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Thunderbolt, connections for the future

Let’s talk about Thunderbolt ( and why wasn’t the name LightPeak good enough)

The Thunderbolt technology offers users a 10 Gbps - that is roughly 1028 MB {1+ GIgbytes} per second data transfer as a Dual Channel, bi-directional, multi protocol connection, that also allows power over the cable a la FW.

On a laptop.

OK, as someone that has constantly pushed the bounds of working on location, this is finally the real deal, at that max data level, we are talking about viewing 4K (theoretically) in realtime, however for the near future we are really talking about only about ½ of that sustained date rate, being limited in the beginning by copper only cabling and a minimal driver set.

Yet that will change. As with many other Apple hardware technologies, Mac users are often first to the gate, albeit, stalled at the starting line, but Macophiles need not worry. This is a harbinger of things to come, without the ongoing hassles left behind by the exclusion of legacy Floppy discs, a PCMCIA slot, FW 400, Express card, then DVD’s on some models.

The design of ThunderBolt (TB for short, since I do not have a lightening bolt symbol on my keyboard) allows for manufacturers to design around existing and future connectivity all within the TB design structure as long as the developer works with the native driver tools as supplied by Intel and Apple.

Think about what this kind of tech means, even the “slow” initial release will still be able to process content at over 400 MBps with TB native drive arrays. That is enough to handle 2 full rez streams of uncompressed 10bit, 1080 HD content in real time, while also delivering an image to a display.{ For the record, UC footage is easier to playback than lower data rate compressed codecs as there is no compression/ de-compression load on the CPU or need for GPU processing)
As news warrants here I will be updating everyone here on the Cow on the advances on the Storage and display fronts, but for now, the new Apple MacBooks are enabled for the future, I expect to start seeing any number of devices starting next month at NAB.

Next week I will touch on the Sony 8K camera and imager announcements.


Posted by: gary adcock on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:42:38 amComments (7) apple, Thunderbolt

Join industry geek Gary Adcock as he explores the world and technology as it relates to Film and Video production. I am also a Glass artist, so I spend my free time creating art from silica and fire when I am not cooking.


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