The Thunderbolt Cable
The Thunderbolt cable was co-developed by Apple and Intel.† The Thunderbolt connection was first introduced on Macbook machines in early 2011 and is expected to be the new connection standard for high-end Displays, Storage Devices and Computers.
Where did it come from?† What are the capabilities of the Thunderbolt cable?† What is expected for the future?
The Thunderbolt cable was co-developed by Apple and Intel.† These two companies had great success in cable connectors with the invention or involvement in design of USB, PCI Express, and Firewire.† The Thunderbolt connection was first introduced on Macbook machines in early 2011 and is expected to be the new connection standard for high-end Displays, Storage Devices and Computers.
A Thunderbolt cable is capable of 10Gigabtyes per second (10Gbps) per direction, and up to 6high performance displays and devices can be connected in a chain.† This can be compared with the brand new USB 3.0 which performs at half the speed with 5Gbs.† The Thunderbolt connectors contain chipsets at both ends of a cable.
The chips allow Thunderbolt to support both PCI Express and DisplayPort technology and† Thunderboltis backwards compatible with both PCI Express and DisplayPort hardware.† The Thunderbolt connector has the same connection jack and plug as the high resolution Mini-DisplayPort allowing down stream compatibility with Mini-DisplayPort cables and Mini-DisplayPort Adapters such as HDMI, VGA and DVI.
Currently there are only a few products which support Thunderbolt technology.† Thunderbolt already has a high chance of success because of its support from Intel and Apple, however the cost of the cable is quite high because of the six chips at either end of any cable. Thunderbolt technology will at the very least become the standard connection type for high end devices.†† What's in contention is whether Thunderbolt will in time replace USB as the standard.† Most cable retailers offer Thunderbolt conversion cables for relatively cheap, based on Mini-Display port technology.† Apple currently offers a Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt cable for $49.
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