Feeds

4K-friendly Thunderbolt 2 WILL ship this year, Chipzilla pledges

Apple can’t ship ‘black bin’ Mac Pro until it does

Intelligent flash storage arrays

IDF13 Chip giant Intel has reiterated its pledge to get a faster version of its Thunderbolt connectivity tech out in time for Christmas and its plethora of high-res vid-streaming kit.

Speaking at Intel Developer Forum this week, Ben Hacker, who does planning for Intel's Client Connectivity Division, said the firm’s Falcon Crest Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt 2.0 controller is in production now to “intercept” peripherals and computers coming out in time for the festive season.

Thunderbolt 2

Thunderbolt 2 aggregates Thunderbolt 1 channels to (almost) double the bus’ performance

Thunderbolt 2.0 is backwards-compatible with Thunderbolt 1.0, using the same cables and connectors hosting the same four - two upstream, two downstream - physical 10Gbps data channels. However, clever tech allows the new controller to aggregate each pair into a bidirectional 20Gbps logical link.

The upshot, said Hacker, is that the effective data transfer speed goes up by 60 per cent. There’s clearly a lot bandwidth lost to overhead – doubling the bandwidth delivers a rather less than double the throughput – but it gives Thunderbolt 2.0 the capacity to transfer “cinema quality” 4K video as data and support a 4K DisplayPort monitor at the same time.

To support 4K screens, Thunderbolt 2.0 incorporates the DisplayPort 1.2 spec.

Intel’s Falcon Ridge comprises a pair of controller products: one to drive a single port, the other to manage two parallel connectors to deliver two 20Gbps links.

Thunderbolt 2

10Gbps USB 3.1 suspiciously absent from Intel’s graph

Apple’s major Mac Pro revamp – which though broadly announced has yet to be formally launched – got a slice to itself in Hacker’s presentation thanks to its integration of Thunderbolt 2.0 behind its six Thunderbolt ports. Apple has already said the wastepaper bin-lookalike Pro will be out “later this year”, so it’s a fair bet it’s waiting on Intel’s Falcon Ridge chippery.

Once it's out, it will be able to connect to the 100-plus peripherals – which Hacker said would have certified by the end of the year for their Thunderbolt compatibility. Of course, that figure is dwarfed by the number of USB 3.0 gadgets on sale – now in excess of 1,000 devices, double the number this time last year, according to the USB Implementers’ Forum this week.

The USB Implementers Forum is currently pushing USB 3 out from 5Gbps to 10Gbps, as USB 3.1, so Thunderbolt needs the 20Gbps option to retain what little relevancy it has outside of professional applications.

Thunderbolt is undoubtedly the better technology - it’s not lumbered by having to have an old standard clamped on for compatibility the way USB 3.0 is, for a start – but bums on seats will undoubtedly win out in the end, VHS-Betamax style. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.