Intel announces faster next-gen Thunderbolt

Engadget is reporting that Intel has introduced the next generation of the Thunderbolt interface at theNAB conference. The update promises data transfer rates of 20 Gbps in each direction on Thunderbolt's two channels, twice the speed of the current generation rated at 10 Gbps. The demonstration Engadget witnessed showed the new Thunderbolt running at 1,200 Mbps, which is simply remarkable. Intel says the new Thunderbolt is also capable of simultaneous 4k video file transfer and display.

In addition to the improved speed, the company will be introducing thinner cables for devices in the next year. Current users shouldn't worry too much about obsolete accessories; the new Thunderbolt is backwards-compatible with previous connectors and cables.

Look for the new Thunderbolt sometime in 2014.

[Source: TUAW]

Western Digital bumps My Book Thunderbolt Duo to 8TB, consoles regular My Book buyers with 4TB

Many of us may have liked the prospect of Western Digital's My Book Thunderbolt Duo, but there's no doubt some of us who discovered that even 6TB just wouldn't cut it. If that digital pack rat mentality describes you, the solution is here: the company has taken advantage of larger 4TB hard disks to stuff a total 8TB of storage into the Duo's enclosure. The extra capacity hikes the price to $850, although the company notes that it's including the often expensive Thunderbolt cable to avoid any surprise trips to the store. Those without the ports or budget for the Duo can still reap some of the benefits through an updated, 4TB version of the regular My Book that hums along on USB 3.0 at a more reasonable $250 price. Either of the new drives should be lurking in stores if you're hurting for space as we write this.

[Source: Engadget]

Avid announces new Pro Tools|HD Native, its first Thunderbolt interface and PCIe card

Avid, maker of the music industry’s leading digital audio workstation software called Pro Tools, has officially announced its first Thunderbolt interface for Pro Tools with the newPro Tools|HD Native Thunderbolt interface and PCIe card. Thanks to Thunderbolt, Avid says the new Pro Tools|HD Native provides the “highest performance and lowest latency of any native DAW” yet. As usual, Avid bundles your choice of either the Thunderbolt interface or PCIe card with its Pro Tools HD software, and you will also get a choice of a Pro Tools HD Series audio interface including either the HD OMNI or HD I/O.

In addition to an “audiophile-grade headphone output” powerful enough to drive high impedance headphones, a few of the benefits of the new Thunderbolt interface according to Avid:

Unlike USB- or FireWire-based DAWs, which are inherently prone to latency, Pro Tools|HD Native employs either a high-speed Thunderbolt interface or PCIe core card to connect Pro Tools HD Series interfaces with your laptop or desktop computer. By eliminating distracting monitor latency while recording, increasing your I/O capabilities, and providing 64-bit floating-point processing for more headroom and a higher mix resolution, you get a professional native solution that meets the highest audio standards.

[Source: 9to5Mac]

LaCie's eSATA Thunderbolt Hub pushes data transfer to the max

The move from traditional I/O options toward Thunderbolt across the Mac line (with the notable exception of the Mac Pro) has meant some headscratching moments for users of high-end storage. Buying all-new Thunderbolt-ready RAIDs isn't an option for those on a budget, especially when there may be big investments already in eSATA-connected equipment.

As more Thunderbolt peripherals and accessories have made it to market, this conundrum is beginning to clear. LaCie's eSATA hub Thunderbolt Series, at $199, delivers eSATA performance and convenience for high-end video and graphics users at a price that's not out of balance.

[Source: TUAW - Read the full story]

Drobo begins pre-orders for Mini and 5D storage arrays with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0

Data storage company Drobo is announcing the beginning of pre-orders for its Mini and 5D arrays, which we got to check out at its headquarters last month. The products are its first to add Thunderbolt (in addition to USB 3.0), and like its others, they let you use multiple disks of various speeds and capacities to keep a redundant backup of all your files. The approach, while expensive, gives you more protection against disk failure than a single backup drive, but is simpler to build and maintain than most RAID options.  The bigger 5D starts at $849 and takes up to five 3.5-inch drives, as well as a single optional SSD over mSATA to speed things up. The smaller Mini is the company's first design to use smaller 2.5-inch laptop drives, resulting in a much smaller, portable package. Otherwise, it has the same bay for an optional SSD, and starts at $649. Pre-orders are available right away (a list of retailers is available at the source link below), but there are still a couple of months to wait — Drobo is planning to ship "by the end of September."

[Source: The Verge]


Thunderbolt Goody from Elgato

Thunderbolt has revealed something that will make many a Mac user very happy indeed. We ALL want Thunderbolt devices and the first offering from Lacie was met with some complaints about noise. However, Elgato have released a new Thunderbolt SSD which will be available from next month in 120GB and 240GB capacities - wooooohooooo! [Source: Engadget]