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Intel details 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 connection, coming 2014

Intel have revealed more information about the next generation of Thunderbolt technology

thunderboltAfter yesterday’s official release of its Haswell processors, Intel has today revealed new details on its next project – an update to its high-speed Thunderbolt connection. Intel officially announced development of the Thunderbolt follow-up, codenamed Falcon Ridge, in April, but we now know that Thunderbolt 2 (as it has now been been officially dubbed) will allow for 20Gbps bi-directional transfers and 4K video output:

“Named “Thunderbolt™ 2”, this next generation of the technology enables 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously – that’s a lot of eye-popping video and data capability.  It is achieved by combining the two previously independent 10Gbs channels into one 20Gbs bi-directional channel that supports data and/or display.

“Current versions of Thunderbolt, although faster than other PC I/O technologies on the market today, are limited to an individual 10Gbs channel each for both data and display, less than the required bandwidth for 4K video transfer.  Also, the addition of DisplayPort 1.2 support in Thunderbolt 2 enables video streaming to a single 4K video monitor or dual QHD monitors.”

The new technology will be backwards-compatible with the current-generation connections and cables, including Mini DisplayPorts on older Macs. Intel expects production of the new technology to begin before the end of this, so we can expect Thunderbolt 2 to start landing in new Macs and accessories some time in 2014.