Most you might not be using Thunderbolt for transferring data but let me share some details about this groundbreaking technology. Thunderbolt is an I/O technology introduced by Intel in 2011 and was implemented in Apple’s MacBook Pro (2011 model). It has a bi-directional transfer rate of 10 Gbps and a typical Thunderbolt cable can carry PCI Express DisplayPort data. Thunderbolt cable Figure 1 : Thunderbolt cable

There are various external devices that use this technology in the modern world such as RAID arrays, portable hard disk drives and external displays. Multiples HD displays and up to eight channels of HD audio can be supported by the DisplayPort. In April 2013, Intel announced an advancement to this incredible technology : Thunderbolt 2. The improved version provides two channels of the same bandwidth, allowing a data transfer rate of 20 Gbps. This is up to 20 times faster when compared with USB 2.0 and up to 12 times faster than with FireWire 800. A comparison chart of data transfer rates is given below : Data transfer comparison chart

Figure 2:  Data transfer rates for different media

Thunderbolt 2 also enables simultaneous 4K video file transfer and display and allows up to six Thunderbolt peripherals to be daisy-chained. There are Ethernet and FireWire  adapters available in the market for thunderbolt ports as well, so that if you own a 2013 model of the MacBook Pro, connecting to the internet using an Ethernet cable is no hassle.

References :

[1]  Apple (United Kingdom) – Thunderbolt: Next-generation high-speed I/O technology.. 2014. Apple (United Kingdom) – Thunderbolt: Next-generation high-speed I/O technology.. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.apple.com/uk/thunderbolt/. [Accessed 02 April 2014].

[2]  Thunderbolt™ Technology for Developers. 2014. Thunderbolt™ Technology for Developers. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/thunderbolt/thunderbolt-technology-developer.html. [Accessed 02 April 2014]. [3]  Pegasus RAID Storage with Thunderbolt™ . 2014. Pegasus RAID Storage with Thunderbolt™ . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?m=192®ion=en-global&rsn1=40&rsn3=47. [Accessed 02 April 2014].

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