We can think of a pretty good reason why Apple might have a head-start when it comes to Thunderbolt-capable machines, but Apple doesn't actually have a timed exclusive on the technology, at least according to Intel PR. The company told us that while it's currently targeting an early 2012 launch for Thunderbolt with other OEMs -- whereas the new MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt right now -- there's nothing stopping other manufacturers from launching machines with the 10Gbps interconnect a good bit earlier if they so desire.

In related news, the first Thunderbolt peripherals have just been formally announced -- the Promise Pegasus RAID array we saw spitting out 800MB / sec video streams, and the LaCie Little Big Disk. The former will come in four-bay and six-bay variants, topping out at 12TB of magnetic storage when it arrives in Q2, and the latter will boast a pair of Intel 510 Series SSDs -- which, by the way, have yet to be formally announced -- in RAID 0 for 500GB of storage in total. PR after the break.
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Intel Thunderbolt, Promise Pegasus and LaCie Little Big Disk close-up shots

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LaCie Introduces Little Big Disk, Featuring High-Speed Thunderbolt Technology

PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LaCie today announced the LaCie Little Big Disk featuring the all-new Thunderbolt™ technology, developed by Intel® and brought to market with collaboration from Apple®. Designed to store large audio and video files, the LaCie Little Big Disk will bring a new level of performance to creative workflows with ultra-fast data transfer, complete system backup in minutes, and faster content editing than ever before.

"Thunderbolt technology is a breakthrough in I/O technology and represents the future of mobile computing. Soon you will be able to carry workstation-class power and functionality in compact devices," said Philippe Spruch, Chairman and General Manager, LaCie. "LaCie is excited to be one of the first to deliver Thunderbolt technology with the LaCie Little Big Disk."

"Intel believes Thunderbolt technology in combination with LaCie's unique portfolio of storage products and displays will drive new levels of performance and simplicity for consumers," said Jason Ziller, Director, Thunderbolt Planning and Marketing, Intel Corporation.

Thunderbolt technology delivers incredible bandwidth at 10Gbps and runs two protocols (PCI Express and DisplayPort) simultaneously over a single cable for connectivity to high performance peripherals like LaCie Little Disk and high-resolution displays. Created with mobile and media professionals in mind, Thunderbolt technology moves content with blazing speed and facilitates complete system backups in minutes. Using a single Thunderbolt cable, users can connect their notebooks to high resolution displays, cameras and storage - all at the same time - for a fast, simple, and portable computing environment.

The LaCie Little Big Disk can deliver multiple streams of HD video and offload hours of content in minutes without compromising bandwidth and performance. With the LaCie Little Big Disk, speeds that previously were only available from rack mounted storage arrays are now possible with a portable computer - including Apple's MacBook® Pro, the first notebook to feature Thunderbolt technology. Users will be able to edit on-set during a day of filming, and then transfer all of the assets for the edit suite within seconds. The LaCie Little Big Disk can even be daisy chained for storage expansion or connecting other peripherals.

AVAILABILITY

The LaCie Little Big Disk will be the first in a range of storage and peripherals solutions from LaCie that feature Thunderbolt technology. The Little Big Disk will be available by summer 2011 from the LaCie Online Store (www.lacie.com), the Apple Store (www.apple.com) and authorized resellers. For more information please visit www.lacie.com.

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PROMISE Technology Announces Pegasus Storage Line With All-New Thunderbolt Technology

2/24/2011

MILPITAS, Calif. – February 24, 2011 – PROMISE Technology today announced Pegasus, the industry's first-high performance hardware RAID solution designed to unleash the raw speed of the all-new Thunderbolt™ technology. Designed from the ground up for media and entertainment customers, Pegasus offers superior speed and throughput in a form factor small enough for a desktop, and is available in 4-bay and 6-bay aluminum enclosures with up to 12TB of raw storage.

"Intel is excited about the superior performance and simplicity Thunderbolt technology and PROMISE's Pegasus family of products will bring to consumers and media professionals trying to keep up with the explosion of digital media," said Jason Ziller, Director, Thunderbolt Planning and Marketing, Intel Corporation.

Utilizing Thunderbolt technology high-speed I/O, Pegasus can deliver a blistering 800 MB/s of sustained throughput, roughly 12x faster than Firewire 800 and 20x faster than USB 2.0. Pegasus is ideal for creative professionals, power users and consumers who desire high capacity external storage with advanced performance and enterprise level data protection.

"PROMISE is thrilled to deliver one of the first peripherals to feature the blazing speed of Thunderbolt technology," said James Lee, CEO, PROMISE Technology. "Pegasus brings groundbreaking RAID performance to creative professionals in the studio, on location and in the home. Pegasus is the ultimate complement to PROMISE's extensive storage offerings ranging from the Apple qualified VTrak subsystems to DS4600 – Direct Attached Storage for home, SOHO and AV professionals."

Pegasus gives Final Cut Studio creative professionals the ability to edit and playback multiple streams of uncompressed 8-bit and 10-bit high-definition video on the new MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt technology. Pegasus can also provide massive storage space for other popular Apple applications such as Aperture, Garageband, iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie and is fully compatible with Time Machine.

Thunderbolt technology offers amazing flexibility for connectivity to high-performance peripherals like Pegasus and high-resolution displays. Thunderbolt technology is capable of delivering a mind boggling two channels of 10 Gb/s per port of bandwidth, achieving a level of performance previously reserved for workstation-class peripherals and RAID enclosures. Connect multiple Pegasus enclosures to one another for additional storage up to 72 TB, or connect a high-resolution display to Pegasus for the ultimate in convenience.

Pegasus is offered as a 4-bay or 6-bay RAID enclosure supporting seven RAID modes including RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60. Pegasus features two Thunderbolt technology ports, a new sleek and stylish aluminum enclosure and a smart fan for reduced system noise.

Pricing and Availability
PROMISE Technology's Pegasus hardware RAID solution will be available for order from the Apple Store (www.apple.com) and authorized resellers in Q2. Pricing will be announced at a later date.

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Intel refutes Apple exclusivity for Thunderbolt I/O, LaCie and Promise detail first Thunderbolt peripherals