clunky DisplayPorts, even though all our monitors are VGA/DVI. Apple never used the large DP, for obvious reasons. Mini DisplayPort fixes those issues, and it baffles me that PC makers are still using the inferior variant. But then, most PC makers operate on such thin margins, they are very resistant to change.

 

scotty321 View Post
Because Thunderbolt 1 was such a hit! (Rolls eyes)
macxpress View Post

Backwards compatible...for all of those thousands of thunderbolt devices that are out there.

/sarcasm

Yes, this advanced connector has failed because it's not on all the bargain-basement PCs and netbooks within the first two years of commercial availability.

We had this conversation about USB in 1999. Look at the big picture.

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post #20 of 136

But Soli told us it was going to have 40Gbps throughput.  I'm crushed.

post #21 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

TB1 > USB3

TB2 > Beer

 

Steady on there!

 

1wink.gif

post #22 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

You think Apple was caught off guard by Thunderbolt 2? /s

Do you seriously think Intel and Apple don't talk? I wouldn't be surprised to find that Apple hardware has been used in the development process as it was for TB1.
post #23 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

Now we know when the new MacPro will be out...

You should talk to the guy that posted just before you.
post #24 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Because Thunderbolt 1 was such a hit! (Rolls eyes)

yeah...it one more thing no one has an affordable accessorie for....

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post #25 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

The mini DisplayPort / Thunderbolt connector is not really that good. I have a 2011 MBA 13" connected to a superb Dell monitor via DisplayPort, but the plug that goes into the MBA is not as well thought out as say Lightening, and likewise, the large connector that plugs into the monitor (looks like an HDMI with only one chamfered corner) is very very difficult to unplug.
Actually for TB you don't want a connector that could unplug easily. TB is designed to connect to monitors and disk drives as such it needs to be reliable not intermittent or easily disconnected. That is why I agree with you about the Mini TB connector, it just doesn't inspire a feeling of reliability, especially if you are connecting a back up array of some sort.
Quote:
It is a pity the industry could not agree on the anyway up Lightening connector for Thunderbolt and use it to usurp the ageing and not very imaginative USB connectors.
Actually the USB physical connector is a marvel of low cost engineering. Before USB came it was very difficult to buy an inexpensive connector that was as reliable as the USB connector and could be used repetitively. The imbeciles that whine about USB being difficult really should find a 5 year old to plug in their devices. Relatively speaking USB is a cake walk.
post #26 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

yeah...it one more thing no one has an affordable accessorie for....

On the flip side it never will have bargain basement accessories. If you or anyone else at anytime believed that TB was a replacement for USB you are woefully misinformed. It was made very clear at introduction that TB wasn't a replacement for USB but rather a port that takes off from where USB left us.
post #27 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Backwards compatible...for all of those thousands of thunderbolt devices that are out there.

 

/sarcasm

 

 

Many Macs except for the Pro have TB.  The new devices therefore will work with older computers that don't have TB2.

 

That would be thousands.

 

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post #28 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Apple had early access to TB1, could it happen again? A Retina Cinema Display would presumably need this interface.

 

 

I was thinking the same thing.

 


Getting excited about WWDC...

 

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post #29 of 136

Can't wait for the dribble of Thunderbolt 2 devices to begin in 2016.

post #30 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Do you seriously think Intel and Apple don't talk?

Shh… The DOJ might claim they are conspiring.

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post #31 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

Now we know when the new MacPro will be out...

That was my first thought. Damn it I was hoping to get one this summer.
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post #32 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


On the flip side it never will have bargain basement accessories. If you or anyone else at anytime believed that TB was a replacement for USB you are woefully misinformed. It was made very clear at introduction that TB wasn't a replacement for USB but rather a port that takes off from where USB left us.

You are correct...but I never said anything about USB........But there are a plethora of things you can do with a USB port. But that universal adoption has not happened with TB. There are some TB accessories but they are very expensive when compared to the same function using USB device. Granted TB might be the next step in technology...but we aren't there yet.

https://www.google.com/search?q=thunderbolt+accessories&oq=thunderbolt+aces&aqs=chrome.1.57j0l3.7950j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=thunderbolt+accessories&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=oDevUau5GIysqQHI7IHoBA&ved=0CDwQsxg&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47380653,d.aWM&fp=54e8c596fe47624&biw=1433&bih=712

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post #33 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Apple had early access to TB1, could it happen again? A Retina Cinema Display would presumably need this interface.

That would be nice.
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post #34 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by runbuh View Post

But Soli told us it was going to have 40Gbps throughput.  I'm crushed.

Previous reported said it was doubling to 20Gb/s in each direction. And it does, but unlike TB1 it's aggregate isn't double the unidirectional capacity any longer.
Edited by SolipsismX - 6/5/13 at 6:32am

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post #35 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

You are correct...but I never said anything about USB........But there are a plethora of things you can do with a USB port. But that universal adoption has not happened with TB. There are some TB accessories but they are very expensive when compared to the same function using USB device. Granted TB might be the next step in technology...but we aren't there yet.
https://www.google.com/search?q=thunderbolt+accessories&oq=thunderbolt+aces&aqs=chrome.1.57j0l3.7950j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#q=thunderbolt+accessories&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=oDevUau5GIysqQHI7IHoBA&ved=0CDwQsxg&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47380653,d.aWM&fp=54e8c596fe47624&biw=1433&bih=712

Why isn't it the next step? What does it need to do to be the next step? It will never used for connecting mice and keyboards like USB, but it wasn't designed to be. I don't recall people saying that DVI or DP was a failure simply because adoption was not universal.

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post #36 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


That would be nice.

ASUS announced a 31.5" 3840x2160 monitor at Computex on Tuesday so I'm wondering if a Retina Cinema Display might not be so far away.

post #37 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

ASUS announced a 31.5" 3840x2160 monitor at Computex on Tuesday so I'm wondering if a Retina Cinema Display might not be so far away.

I think that display is $4000. You can buy a 50" 4K TV for as low as $1300.

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post #38 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Because Thunderbolt 1 was such a hit! (Rolls eyes)

???

 

Maybe not to you? I use it everyday. Professionals that have bought Macs for the last 2.5 years do also. Yes, peripherals for it are expensive....they are also REALLY good. 

 

Pay For What You Get.

post #39 of 136

Is there anyone besides the manufacturers who believe that Retina Cinema Displays, or Retina TVs, have any real world purpose?

 

In what scenario is 1080p not good enough from 10 feet away?

post #40 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Why isn't it the next step? What does it need to do to be the next step? It will never used for connecting mice and keyboards like USB, but it wasn't designed to be. I don't recall people saying that DVI or DP was a failure simply because adoption was not universal.

My thoughts were that it is not widely adopted yet. It is still in its infancy as far as being widely used. There isn't a wide range of affordable accessories for TB yet....and now we have TB2 coming. So i don't see prices dropping to where everyone will buy one. The thing about DVI was that the display manufacturers and video card makers all started incorporating them into their products. They advertised it was going to make gaming faster. They had a very eager audience that willingly adopted DVI based on the fact that it made their gaming experience better. There was no price difference in the products......

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