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Intel announces next-gen Thunderbolt with 20 Gbps throughput, 4K support

Sarah Silbert
April 8, 2013
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Here at NAB, Intel just introduced the next generation of its Thunderbolt interface, which promises a data rate of 20 Gbps in both directions (on each of the two channels) as opposed to 10 Gbps for the previous version. Of course, the company stepped back for a moment first, boasting that Thunderbolt currently has about 200 licensees, and more compatible devices -- along with new, thinner cables -- should be coming out in the following months. Building up to the big reveal, Intel also shared some info about its new Thunderbolt host controller, (code-named Redwood Ridge), which will be built into some of Intel's upcoming fourth-gen Core processors.

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. It will be backward-compatible with previous-gen Thunderbolt cables and connectors, and production is set to ramp up in 2014. An on-stage demo with fresh-off-the-press silicon showed the new Thunderbolt running 1,200 MBps, which is certainly a step up from what's currently on the market.

Update: We've added a video of the Thunderbolt demo from Intel's stage. Hop on past the break to check it out.

In this article: intel, nab2013, thunderbolt, video
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