Intel Thunderbolt Peripherals – First ones on the way

After the release this week of the new MacBook Pro 2011 line we told of the new Intel Thunderbolt (Light Peak) technology, ports for which are included in every new MacBook Pro, and also wondered when we might see the first Thunderbolt peripherals. Now we have heard of some of the first devices announced that will be Thunderbolt-equipped.

The Thunderbolt technology will not only give super-fast transfer data speeds of up to 10Gbps but also support high-resolution displays. Not only that but 6 peripheral devices will be able to be daisy-chained to the one dual-channel copper link connector. Yesterday we published an article about increased performance speeds for the new MacBook Pros but until Thunderbolt peripherals are available, speeds for those cannot be tested yet. However it seems there won’t be too much longer to wait.

We had previously told how Intel had partners working on adopting Thunderbolt-capable peripherals such as Aja, Avid, Western Digital and LaCie. These peripherals could be anything from keyboards to external hard drives, digital cameras or docking stations.

It now appears that Promise Technology, RAID storage supplier already has plans for a high-performance hardware RAID solution called Pegasus, compatible with Thunderbolt technology, according to David Dahlquist over on Macworld. It’s predicted for release in Q2 so not too long to wait. Pegasus will feature two Thunderbolt ports allowing up to 12TB of storage and will be supplied in 4-bay and 6-bay aluminum enclosures.

LaCie, a hard drive manufacturer, has also announced Thunderbolt developments with a new Little Big Disk that’s Thunderbolt friendly due to be released this summer. The company has stated that its external hard drive is targeted at mobile and media professionals. We also wouldn’t be surprised if Western Digital announces a Thunderbolt peripheral soon as the company has expressed enthusiasm for Thunderbolt and noted that it’s working on Thunderbolt products. Other companies such as Avid and Apogee have also expressed excitement about working on Thunderbolt products.

You can see press releases for the Thunderbolt-equipped LaCie and Promise products over on Engadget where Sean Hollister also points out that although Thunderbolt was announced alongside the new MacBook Pros, Apple does not have a timed exclusive for using the technology so it is open for other companies to use. You may also be interested in our teardown article on the 15-inch MacBook Pro where you can get a look at the new Thunderbolt controller chip. Are you interested to see the first new Thunderbolt-equipped peripherals are on their way and what do you think of this new technology? Let us know with your comments.

  • Randy

    Hopefully a point will be reached one day when all of this "innovation" will hit a wall and my laptop won't be obsolete by the next year.

    • NovoAetas

      Really?
      My MacBook Pro is over four years old and, with a few ram upgrades, still runs the latest OS and every program I have ever tried to use. A lot of programs stopped using more power ages ago: the latest versions of PhotoShop have started using less. Unless you're a real power user, only a really low spec laptop will become obsolete before it breaks.
      Say it with me now: you don't need a new laptop ever year, you just want one.

  • HalGroar

    I think it has for me, what else could they think of that would cause me to buy a new laptop? The only reason I get a new one now is when my old one goes Ka-Blewwyyy!