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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 11:42

Intel improves Thunderbolt connector

Written by Nick Farrell

Alpine Ridge will manage 40Gbits/sec

A leak to a Chinese blog has revealed that Intel’s upcoming "Alpine Ridge" hardware will feature transfer rates of up to 40Gbits/sec. A slide shows significant improvements in Intel's Thunderbolt connector, in terms of specs and compatibility, as well as power consumption.

It appears that the next generation Alpine Ridge will have double the bandwidth of the current Falcon Ridge controller, increasing data transfer rates from 20Gbits/sec to 40Gbits/sec. The new Thunderbolt will support for the third generation of the PCI-e bus, and consume half the power of Falcon Ridge. There is also a new connector design detailed, which the slide claims will offer system charging of up to 100 watts over a single cable.

If it proves true it could mean that Ultrabooks could use the new technology for charging, doing away with round DC jacks and powering up like tablets and smartphones. The connectors will be only 3mm thick, while adapters for backward compatibility will also be made available.

A graphic included in the slide that shows the layout of the new controller also hints at a new CPU codenamed “Skylake”. If all goes well the new technology could be released in 2015.

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Nick Farrell

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