Intel's Thunderbolt reportedly coming to PCs in April 2012

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
As Apple enjoys nearly a year-long head start with the Thunderbolt technology, Intel has begun notifying PC makers that it will "fully release" the high-speed I/O in April 2012, according to a new report.



Sources from within PC players told DigiTimes on Tuesday that "several first-tier" PC vendors are readying Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards, notebooks and desktop computers for release. Sony and Asus are expected to adopt the new technology, while Gigabyte technology will reportedly launch a Thunderbolt-capable motherboard in April of next year.



According to the report, Intel cooperated with Apple exclusively this year in order to "speed up the standardization of Thunderbolt." As interest in the technology has continued to grow, Intel has readied the technology for "public use."



Thunderbolt should see even further adoption in the second half of next year as related costs drop. Sources told the publication that the technology will be "standardized gradually in the future" as chip prices fall.



In June, Sony was originally thought to have developed the first non-Mac Thunderbolt PC with its VAIO Z laptop and Power Media dock. However, it was later revealed that the company had used an early version of Intel's technology that did not match the Thunderbolt standard.



Apple partnered up with Intel to unveil the Thunderbolt I/O in its MacBook Pro lineup this February. The Mac maker quickly added the technology to its products, including the iMac, MacBook Air, Mac Mini and LED Display.



Thunderbolt combines Intel's "Light Peak" specification with Apple's Mini DisplayPort to support transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps. The technology uses the PCI Express standard, allowing for a range of peripherals and functions.







The first Thunderbolt peripherals, such as RAID systems and external drives arrived on the market throughout 2011, but high costs have reportedly been a barrier to companies looking to make Thunderbolt accessories.



For its part, Intel claimed earlier this year that Thunderbolt has attracted "tremendous response from the industry," touting more than twenty companies, including Belkin, Canon, Seagate, Western Digital and Adobe, interested in adding Thunderbolt support to their products.



Also affecting Thunderbolt adoption is the growing presence of USB 3.0. HP, the world's largest PC maker, has decided to go with USB 3.0 after not finding a "value proposition" with Thunderbolt. Intel has said it will support USB 3.0 alongside Thunderbolt, which is meant to be "complementary," but some PC industry insiders have claimed that Thunderbolt could "greatly affect" adoption of the competing standard.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Took long enough?



    Well, the age of unnecessarily expensive accessories will soon be over.



    Grab me a 64GB Thunderbolt NAND drive and I'll be quite happy.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Thunderbolt combines Intel's "Light Peak" specification with Apple's Mini DisplayPort to support transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps.



    Actually bi-directional 10Gbps = 20Gbps total.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Took long enough…



    Well, the age of unnecessarily expensive accessories will soon be over.



    Grab me a 64GB Thunderbolt NAND drive and I'll be quite happy.



    We knew Apple had an exclusivity and we assumed for 2012 or for a year. I wouldn't be surprised to see a slew of TB capable devices at CES in January and I believe the rumours that there are first-tier PC vendors getting ready to offer it even though the news comes form DigiTimes.



    I hope to see some nice additions though I would expect TB port added to a router for a NAS to be unlikely this year (except from Apple) and things like a flash drive just aren't going to happen except for whatever weird niche pushed a couple vendors to create FW flash drives.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    As Apple enjoys nearly a year-long head start with the Thunderbolt technology, Intel has begun notifying PC makers that it will "fully release" the high-speed I/O in April 2012, according to a new report.






    Good news. Once regular computers get it, then the compatible accessories might start to go to market. As a Mac-Only thing, very few accessory companies would bother with it.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    They won't do anything funny like Sony did? They will all use the same mini Displayport that Apple and Intel settled on, right?
  • Reply 6 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    They won't do anything funny like Sony did? They will all use the same mini Displayport that Apple and Intel settled on, right?



    I think so. Sony has a history of taking a port interface standard and then mucking with it to make it proprietary. I can't think of when the other rumoured vendors have done that.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    We knew Apple had an exclusivity and we assumed for 2012 or for a year.



    Wish they hadn't.



    I hope Intel says "if the board doesn't include at least one Thunderbolt port, it's not officially compatible with our stuff" and at least releases ALL of their own boards with at least one Thunderbolt port.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Wish they hadn't.



    I hope Intel says "if the board doesn't include at least one Thunderbolt port, it's not officially compatible with our stuff" and at least releases ALL of their own boards with at least one Thunderbolt port.



    I wish they hadn't either but it's not much different than Intel releasing the spec last year and then we wait for companies to start implementing it.



    We don't know if TB will be a commercial success but we shouldn't say it's a failure because of now widespread adoption in 2011 or try to compare it to FireWire (something I'm sure is coming in this thread). It's not an Apple tech, it's an Intel tech with Apple support, and we all know what happened the last time an Intel tech supported by Apple across their machines ended up: USB.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    Intel doesn't give exclusivity to any 3rd party unless said 3rd party has the legal right to it.



    This should make it clear that LightPeak/Thunderbolt was heavily aided by Apple IP.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    I wonder if the 2012 refresh of the Mac line would replace the USB ports with USB3giving us both the new hi-speed ports.



    And coming to Thunderbolt, I have the same query - since the article mentions that Thunderbolt = Light Peak + Mini Display Port, I hope the proper implementation isn't something like what Sony did.



    I'm not too sure what 2012 will have with respect to the iMac line (Ivy Bridge, USB3?, No optical drive?), but I am looking to upgrade my late 2009 iMac next year.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BestKeptSecret View Post


    I'm not too sure what 2012 will have with respect to the iMac line (Ivy Bridge, USB3?, No optical drive?), but I am looking to upgrade my late 2009 iMac next year.



    The iMac will be the second to last Mac to lose its optical drive. That's really all that can be basically assured right now.



    Personally, I see iMacs with ODDs through 2012 at least. Maybe not 2013, though.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    Finally we might get some raid cases etc that are empty and priced down some.



    Anyone know if the iMac 27" actually has 2 thunderbolt buses or just 2 thunderbolt ports?
  • Reply 13 of 33
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 are a must. What is Apple waiting for?
  • Reply 14 of 33
    2 independent dual channel TB buses
  • Reply 15 of 33
    Witling for optical connectors with locking...

    I scream for MacPro with TB Ports on The front, PCIe3 inside
  • Reply 16 of 33
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,575member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post


    Finally we might get some raid cases etc that are empty and priced down some.



    Anyone know if the iMac 27" actually has 2 thunderbolt buses or just 2 thunderbolt ports?



    TB will remain expensive far longer than most of us would like. They also need to do something about the $50 cable for $100 peripherals. I dont see competiveness until Intel of someone releases an embeddable chip with all of the required TB logic on board. One of the reasons USB devices are so cheap is the SoC like embeddable controllers.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,575member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TuberMagPico View Post


    Witling for optical connectors with locking...

    I scream for MacPro with TB Ports on The front, PCIe3 inside



    I've seen reports indicating that the coming Intel hardware can be up to two times faster. Of course those are memory and width server type loads but it does indicate potential.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    Both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 are a must. What is Apple waiting for?



    I'm sure Apple will fully support USB 3.0 once Ivy Bridge is released. Remember, Ivy Bridge is the first chipset with native support for USB 3.0, and if you've seen Apple's logic boards, there just isn't too much room to add another chip.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    Any word on IEEE standardisation of TB connectors / interfaces?
  • Reply 20 of 33
    xgmanxgman Posts: 147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TuberMagPico View Post


    Witling for optical connectors with locking...

    I scream for MacPro with TB Ports on The front, PCIe3 inside



    It would be ironic if PC's get thunderbolt before Mac Pro's do.
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