Intel makes Thunderbolt 2 official, entering production in late 2013

By on June 5, 2013, 1:00 PM

After first unveiling the next generation of Thunderbolt back in April, today Intel is sharing a few additional details about the super-fast interconnect technology along with announcing its official name: Thunderbolt 2 -- not a huge surprise there.

Previously referred to as "Falcon Ridge," the chip maker has yet to announce a specific release date, but said it should be in production by the end of the year, with a ramp into 2014.

As reported earlier, the updated standard doubles the throughput of its predecessor with data rates of up to 20Gbps in both directions while remaining backwards compatible.

This increase in throughput is achieved by combining the two previously independent 10Gbps channels into one 20Gbps bi-directional channel.

The next generation interface supports both data and display, much like the original Thunderbolt, and with the addition of DisplayPort 1.2 support in Thunderbolt 2 Intel says users will be able to transfer a 4K video while simultaneously displaying it on a monitor -- something the current generation can’t handle.

Thunderbolt first arrived in 2011 as a collaboration between Apple and Intel. While the technology is now standard on nearly all of Apple’s computers -- except the Mac Pro which hasn’t received a significant update since 2010 -- PC manufacturers have been slower to adopt the technology as they favored the more widespread (and cheaper) USB 3.0. Still, some 30 PCs and motherboards shipped with Thunderbolt in the past year, and Intel says it now has nearly 200 licensees, many of which have compatible products in the pipeline.




User Comments: 18

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Kevin82485 Kevin82485 said:

It would be nice if manufacturers actually made devices that used Thunderbolt. I have a desktop with it, but the port just collects dust.

JC713 JC713 said:

This should replace USB. I think the connector has to be thinned down further. USB has the advantage at this moment because of the thin profile.

treeski treeski said:

This should replace USB. I think the connector has to be thinned down further. USB has the advantage at this moment because of the thin profile.

I think Thunderbolt should replace USB where it matters... but I don't think I will ever need to plug a mouse or keyboard into a Thunderbolt port.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This should replace USB. I think the connector has to be thinned down further. USB has the advantage at this moment because of the thin profile.

I was under the impression Thunderbolt does not provide power, which is where USB shines the most.

JC713 JC713 said:

I was under the impression Thunderbolt does not provide power, which is where USB shines the most.

I think you are right.

I think Thunderbolt should replace USB where it matters... but I don't think I will ever need to plug a mouse or keyboard into a Thunderbolt port.

Yeah, true.

Guest said:

Can you let the mass population at least get up to date with thunderbolt 1 first. Some people haven't even touched USB 3.0 yet.

treeski treeski said:

Can you let the mass population at least get up to date with thunderbolt 1 first. Some people haven't even touched USB 3.0 yet.

As long as it all remains backwards compatible... I say, "Push forward!"

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Timing for the announcement is interesting, just 1 week before Apple's WWDC. I think we may have a chance to see this new interface featured in the upcoming Macbook Pro/Air update to be revealed next week, considering that Apple has been the biggest proponent of Thunderbolt.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I think Thunderbolt should replace USB where it matters... but I don't think I will ever need to plug a mouse or keyboard into a Thunderbolt port.

Hell, who needs USB for those, if your board still has PS-2 ports?

I just keep a USB mouse around in case a machine fails to detect PS-2 on resume from standby.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Hell, who needs USB for those, if your board still has PS-2 ports?

I just keep a USB mouse around in case a machine fails to detect PS-2 on resume from standby.

New generation of high-precision mice provide more traffic than PS-2 can handle. But knowing you, I think you would be more interested in a high-precision mousetraps, they don't need a PC at all Here's the most efficient way to trap mice: http://americanalps.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/mouse-trap-w
3-dead-side.jpg

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Who needs a wireless mouse? Death to them all. LOL

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

New generation of high-precision mice provide more traffic than PS-2 can handle. But knowing you, I think you would be more interested in a high-precision mousetraps, they don't need a PC at all Here's the most efficient way to trap mice: http://americanalps.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/mouse-trap-w
3-dead-side.jpg

Well, I can't exactly use up the bandwidth of PS-2. I'm old, mainstream, lazy, and overall not that infatuated with my computer prowess.

As to real mice, I have two declawed old cats. They have very little success at actually catching mice, but they do work their nerves to a frazzle, while relegating them to hiding inside the gas range. Which frankly, has been superseded by the microwave anyway..

As far as your concept mouse trap goes, I think you should put one in your living room and tell all your guests it's an "aquarium".

Then piss on their heads, and tell them it's "raining".

misor misor said:

Can you let the mass population at least get up to date with thunderbolt 1 first. Some people haven't even touched USB 3.0 yet.

some people that I know are now purchasing usb 3.0 flash drives although most of them don't have usb 3.0 ports yet.

the price between usb 3.0. and usb 2.0 devices are small so it's better to buy the newer generation.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

As far as your concept mouse trap goes, I think you should put one in your living room and tell all your guests it's an "aquarium".

Then piss on their heads, and tell them it's "raining".

Oh, you are getting too cranky on me... I like the first idea, it will keep unexpected guests away. I leave the second one to our local politicians, they are experts at this...

ypsylon said:

TB will be dead in the same as FW is by now. Said that from the beginning and I cannot see anything on the horizon that will change current status quo. USB 3 is simply far superior option. And most important USB3 is crap load cheaper to implement than that whole minefield of proprietary BS connected with Thunderbolt.

As for mouse/keyboard discussion. Nothing will ever beat PS/2.

Oh and BTW: death to all thing wireless. I hate those badly, starting with curse of modern world - mobile phone.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

TB will be dead in the same as FW is by now.
It's way to early to draw that conclusion. Especially if and when fiber optics are implemented, which was the initial designs of Light Peak.

And most important USB3 is crap load cheaper to implement than that whole minefield of proprietary BS connected with Thunderbolt.
I don't believe Thunderbolt tech will remain expensive. I could be wrong but in my mind, Intel is allowing Apple to pave the way and soon we will start seeing many new cheaper devices for PC.

If you ask me monitors/TVs and external storage (not portable storage) should be among the first to adopt Thunderbolt.

Gopal Bhat Gopal Bhat said:

Hell, who needs USB for those, if your board still has PS-2 ports?

I just keep a USB mouse around in case a machine fails to detect PS-2 on resume from standby.

New generation of high-precision mice provide more traffic than PS-2 can handle. But knowing you, I think you would be more interested in a high-precision mousetraps, they don't need a PC at all Here's the most efficient way to trap mice: http://americanalps.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/mouse-trap-w
3-dead-side.jpg

I hope you're not serious about that mouse trap thing because that is incredibly cruel.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I hope you're not serious about that mouse trap thing because that is incredibly cruel.
Would it make a difference if there was a "Danger Do Not Enter" sign on the bucket?

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