Intel doubles transfer speed of Thunderbolt to 20Gbps, even while transferring a 4K movie

9 Apr 2013

Chip giant Intel has previewed early prototype silicon of its next-generation Thunderbolt technology, which doubles the speed of transfer between devices from 10Gbps to 20Gbps while simultaneously transferring a 4K video file.

The company, which employs more than 4,000 people in Ireland, said that initial product production of the new Thunderbolt connectors will commence later this year and will ramp up significantly next year.

The chip giant unveiled the new technology at the US National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas this week.

Thunderbolt, a technology that can be described as the next generation beyond USB and which debuted on Apple MacBook products two years ago, is transforming file transfer between devices.

The new Thunderbolt cables and connectors, which are code-named Falcon Ridge, will enable 4K video file transfer, as well as running at 20Gbps, double the 10Gbps capability on current Thunderbolt devices.

Intel also revealed that its Thunderbolt is now licensed by 200 companies.

The company also revealed that the new Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt connectors and cables will be backward compatible with older devices. However, the older devices will be only able to transfer at 10Gbps.

Electronics image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years