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Technology Brief Interconnect Technology

™ Thunderbolt Technology 1 The Fastest Connection to your PC Thunderbolt™ technology is a transformational high-speed, dual protocol I/O that provides unmatched performance over current I/O technologies with 10Gbps bi-directional transfer speeds. It provides flexibility and simplicity by supporting both data (PCIe) and video (DisplayPort) on a single cable connection that can daisy-chain up to six devices. Thunderbolt technology enables flexible and innovative system designs and is ideal for thin profile systems and devices such as Ultrabooks™. Key Thunderbolt Technology Benefits Thunderbolt technology dramatically increases the data transfer rate enabling faster backup, editing and file sharing, significantly reducing the time to complete key tasks. Thunderbolt technology was specifically designed with inherently low latency and highly accurate time synchronization capabilities. These features enable extremely accurate audio and video creation, playback and editing that no other standard interconnect technology can match. Figure 1. Thunderbolt™ cables expand a thin and light laptop to a high- resolution display and high-performance storage in a simple daisy chain. Key Features • 10Gbps bi-directional, dual channel data transfer • Data & Video on single cable with Dual-protocol (PCI Express and DisplayPort) • Daisy chain up to six devices • Compatible with existing DisplayPort devices • Low latency with highly accurate time synchronization • Uses native PCIe and DisplayPort protocol software drivers • Power over cable for bus-powered devices (electrical cables only) Some users need workstation performance but demand an Ultrabook form factor. With Thunderbolt technology it is now possible to enable the thinnest and lightest laptops connected over a single cable to high performance storage, external media drives, multiple HD displays, HD media and editing systems as well as legacy I/O hubs and devices. Giving users the ability to have thin and light ultrabook systems but also the power, capability and expandability of a traditional workstation. Rethinking I/O As every generation of information technology progresses, I/O technologies evolve to provide higher bandwidth for getting data into and out of computers. At its simplest, two discrete types of I/O have resulted – display (with formatted video and audio components), and data. Traditional approaches to this evolution have been to make an existing technology faster. Thunderbolt technology combines the next step in higher performance with the innovation of mapping two of the most fundamental I/O protocols at the heart of computing (PCI Express and DisplayPort), onto a single highly efficient meta- protocol, transmitting them over a single cable, and managing the traffic routing (supporting daisy chaining and hot-plugging devices) with intelligent hardware controllers. The choice of PCI Express was clear, providing for off-the-shelf controller use to attach to nearly any technology imaginable, and the choice of DisplayPort was equally clear for meeting the needs of the PC industry with capabilities like support for multiple HD displays, and support for up to 8 channels of high-definition audio. 1 Protocol Architecture Thunderbolt technology is based on a switched fabric architecture with full-duplex links. Unlike bus-based I/O architectures, each Thunderbolt port on a computer is capable of providing the full bandwidth of Read the full Technology Brief Interconnect Technology.