Intel announces next generation, 20Gbps Thunderbolt

Intel announces new version of Thunderbolt

Intel has announced the next generation of its Thunderbolt interface with support for up to 20Gbps throughput, as well as support for 4K. Code-named Falcon Ridge, this new version of Thunderbolt sports some impressive capabilities. According to Engadget

But let's talk about the real news: the next-gen Thunderbolt tech (code-named Falcon Ridge) enables 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously in addition to running at 20 Gbps.

In addition to its impressive output, Falcon Ridge will be compatible with the first-generation ports and connectors. The current version of Thunderbolt, formerly Light Peak, has a maximum throughput of 10Gbps, and has been on various Macs since 2011.

Of particular interest to Mac users -- current Thunderbolt connectors can't support enough bandwidth for a theoretical Retina 27" LED Thunderbolt display. This one could.

Falcon Ridge is expected to start production in 2014.

Source: Engadget

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Joseph Keller

News Writer for Mobile Nations. Fascinated by the ways that technology connects us.

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Reader comments

Intel announces next generation, 20Gbps Thunderbolt


Amazing. You think this technology will ever fall into the hands of iPhone users, or is it simply to big to put into an iPhone?

If I understood Anandtech's article: 1. Redwood Ridge's ThunderBolt spec (Display Port 1.2) controllers are being released this year most likely with Intel's Haswell chips and are capable of displaying 4K content, most likely with the 2013 Mac lineup. These are still 10GBs transfer rate but could display a 4K resolution. So is it possible we could see a 4K Thunderbolt display later this year?

The current Thunderbolt display's is 2560 by 1440, not sure whether Apple would need to double this resolution to be "retina" though I don't think they need to.

2. The 2014 Falcon Ridge controllers increase the performance from 10GBs to 20GBs also 4K (or higher?) and AnandTech speculates this spec may also allow for external GPU's.

Re: "...and AnandTech speculates this spec may also allow for external GPU's."

Awesome. If there's enough bandwidth for that, there's also enough bandwidth for external CPUs. As in snapping together CPU modules, SSD modules, GPU modules, etc.

I've always thought that some future Mac Pro could be completely modular. The enabling technology would be a faster connector protocol, and 20Gbps Thunderbolt could be it.

I'm excited for the potential of daisy chain displays in he Haswell Thunderbolt update. This daisy chain feature is only available in DisplayPort 1.2

Honestly, expansion of Thunderbolt to make more accessories available at a cheaper price seems more important to me right now.

Irrespective of how great it is and its benefits over USB, I don't see the average user picking it over USB 3.0, especially when USB is so ubiquitous.

Hopefully, Intel makes it a requirement for Ultrabooks in the near future, like it has touchscreens for Haswell.

Think the potential of Thunderbolt is great but it sure makes for expensive products. And not having USB3 on my Macbook is a drag.