Thunderbolt bandwidth to double in 2014 with Falcon Ridge

By on July 23, 2012, 1:00 PM

Intel’s Thunderbolt is still getting off the ground when it comes to consumer adoption, with only a handful of systems supporting the high-speed interconnect and just as few peripherals that can take advantage of it. But Intel is not slowing down its efforts and is already planning several new controllers, including a Falcon Ridge part that’s said to offer 20Gbps per channel, doubling the current throughput.

Current-generation controllers, codenamed “Cactus Ridge”, arrived earlier this year with Apple’s latest Mac releases. They combine DisplayPort and and either two or four PCI Express lanes (depending on the chip used) over a single cable, with 10Gbps of bidirectional bandwidth per channel.

The 10Gbps bi-directional bandwidth will remain unchanged through 2013, with a third-generation “Redwood Ridge” controller expected sometime in the first half of 2013 -- likely during Q2 to go along Intel’s Haswell processors. The chip is said to add support for DisplayPort 1.2.

A fourth-generation “Falcon Ridge” controller will then be released in 2014, according to DigiTimes, offering up to 20Gbps bandwidth per channel. It’s unclear at this point if Intel will be able to achieve those speeds while sticking to copper cables or if they’ll need to adopt the more expensive optical variety.

Intel said earlier this year that it planned to release optical cables for the Thunderbolt interface in 2012, but due to costs the rollout would be limited to enterprise and other commercial applications. Even in the consumer space with copper cabling the current price of Thunderbolt implementations is likely hurting its adoption, with controllers costing PC and motherboard makers about $20 and cables going for ~$50.




User Comments: 9

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gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

50 bucks for a cable? If I was going to go out and spend $50 for a cable, I'd buy an HDMI cable.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

N

50 bucks for a cable? If I was going to go out and spend $50 for a cable, I'd buy an HDMI cable.

Damn where you get your cables from, I bought my HDMI (gold plated head) for around $10.

RH00D RH00D said:

I hope everyone realizes that, uh, there's actually a legitimate reason why Thunderbolt cables are so expensive.

Cota Cota said:

Thats.... a lot of speed for any commercial device out there....

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

N
50 bucks for a cable? If I was going to go out and spend $50 for a cable, I'd buy an HDMI cable.

Damn where you get your cables from, I bought my HDMI (gold plated head) for around $10.

Best Buy?

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

N
50 bucks for a cable? If I was going to go out and spend $50 for a cable, I'd buy an HDMI cable.

Damn where you get your cables from, I bought my HDMI (gold plated head) for around $10.

Best Buy?

Well around £5 give or take £2 in UK. It was not a major store, a Computer Hardware store. Ebuyer has HDMI cables from around £5 to £10 and more.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well around £5 give or take £2 in UK. It was not a major store, a Computer Hardware store. Ebuyer has HDMI cables from around £5 to £10 and more.

It was a joke, Best Buy was famous for trying to get customers to buy $99 Monster HDMI cables, when, as you said, $10 would suffice. =)

Guest said:

It was a joke, Best Buy was famous for trying to get customers to buy $99 Monster HDMI cables, when, as you said, $10 would suffice. =)

Monster HDMI cables are really better quality and use higher grade materials, did a comparision test on the cables with a cheap alternative. however really is $80 more worth such difference, well unless your connecting to a 80" or greater display, your eyes cant tell the diff.

Guest said:

Monster HDMI cables are really better quality and use higher grade materials, did a comparision test on the cables with a cheap alternative. however really is $80 more worth such difference, well unless your connecting to a 80" or greater display, your eyes cant tell the diff.
No. No, no... no.

No audiophile, videophile, or even digital analysis of the signal can tell the difference between the signals in differently constructed HDMI cables. If you're using extreme cable lengths, then you may be able to avoid getting a signal booster by going with a big thick fancy brand cable, but that's only going to help you with the signal cutting out entirely.

HDMI is digital, not analog. It's sending a series of ones and zeros over that cable, and a Monster cable isn't going to "open up the sound stage" of those ones, or "increase the color saturation and clarity" of those zeros.

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