PC makers may be jumping the gun a little with this one, thinking that Intel's Thunderbolt technology is likely to become a standard part of computers next year (2013).
Digitimes has been right before, but it has also been wrong from time to time, and we think one of its latest reports
may be a case of the latter.
After all, we can't really see how Intel's Thunderbolt technology could possibly become a standard part of PCs as early as next year.
Sure, the interface is going through a couple of overhauls, but that doesn't mean everyone will embrace it, especially since one of the changes comes at a cost.
Currently, Thunderbolt uses copper wires instead of fiber optics and can attain a speed of 10 Gbps.
Unfortunately, a TB controller is not cheap. It adds between $20-$30 (15 to 23 Euro) to a mainboard's cost, from what we've seen.
Intel now wants to integrate PCI Express 3.0
support into it, and then wants to move along with optical cables
. The transition should be finished this year (2012).
While this will tremendously increase bandwidth and the distance across which data can be sent, it will also eliminate the ability of the connection to power devices.
There is also that little tidbit where the price of a TB controller isn't likely to go down by much.
As such, considering that even USB 3.0 didn't become widespread before chipsets integrated native support for them, we can't see how Thunderbolt will become standard in 2013.
Nevertheless, this is what PC manufacturers feel, according to the aforementioned rumor.
Lenovo, ASUS and other motherboard makers will soon release platforms for the Ivy Bridge collection of CPUs. Some of the boards will have TB connectivity with optical ports.
We'll have to leave it to time to reveal what comes of all this. The data rate would be a significant boon, but don't hold your breath.