Computex 2013: Thunderbolt 2 with 4K support

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 5, 2013 - 05:58 PM |
Tagged: computex, thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2, Light Peak

We received Thunderbolt, on the PC at least, a year ago. While not yet ubiquitous, we will be receiving an update to the interface sooner than you would expect. The main advantages of Thunderbolt is the ridiculous bandwidth and ability to daisy-chain with displays. Thunderbolt 2 looks to advance both of those features.

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Thunderbolt is based around a PCI Express signal for data and DisplayPort for video, both combined down a single cable. The cable, in fact, is compatible with Mini DisplayPort adapters and devices if used exclusively for video. The upgrade to Thunderbolt 2 advances the video standard to DisplayPort 1.2; as a result, Thunderbolt 2 devices will be capable of driving a 4K monitor (supposedly with sound) without requiring multiple cables to be connected.

In terms of strict bandwidth, Thunderbolt 2 will provide double the data rate of the original Thunderbolt. Instead of 10Gbps, new devices will be able to transfer at 20Gbps. This is especially useful for video content creators looking to manage, in real time, 4K or 120Hz data transferring between cameras and video gear. Struggling with large video capture bandwidth is something we know about...

As expected, there is not really any talk about specific prices yet (I would expect that depends on implementation) but you should look forward to it landing either really late this year or early next year. As for the original Thunderbolt? Well, the new standard is backwards compatible but there is concern whether new devices would be fairly crippled without the new standard.

Source: Intel
June 5, 2013 | 06:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Macbook Retina pros, will still have 2 thunderbolt ports on them? One of the advantages of having having 2 TB ports, is that the laptop does not have to be an end point on the chain! I would not be very happy if the Macbook Retina pros, only came with 1 port with double the bandwidth, unless there was a hub to make it dual 10 GP ports again, but 2, 20Gb (40Gb bidirectional) ports, would be great! And for macbook AIR owners, a single thunderbolt II port would be an improvment, just do not get rid of the 2 TB ports on the Macbook pro!

June 6, 2013 | 12:31 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Not a clue, unfortunately. Apple is as Apple does.

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