The only real shocking thing about Thunderbolt is the name change, apart from that we have seen demo models for over a year, even the switch to copper was known in advance.  That reduction in bandwidth has made the initial implementation of Thunderbolt limited to PCI Express based data transfers and DisplayPort high resolution display output, all wrapped up into a single controller and a single cable.

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Read on to catch up on the original information as well as updates in Ryan’s article.


“Technically, Thunderbolt is pretty interesting as both data and display signals will transfer over the same cable with arbitration from the controller chip. It is a bi-directional communication that actually provides 10 Gbps of bandwidth PER PORT. It remains backwards compatible with existing DisplayPort displays, but since those devices likely do NOT have female mini-DisplayPort connections on them, they will not facilitate the daisy-chaining required for connecting multiple devices to a single Thunderbolt connection. Unlike what some people worried, Thunderbolt will carry some amount of power over cable, though how much hasn’t really been specified yet.”

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