The promise has been made many times, but 45 years after the advent of the personal computer still cabling remains a real and persistent issue. Whereas USB’s inability to daisy chain and FireWire’s licensing terms crippled their chances, a newly launched challenger could succeed where those standards failed.
The Apple Display Connector (ADC) — DVI, power, USB — was brilliant except for the fact that it was around for just a few years, leaving buyers with high quality displays that could only connect to a few Mac models and zero PCs.
Intel’s Thunderbolt offers the promise of ADC and more — display, USB and power can all go over a single cable that can daisy chain. Moreover, Thunderbolt can deliver up to 10Gbps of sustained throughput, which is twice that of USB 3′s burst rate without the processor overhead.
So, a single cable out the back of your Mac can handle display, mouse, keyboard, external storage and power (for all) while simultaneously performing data intensive tasks like video import, disk copying, etc.
Apple’s latest display connection tech, which superficially not as ambitious as ADC, is DisplayPort. On the newest MacBook Pro models, it’s replaced (above) by Thunderbolt, which if not pin-to-pin identical is at least compatible and that’s an important wedge vis-a-vis market adoption.
Says who? IHS iSuppli reports that DisplayPort shipments are up 150 percent year-over-year and that’s more than just surging Mac sales alone can account for.
This means that PC makers, those lovely people that have carried forward the VGA connector, are also adopting DisplayPort and implicitly Thunderbolt. The professional video editing and data storage segments, which can truly leverage Thunderbolt’s daisy-chainable marriage of display, I/O and PCIExpress, could prove to be the market multiplier.
Moreover, Thunderbolt/DisplayPort’s diminutive size makes it ideal for tablets and ultraportable laptops, the two big growth segments, and that’s something every PC maker with a ticker symbol is working on…
Is the world ready for Thunderbolt?
via Fast Company