Intel's Thunderbolt interconnect was first announced back in February and so far it's being offered only by Apple in its new MacBook Pro laptops. Companies like Promise and LaCie
were among the first to announce compatible desktop storage products to take advantage of the faster transfer speeds, and are just now being followed up by a few others with video I/O and processing boxes at the National Association of Broadcasters trade show taking place this week.
Looking to further accelerate the release of new Thunderbolt compatible products Intel has announced that a developer kit for the technology will be available this quarter
. The move might also serve as an incentive for laptops makers to speed up adoption of the interface. Sony is one of the backers of Thunderbolt, but has not yet talked about plans to implement the technology in its products, while HP already uses USB 3.0 but says it's evaluating Thunderbolt as well.
Thunderbolt currently supports the PCI Express and DisplayPort protocols and is being developed as a way to reduce the proliferation of ports on modern computers. This means it could eventually replace the plethora of interfaces currently used, from USB itself to HDMI, LAN, and so on. The dual-channel, high-speed interconnect can transfer data between host devices and external devices at speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second.