Intel Working to Boost Thunderbolt Speeds with Move to PCI-Express 3.0


In a new report IDG News claims that Intel is currently working on shifting its Thunderbolt standard to the PCI-Express 3.0 protocol. Such move means that the company could double data transfer speeds comparing with the existing implementations based on PCIe 2.0 protocol.

Intel in the future will support the PCI-Express 3.0 protocol to shuttle data faster between host devices and peripherals, an Intel spokesman said in an email. Computers with Thunderbolt interconnect currently communicate with external devices using the older PCI-Express 2.0 technology.

The company will incorporate PCI-Express 3.0 in Thunderbolt, but could not provide a time frame for when it will be accomplished.

PCIe 3.0 offers a 60% boost in raw data transfer speed compared to PCIe 2.0, going from 5 gigatransfers per second (GT/s) to 8 GT/s. But significantly lower overheard requirements in PCIe 3.0 mean that the effective bandwidth can be doubled by moving to the latest standard.

PCIe 3.0 is already making an appearance in the just-launched Xeon E5 chips that could power updated Mac Pro models, as well as the forthcoming Ivy Bridge chips for notebooks and desktops. Apple and Intel debuted Thunderbolt technology with a MacBook Pro update in February 2011.

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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Saturday, March 10, 2012. 0:59

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