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what is Thunderbolt data transfer technology

Updated on January 21, 2012

Thunderbolt is new data transfer technology from Intel with a speed of 10 GB per second. Thunderbolt was first introduced in 2009 with a name as Light Peak. This is designed to transmit data through this glass cables which are based on fiber optics.

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What is Thunderbolt?

Thunderbolt is a high speed data transfer interface developed based on the PCI Express and Displayport architectures. It also provides power through a single connection to the peripheral devices such as hard disks, video capturing devices,flash drives etc.Its throughput is very fast as it is directly connected to the PCI express bus. It is also capable of transmitting HD video using displayport protocol.

Thunderbolt can support a bi-directional data transfer of 10 GB per second per channel, and each thunderbolt port has 2 channels.

Thunderbolt port supports both optical and electrical connections.

Thunderbolt port is added in the Apple's Macbook pros launched last week which uses a mini display port jack that is compatible with all other existing and it supports electrical connectivity.

thunderbolt can carry data,video, audio and network data of any kind which can come up as a universal standard and may replace USB in near future. It is possible to use the existing peripheral devices with thunderbolt with proper adapter. Six devices can be connected to a single port similar to firewire devices. the performance may not degrade even if the multiple devices are connected as long as they do not exceed the shared bandwidth available for the port.

thunderbolt is based on the PCI express technology, it can handle audio and video in the same way as earlier. It can handle upto 8 channels of audio and the video resoultion depends on the graphic card used. 

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