The fastest connection to your PC1
Transforming device interconnectivity, Thunderbolt™ technology is a dual protocol I/O innovation that dramatically increases transfer performance with bi-directional 10Gbps speed and offers daisy chaining to multiple devices, providing flexibility and simplicity for innovative, thin system designs like laptops and Ultrabooks™.
Rethink I/O transfer
Enhancing performance with innovative design, Thunderbolt technology combines PCI Express* and DisplayPort* I/O protocols onto a single highly-efficient metaprotocol. Single cable transmission along with traffic routing management (supporting daisy chains and hot-plugging devices) and intelligent hardware controllers like PCIe* deliver off-the-shelf connectivity to nearly any technology imaginable. And DisplayPort meets industry needs by supporting multiple HD displays and up to eight channels of HD audio.
As the building block to Thunderbolt technology, Thunderbolt controllers contain a high performance cross bar Thunderbolt protocol switch, a PCI Express switch, and one or more Thunderbolt ports, DisplayPorts, and PCI Express protocol adapter ports. By integrating all the features necessary to implement Thunderbolt into a single chip, the host-side controller enables system vendors to easily incorporate Thunderbolt technology into their designs.
Changing the PC industry
Leveraging the I/O protocols on a single transport enables engineers to innovate new system design configurations, allowing for standalone performance expansion technologies that use existing native device drivers. Thunderbolt technology also enables the introduction of thinner and lighter laptops without sacrificing I/O performance, and extends to reach other I/O technologies by using PCIe-based adapters, making Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, or eSATA easy to create.
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Several innovative companies announced Thunderbolt-enabled products or plans to support Thunderbolt in upcoming products, including Apple Inc., Promise Technology, Inc., and LaCie. Intel works with the industry to enable a variety of Thunderbolt-based products, including computers, displays, high-speed data storage devices, audio and video devices, and more.