SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Intel and Apple sent quite a shock wave through the PC and consumer electronics communities today with the launch of Thunderbolt, a high-end interconnect that leapfrogs both Firewire and USB 3.0.
Plenty of questions remain unanswered. But Intel has shed light on some of the major issues. Here's the EE Times FAQ on Thunderbolt.
1. When will a full spec be openly available?
Intel is so far only sharing full technical specs of Thunderbolt under non-disclosure with partners making Thunderbolt products. It plans to release a developer's kit before July that will include technical specifications for Thunderbolt. However, it currently has no plans to publish details of the spec online.
For those concerned about the use of multiple pages: I agree we who sit in front of screens so much all get tired of the finger work of clicking and the ten second page loading delays. Unfortunately one of the few ways we in publishing--who struggle to make a buck to pay our salaries these days--get rewarded in the Web era is by getting more clicks and page views. This is the price of FREE NEWS. Enjoy it while it lasts because someday there will be PAID NEWS or NO NEWS. Thus ends my rant.
Heads up: This technology is a path to get
'optical computing' (OC) and OC hardware into the next generation of computers. Utilizing the OC technology - computing can move to the x10,000 faster range ... I predict by 2012. The OC prototypes are running now in labs.
I'm surprised that PCIe hasn't officially extended beyond the enclosure before now. Back in the 3GIO days I just assumed that PCIe would naturally be used to bridge enclosures. This would open up a whole new world of system partitioning. Is Thunderbolt essentially PCIe. If not, what is the real value add? Why not use Infiniband?
I predict Thunderbolt will suffer the same fate as Firewire for the same reasons.
USB3 has much greater current momentum and backing from the industry.
Yes Thunderbolt is faster than USB3 but Firewire was also faster than USB2 but USB still won out.
Because it was cheaper to implement and backward compatible to USB1.
Eventually USB4 will be just as fast or close to Thunderbolt.
Also more and more products are sensitive to power. If Thunderbolt is a power hog, then all the more reason USB3 will prevail.
AFAIK at the moment, they have not given the voltage or the current ratings, but they have stated the watt rating here.
"Thunderbolt cables may be electrical or optical; both use the same
Thunderbolt connector. An active electrical-only cable provides
for connections of up to 3 meters in length, and provides for up to
[b]10W [/b] of power deliverable to a bus-powered device. And an active
optical cable provides for much greater lengths; tens of meters."
Intel have stated after this article went up they do not have an exclusive deal with apple, in fact they said there is not problem for any vendor to order and produce product right now,(as already stated) , only that it be on a case by case basis to licence the IP .
regarding your comment first of all thanks for the clarification ...
"it may not be too long before we see consumer appliances offering 10Gig RJ45 ports."
the problem is not that finally the home/SOHO consumer can get a 10Gig RJ45 product, but rather that they would not and cant reasonably be expected to pay $2000 plus for a simple basic 10Gig RJ45 switch never mind a 10Gig RJ45 router.
even if these (later this year)active fibre Thunderbolt Controller embedded cables turn out to be priced at current extortionate (from a home users perspective)10Gig RJ45 per port prices then even 7 active fibre Thunderbolt cables would be far lower total priced than even that 10Gig RJ45 switch today.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.