Intel has introduced an improved version of its Thunderbolt
interface, doubling the transfer speeds to 20 Gbps upstream and downstream. With a booth at the National Association of Broadcasters expo this week, Intel notes that its next-generation Thunderbolt controller, codenamed Falcon Ridge, has the bandwidth to support 4K video file transfers while simultaneously driving a 4K display.
The current Thunderbolt hardware supports 10 Gbps transfer rates in both directions, however some uncompressed 4K formats would not leave enough room to handle the display signal.
The company also introduced Redwood Ridge Thunderbolt controllers for its fourth-generation Core-series processors, adding DisplayPort 1.2 capabilities, improved power management, smaller component size and reduced costs. Existing equipment will also be able to benefit from thinner electrical cables.
The Falcon Ridge technology is expected to ship before the end of the year, with full implementation in 2014. The next-generation tech will be backwards compatible, using the same cables as the current tech, while the thinner cables are "coming soon."