Thunderbolt™ Technology

The Fastest Connection To Your PC Experience¹

Thunderbolt technology is the fastest way to transfer data between a PC and peripheral and display devices.¹ At 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt™ technology delivers great responsiveness with data and display transfers – in each direction, at the same time – using a single cable to connect devices in a daisy chain.

Thunderbolt technology is a foundation for innovative new product development that can expand PC capabilities and performance, quickly and easily, enabling a whole new market for innovative devices.

At 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt™ technology enables products that can

  • Transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds²
  • Backup 1 year of continuous MP3 playback in just over 10 minutes³

Thunderbolt™ technology recently received the Computer Graphics World Silver Edge award at the National Association of Broadcasters 2011 convention.

Another industry first

Developed by Intel, and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple. Thunderbolt™ technology is a new, high-speed I/O technology designed for performance, simplicity, and flexibility.

How Thunderbolt™ technology works

Intel Thunderbolt™ controller chips interconnect a PC and other devices, transmitting and receiving information for both PCI Express* (PCIe*) and DisplayPort* protocols. The Thunderbolt™ controller chip switches between the two protocols to support communications over a single cable. Intel is making its controller chips available to the industry, and is working with other component manufacturers to deliver the Thunderbolt™ connectors and cables.

How Thunderbolt technology works

Industry Support

Several innovative companies have announced Thunderbolt™-enabled products, or plans to support Thunderbolt™ in upcoming products, including Apple Inc., Promise Technology, Inc., and LaCie. Intel is working with the industry to enable a variety of Thunderbolt™-enabled products, including computers, displays, high-speed data storage devices, audio/video devices, and more. See the latest.

Thunderbolt Technology at a Glance

  • Simultaneous bi-directional, 10 Gbps transfers over a single cable
  • Dual-protocol support (PCI Express* and DisplayPort*)
  • Compatible with existing DisplayPort* devices
  • Daisy-chaining devices
  • Choice of electrical or optical cables
  • Low latency with highly accurate time synchronization for professional audio and video applications
  • Uses native protocol software drivers
  • Power-over-cable for bus-powered devices