Thunderbolt‎ > ‎


Thunderbolt is a promising new computer interface port that attempts to combine and reduce the number of necessary ports by joining Input/output ports with video ports.  The technology supports speeds at up 10 Gbps, twice as fast as the next fastest port, USB 3.0 (Foresman 2011) and is backwards compatible with current DisplayPort devices.  It has room for future upgrading, and will be upgraded from a copper cable to a fiber optic cable in the future, enabling even greater speeds (Brown 2011).  The interface allows external peripherals to connect as if they were connected through the PCIe slot, allowing for simplicity in drivers and allowing them to act as if they were internal devices (Intel-Thunderbolt). Despite all this, the technology faces competition with USB 3.0 as USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with a wide variety of preexisting devices and cables for it are less expensive than the Thunderbolt cables.  Thunderbolt is also limited to Apple computers until 2012 (Shah 2011).  These facts combined with Intel potentially releasing a new type of port again in 2015 may pose a huge hurdle for the acceptance of the Thunderbolt port.  Whether Thunderbolt will catch on or not is still uncertain, and only time will tell whether the advantages of Thunderbolt allow it to trump the hurdles and disadvantages it currently faces.