Intel recently announced the successor to its Thunderbolt interface technology, Thunderbolt 2. Previously known as Falcon Ridge—which is honestly a much cooler name than the unoriginal Thunderbolt 2—the newest iteration of the interface runs twice as fast as Thunderbolt; Intel claims Thunderbolt 2 has a bandwidth of a mind-blowing 20Gbps. Intel first revealed Thunderbolt 2’s specifications in April during a National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in April. 


The Thunderbolt's two 10Gbps channels have been combined to form a single 20Gbps channel

Intel says it squeezed such high bandwidth into Thunderbolt 2 by combining the original’s two 10Gbps channels into one 20Gbps bi-directional channel that supports both data and display. This is said to enable you to view 4K video on a monitor while transferring it to another medium. The current Thunderbolt technology is limited to 10Gbps channels each for both data and display, and so can’t transfer 4K video very smoothly.

In addition, Intel has also packed in support for DisplayPort 1.2, which will let you stream video to a 4K video display or to two QHD monitors. Thunderbolt 2 will be backward compatible, so you can safely use the interface with older Thunderbolt cables and devices.


After the first Thunderbolt and Apple's Lightning, I'd hoped this one would be called Very Very Frightening. Sorry.

Thunderbolt first came to the world on Apple devices, thanks to an agreement with Intel. The interface is now a usual feature on Macs, but is yet to be embraced by the PC market, which went for the more popular USB 3.0 interface. However, Intel says over 30 PCs and motherboards, and more than a dozen HAswell-based systems have Thunderbolt interfaces. There are also said to be more than 80 peripheral devices with Thunderbolt ports. The company is also promising a few Thunderbolt 2 products by 2014.

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