Thunderbolt™ technology was developed by Intel® in collaboration with Apple® in order to transform the performance of PCs. The key features of Thunderbolt™ technology include optical or electrical cables, daisy-chained devices, dual-channel 10Gbs per port and compatibility with prevailing Display Port devices.
Other characteristics include the use of both PCI Express and Display Port protocols, low latency with high, accurate time synchronisation and power over cable for bus-powered devices. The technology is also bi-directional and implements local protocol software drivers (Shah 16).
The performance and protocols available in Thunderbolt™ technology provide designers with freedom and flexibility to come up with new computer products and configurations. Using Thunderbolt™ technology allows designers to come up with the impartial performance expansion technologies that are typical in the desktops, possible using local device drivers that are joined by a single cable.
Thunderbolt™ technology also enables designers to come up with thinner and lighter laptops, as well as, miniature connectors that are ideal for use in mobile applications, without compromising on the input-output (I/O) performance. Another benefit of the Thunderbolt™ technology is ease of incorporating adaptors that use existing PCI Express controllers to boost I/O performance (Frakes & Dan 16).
The close association between Intel and apple helped to forge a mode of storage that marks the beginning of an exciting era of peripheral connectivity. The Thunderbolt™ technology storage devices provide an opportunity for manufacturers to continue in the process of providing both professionals and consumers with quality devices.
The storage devices have transfer rates of up to 700MB while daisy-chained between a PC and the screen. The storage devices allow for fast transfer rates to authors, video editors, IT administrators and graphic designers among other computer professionals and users (Wong 17).
Another property of Thunderbolt™ technology is its support for existing protocols. The technology allows for the simultaneous transmission of both data and display protocols through the integration of PCI Express and Display Port communication. This allows for the simplification of various tasks in both the home and office.
The combination of two protocols in one cable has allowed designers to come up with compact laptops while using the least number of links between the gadgets. The technology allows users to connect to multiple devices including storage, displays, peripherals and audio/video devices among others.
Thunderbolt technology uses copper cables to boost its transfer speeds. The copper cables are flexible, durable, and make an easy fit into the Mini Display Port interface, which enhances their compatibility with various displays (Wong 17).
Thunderbolt technology is a high-speed cable technology that provides two 10 GB/s bi-directional channels from one port in the connection between computers and electronic devices. The high speeds allow consumers and professionals to manage the increasing amounts of digital data that require processing.
Such performance levels enhance various processes including content creation, IT administration, digital libraries and home storage. The technology allows administrators to back-up servers and editors to process numerous media files in remarkably little time. The technology also provides professionals and consumers of consistent transfer rates with low latency.
This attribute is most beneficial to video editors since it means that they can work on high resolution, high-Definition tasks, without losing frames. “Sound designers also stand to benefit from low latency due to reduced phase distortion and enhanced accuracy in time synchronisation between audio and video” (Intel Corporation 2).
Thunderbolt technology also allows for daisy-chaining of over five peripherals such as cameras, monitors and hard drives among others. The connection of one cable to one port provides a user with two channels of 10GB/s data transfer in either direction without compromising the bandwidth.
The fast transfer rates are also provided for in the design of mobile devices using thunderbolt technology. The mobility and performance of these mobile devices are most useful to journalists since they can easily use them with other devices such as their laptops and cameras when reporting on secluded stories (Intel Corporation 2).
The excitement around Thunderbolt technology was first experienced with the release of Apple’s latest MacBook Pro Models. Technology enthusiasts showed immense interest with the choice made by Apple to make the technology its key feature of the devices.
The appeal of Thunderbolt technology, previously referred to as Light Peak, is its ability to facilitate fast transfer of various media through simple connections between devices. The technology has provided designers with new, exciting ways to build and use PCs, providing both professionals and consumers with a real solution to simple and fast transfer of content between devices and PCs (Apple 5).
Apple. ‘Apple Announces New iMac With Next Generation Quad-Core Processors, Graphics & Thunderbolt I/O Technology. Business Wire (English).’ Regional Business News. 2005. Web.
Frakes, Dan, and Dan Moren. ‘Thunderbolt: What You Need To Know.’ Academic Search Premier. 2005. Web.
Intel, Corporation. ‘Intel Announces Thunderbolt™ Technology: The Fastest Data Connection to Your PC Just Arrived.’ Business Wire (English) 2: Regional Business News. 2005. Web.
Shah, Agam. ‘100 Thunderbolt Devices In 2012, Says Intel.’ Academic Search Premier. 2012. Web.
Wong, Bill. ‘Thunderbolt And Light Peak Set Their Sights On Display And Data Connection.’ Electronic Design Apr. Academic Search Premier. 2011. Web.