12 Apr 2013

Intel Doubles Thunderbolt Throughput

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Now *that* is speedy Now *that* is speedy Intel

Intel's unveiling of some early silicon and at least some cursory details of its next generation Thunderbolt controller, codenamed Falcon Ridge, has some highly significant implications for the rollout of 4K.

According to a brief - very brief! - statement by the company, the new controller runs at 20Gbs, thus enabling 4K video file transfer and display at the same time. Reports are that it will also be backwards compatible with existing Thunderbolt technology, though this will, of course, peg transfer speeds at 10Gbs when the older tech is mixed in to the pipeline.

Given the costs to date of Thunderbolt cabling, this will at least reassure people that there is continued point in their current investment. And with Apple such a flag-bearer for the technology, there are already some entertaining and intriguing rumours circulating about the possibility of a 4K-capable iMac with a Retina screen (though everyone might have to wait a while for confirmation of this as the current iMac is not due for an upgrade till the autumn if Apple's previous development cycle for the machine is anything to go by).

Elsewhere, the company also introduced new DSL4510/4410 Thunderbolt controllers which add DisplayPort 1.2 capability when connecting to native DP displays, improve power management, and reduce platform BOM cost to the exisiting tech.

Initial Falcon Ridge production is expected before the end of this year, with ramp up in 2014. It might sound like a glossy US soap opera, but its impact could be genuinely dramatic.


Andy Stout

Andy has spent over two decades writing about all aspects of the broadcast and film industries for a variety of high-profile industry publications on both sides of the Atlantic. During that time the industry has moved from 4:3 SD to 16:9 SD to HD and now on to 4K HDR. He's getting kind of curious to see where it goes next.

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