Apple adopts new Thunderbolt IO format

Apple released the new iMac recently with, ThunderBolt, a new IO format that’s considerably faster than Firewire 800 and USB2. It provides 10 Gbps bidirectionally and allows daisy chaining of up to six peripherals as well as offering backward compatibility with other formats through the use of simple adaptors. Interestingly Thunderbolt seems to be a co-invention between Intel and Apple merging Intel’s experience in developing USB and PCI-Express and Apple’s experience developing firewire. Oddly, though, in the benchmarks on the two Apple links above there’s no mention of USB3 at all. So once again the industry sees a divergence of IO formats with USB3 looking like it’s been forsaken for an even newer format though that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

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