Thunderbolt/Light Peak

On Thursday, Intel announced Thunderbolt (formerly codenamed Light Peak), a new interface for connecting peripheral devices to a computer. It was developed in cooperation with Apple with the recently refreshed MacBook Pros being the first computers to have Thunderbolt. The connector being a Mini Display Port.

Intel first announced Light Peak at the 2009 Intel Developers Forum. The proposed standard was intended to replace FireWire and USB.

Thunderbolt uses either copper or fiber connections for 10 Gbps bidirectional communication. That speed is 20 times faster than the theoretical limit of USB 2.0, 12 times faster than FireWire 800, and twice as fast as USB 3. According to Intel, 10 Gbps is usable bandwidth and not a theoretical limit.

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