Intel is working on the next generation of its Thunderbolt technology. The new technology will reportedly have a thinner cable then is currently used for USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. Though unnamed, it would use silicon photonics to transfer information at 50Gbps, or five times the speed of the just-launched Thunderbolt 1.0. Data would travel at light speed, but the use of silicon meant it could be cheaper to use, PCWorld and others in attendance were told.
The cabling would be thinner then used in USB 3.0, and would be able to run up to a distance of 100 meters. DisplayPort, PCI-Express and other standards could still use the technology as an interconnect. It is presumed that Thunderbolt 2.0 will have the same features as the current revision such as daisy-chaining a display with storage or other hardware that would not normally need its own dedicated port.
With the current revision of Thunderbolt being so new and not used by anyone but Apple, what does this mean for the future of external devices? Does Thunderbolt 2.0 make USB 3.0 obsolete? Will anyone but Apple use Thunderbolt 2.0? I can see Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2.0 having many uses for laptops and other small form factor PCs. It would be nice to be able to come home with your laptop and connect only one cable and have two monitors two other hard drives connected.