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Intel shows off 20Gbit/s Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt controller

Doubles the bandwidth for those that can afford it
Tue Apr 09 2013, 16:17
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CHIPMAKER Intel has announced an update to its Thunderbolt bus boosting bandwidth to 20Gbit/s while introducing 10Gbit/s controllers with lower power consumption.

Intel's Thunderbolt bus was first seen on Apple's machines but it was last year before chipsets supporting the bus started to appear on other machines. Now the firm has shown off an updated version of Thunderbolt that doubles the bandwidth to 20Gbit/s.

The firm's new DSL4510 and DSL4410 controllers still run at 10Gbit/s but now have Displayport 1.2 support. The firm also cited power reduction and reduced costs for the chipset over previous parts.

With Intel promoting Thunderbolt as a Firewire replacement, it is not surprising the firm chose the National Association of Broadcasters' show in Las Vegas to make the announcement. The firm said the chipset, known as Falcon Ridge, will have enough bandwidth for 4K television resolution, a resolution that content creators are increasingly working in as the broadcast industry starts to move on from the ageing HD 1080p standard.

Hard drive controller maker Promise also showed off its Thunderbolt equipped enclosures, including what it claimed to be the first Thunderbolt RAID server, the Pegasus R4/R6, that has been certified by Intel.

Intel has said it intends to ramp up Thunderbolt's bandwidth and eventually move it from copper to fiber optics. However consumers have been slow to buy Thunderbolt devices due to their prices, especially as eSATA drives and enclosures can be had for considerably less. µ


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