In 2011, Intel-led Thunderbolt first appeared inMacBookOn the Pro laptop, as a universal interface for displays, storage systems and other high-end peripherals, it has since expandedWindowson the computer.
By 2019, Intel's new Ice Lake processor will build direct support inside the chip rather than relying on a separate processor; this will undoubtedly make Thunderbolt more common. (Of course, with the injection of Thunderbolt technology, USB will also get better in 2020).
Although Thunderbolt is becoming more and more popular, Intel still plans to improve Thunderbolt. Chris Walker, Intel's director of personal computer chips, said at a recent press conference that Intel will have a strong team to continue to improve Thunderbolt. However, Intel did not specify how to improve Thunderbolt. Given the usefulness of Thunderbolt in high-end computing, it is obvious that improving Thunderbolt will speed up its speed.
So the question is: Will Thunderbolt become a true mainstream technology when USB is everywhere and faster? Whether Thunderbolt will give a new answer to this question is still unclear.
But Endpiont technical analyst Roger Kay thinks it won't. He said that Thunderbolt reminded him of IEEE 1394 (also known as FireWire interface). At the time, IEEE 1394 had technical advantages and was supported by Apple, but it was not standard and eventually lost to USB. Thunderbolt will be difficult to gain, except for special uses.
What are the advantages of Thunderbolt?
On Mac computers and some Windows computers, Thunderbolt ports can be used to connect peripherals such as monitors, high-speed network adapters, regular hard drives, and larger storage arrays. On a laptop, a Thunderbolt docking station allows your computer to access a flash memory card reader, power cable, HDMI display, Ethernet, and USB mouse and keyboard. Gamers and video editors can use Thunderbolt to plug in an external graphics card, which is more powerful than a graphics card built into a laptop.
In addition to its superior connectivity, Thunderbolt's transfer speed is fast, and it can transfer data at 40 Gigabits per second. This speed is enough to replicate the 2.5-hour Avengers 3: Infinite Wars in 1.7 seconds - 8.4 GB Full HD files.
Just as important as Thunderbolt's speed is that it can handle many types of data, for example, it can retrieve photos from the hard drive without causing any problems with 5K resolution displays.
Thunderbolt was Intel proprietary for a long time, and Intel chose to open it; this way, others could use it to do things like make controller chips.
In fact, this is why Intel is optimistic about this technology. In a statement, Intel said that the processor integration on the Ice Lake chip, coupled with the release of the protocol specification, is expected to allow Thunderbolt 3 to be adopted on a large scale, allowing it to move toward the mainstream.
[Source: CNET Owner: CNET]
Thunderbolt integrated in Ice Lake
Today, Thunderbolt is common on high-end Windows laptops, and it has the same design as the newer USB-C ports. Every year, the number of computers with Thunderbolt is doubling, and tens of millions of computers are now on sale. According to Intel, the number of Thunderbolt peripherals has doubled at the same rate, and there are currently 450 certified products on the market.
[Source: Wikipedia Owner: Wikipedia]
Thunderbolt's debut was at the 2009 Intel Technology Forum, and although Thunderbolt has been around for a long time, it wasn't until this year that Thunderbolt was so tightly integrated with Intel's Core chips. Although the production of the chip was a few years late due to Intel's manufacturing difficulties, Ice Lake still helped a lot. Ice Lake's circuit miniaturization allows Intel to package more capabilities directly onto the chip. It is worth mentioning that Thunderbolt takes up a lot of chip area.
About Thunderbolt integration, Intel senior lead engineer Ophir Edlis said at a press conference in May that historically, after integrating graphics on Sandy Bridge, we have never experienced such a large-scale integration. The engineer said that we will see more and more platforms adopting Thunderbolt, and the user experience will become better and better.
In addition, Edlis said that building Thunderbolt in Ice Lake means it will use less power than a single controller chip now—up to 300 milliwatts per port. If there are 4 ports, then save 1.2 W. In contrast, the configuration of the Ice Lake chip will consume 9 W, 15 W or 28 W.
Not only that, Thunderbolt integration also means that it is easier for PC manufacturers to install two Thunderbolt ports on both sides of the notebook, which also means less board wiring.
Thunderbolt focuses on subdivision, USB is more mainstream
It can be said that the biggest beneficiary of the opening Thunderbolt is its biggest competitor, which is the ubiquitous USB.
USB 4 is currently in the final stages of standardization, using Thunderbolt 3 technology and is expected to be available around 2020. Not only does it double its original maximum speed to 40 Gbps, but it also has the flexibility that USB 3 does not have, such as the ability to mix time-sensitive video data from displays with other information. In addition, it will also increase the utility of USB hubs and docking stations.
Currently, one of the challenges faced by Thunderbolt is the higher amount. While Thunderbolt devices offer more advanced performance, you may spend more. For example, the Seagate 1TB external USB drive is priced at $45 on Amazon, while the 1TB Thunderbolt model from Seagate subsidiary LaCie is priced at $70.
Another big challenge is Thunderbolt atiPad,iPhoneAnd AndroidMobile phoneWait for the absence of a mobile device. We don't insert peripherals on mobile devices like computers, but peripherals are becoming more and more popular in our computing life. As a result, Thunderbolt's lack of presence on mobile devices has become a problem.
It can be seen that although Thunderbolt is getting better and better, but USB is also improving, it is destined that Thunderbolt can only focus on the market segment, and USB is the mainstream.