Intel has announced that high-speed I/O interface Thunderbolt will be making its way to PCs. The news comes from day two of Intel’s developer conference during a stage demonstration of pre-production Ultrabook designs, as reported by Engadget.
No specific release date was mentioned for Thunderbolt-enabled PCs, but Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, showed the technology running on Windows 7. Reports in February stated that Apple will have exclusive rights to Thunderbolt until 2012. If I had to guess, I wouldn’t expect to see Thunderbolt on PCs until Ivy Bridge is launched early next year.
Originally known as Light Peak, Thunderbolt is Intel's high-speed interconnect that can transfer data between host computers and external devices such as displays and storage devices at speeds of up to 10Gbps. The interface supports hubs as well as daisy chaining up to seven compatible devices.
The technology has been viewed as an alternative to USB 3.0, although many devices based on the interconnect are not yet available and Intel insists the two are complementary.
The technology was developed by Intel and first brought to market by Apple in February 2011. Intel planned to use optical cable with the interface before it was realized that traditional copper could supply enough bandwidth to meet standards. Chipzilla is still developing optical Thunderbolt technology which will be used to transfer data over far greater distances.