Intel Thunderbolt Ups the I/O Ante
The race to faster connection links, both internal and external, have driven the connector industry to develop entirely new products that have bumped their rated bandwidth from a few hundred megahertz to 25+ Gb/s. The introduction of the universal serial bus (USB) 3.0 caused some skeptics to question the practical value of 5 Gb/s I/O links, as so few applications could take advantage of that data rate. USB 3.0 is now appearing on a host of computers and peripherals, which enable them to support new generations of emerging high-speed applications.
In September 2009, Intel demonstrated their LightPeak technology, a high-speed optic interface that would initially be rated at 10 Gb/s, but could conceivably be increased as demand for higher data rates developed. Little additional news about LightPeak surfaced until February 24, 2011, when Apple Computer introduced several new MacBook Pro notebooks that sported a new copper 10 Gb/s I/O port.
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