Seems like almost one year ago I was writing about the merits of Intel’s Light Peak technology, a promised fiber-optic based interconnect that enable fast connectivity to a variety of bus interconnects.
Finally, Light Peak is here, however it has been rebranded as Apple’s Thunderbolt technology and the current infrastructure in the launch is still…copper. , yeah big frownie face. Essentially what they’ve done is rebrand their Mini-Displayport interface port as a an all-in-one Thunderbolt interface. Good news is this means that existing cables and accessories that use this port can continue to be used, and in theory more bits can be pushed down that port. The bad news is…well…there aren’t any devices yet to take advantage of this port and its boost in speeds.
I’m also thinking that this could be a big boon to new, incredibly fast serialized devices that push standards forward. Apple helped pioneer the FireWire port back in the late 90′s– I’m hoping they can do something about how long it takes me to dump 250 gigs of data to my external hard drive.
And yes…I’m a wee bit jealous about those new fast 17″ MacBook Pro’s.
One area that I didn’t touch on in my last post was the increased bandwidth available for audio applications such as Pro Tools or Logic. Most of this stuff comes in FireWire now, and while I haven’t really seen anyone complain about a bandwidth crunch on the bus while doing recording, I’m sure having more lanes to cram more bits down can’t really hurt.
Finally, Intel also reports that Apple has a one-year head start on using the technology. I’m assuming that means that Apple will have one year of exclusivity before the technology starts being available for use in other competing devices. I’m not sure what that gets Apple considering there aren’t any peripherals currently that can really take advantage of this. If I were to hazard a guess, you’ll start seeing manufacturers support the port during CES 2012.