Thunderbolt 1.0 - 10 Gbps (1 channel) / Thunderbolt 2.0 - 20 Gbps (2 channels)2 / Thunderbolt 3.0 - 40 Gbps (2 channels); up to 100 Gbps by 2020;
Two-way transfer (1 ascending channel, 1 descending channel);
Two channels per port on Thunderbolt 2.0 and 3.0;
Connecting multiple devices simultaneously (6 per port, including 2 screens);
The Light Peak Research Project
Intel launched the Light Peak project to replace the entire array of connectors on a computer with a single multi-purpose fibre optic cable.
LightPeak is an opportunity to make the transition from electric to optics and simplify connectivity for the user. We want to increase its speed by 10 Gbps in the years to come : from the moment you move photons rather than electrons, there is no limit to bandwidth. »
Justin Gattner (Vice President of Intel and boss of its research labs), 2010 Research@Intel Europe Conference
The goal is to use fiber optics instead of copper to transfer information. Copper has capabilities that are now coming to the end of their lives, with the democratization of high-definition flows, multi terabyte storage spaces that require appropriate transfers, etc.
As fibre optics are known to be fragile, it appears to be inappropriate for domestic use as a multimedia cable; however, Intel has ensured that the Thunderbolt is sufficiently flexible and robust. It is announced that the connector can be reconnected 7,000 times and rolled up to a diameter of 2 cm without any problems3.
Light Peak is capable of supporting multiple protocols : on the same cable, it could replace FireWire
FireWire is the trade name given by Apple to a multiplexed series interface, also known as the standard IEEE 1394 and also known as the interface i.LINK, trade name used by Sony. It is a computer bus carrying both data and command signals from the various connected devices.
It can be used to connect all kinds of bandwidth-friendly devices that require stable data throughput, especially in hard drives and digital cam
The USB bus is also said to \Hot pluggable\, that is to say that you can connect and disconnect a USB with the PC on. The system installed on the PC (Windows, linux...) recognizes it immediately.
The USB has a very interesting feature : it's the mode standby when not using the device. Also known as \Power conservation\ :
Indeed the USB bus gets suspended after 3 ms if it is no longer used. During this mode, the co
, DisplayPort, Jack, Ethernet, SATA
The SATA standard (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) , connects devices such as hard drives. It specifies a transfer format and a wiring format.
The first SATA models appeared in 2003.
The SATA I (1.x revision) interface, known as SATA 1.5Gbps, is the first generation of SATA interface clocked at 1.5Gbps. The bandwidth that is supported by the interface can reach 150MB/s.
The SATA II interface (2.x revision)
and many others at a speed that will eventually reach 100 gigabits per second. With its multi-protocol qualities and flexibility,
This universal connection will be able to move any type of data according to the needs of the device. For example, a monitor will be able to use a rate of 8 Gbps, while a slower hard drive will be content with 1 Gbps.
Its first appearance is on Macbook Pro in the form of the Mini DisplayPort connector. It was the latter that was selected for the final adoption of the Thunderbolt standard.
Partnership with Apple
MacBook Pro 2011 Thunderbolt Port
MacBook Pros released in February 2011 are the first computers with a Thunderbolt port.
The 21-inch and 27-inch iMacs, which have been on the market since May 3, 2010, also have one and two Thunderbolt ports.
MacBook Airs and Mac minis released on July 20, 2011 also have a Thunderbolt port.
The MacBook Pro with Retina display released in October 2013 has two Thunderbolt 2.0 ports.
The Macbook Pros introduced in 2016 take a new step equipped only with four Thunderbolt 3.0 ports.
Adoption of Thunderbolt by other manufacturers
Following Intel's opening of Thunderbolt technology to manufacturers other than Apple in early 2012, this connection has been adopted by several manufacturers :
Alienware uses it for its M17x R54 range of laptops and its variants
DELL uses it on its XPS5 laptops and dell Dock TB156 docking station
ASUS uses it on its ROG7 Notebook series
Lenovo adopted it on the ThinkPad W5408
GIGABYTE has created a series of motherboards featuring Thunderbolt
HP used it on the HP Envy 14
Razer now uses it on its Razer Blade and Razer Blade Stealth laptops, but also with the Razer Core, an external GPU