We knew about the first feature on this list (USB 3.0) would come with Ivy Bridge's 7-series chipset, but the second one was something I just heard about today. Ivy Bridge will integrate Thunderbolt into the chipset. Expect Thunderbolt adoption to skyrocket as a result in 2012.

Update: Intel tells us that while Thunderbolt will be featured on Ivy Bridge it will not be integrated into its 7-series chipsets.

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  • B3an - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    Lol you dont understand Thunderbolt at all. It's nothing like Firewire, or USB. It's PCI-E in cable form. It can replace nearly all current cable types including HDMI as it can also carry DisplayPort and pretty much any type of data. It would be possible to run an external graphics card off of thunderbolt, or connect multiple HD displays from one port by daisy chaining them.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    LOLing just as hard since you're missing why USB crushed firewire. USB was a simpler protocol that allowed for dumber controllers to be used keeping costs down. Firewire only held onto the small fraction of the market that could needed one or more of it's additional capabilities (generally QoS/latency) over what the cheaper USB2 connection could offer.

    The same constraints will apply to TB, enthusiast class systems will have one or two ports as checkboxes; but most of us will never actually use them. Mainstream boxes will rarely have them since they're just an extra expense. Meanwhile boxes of both types will have more USB3 ports than almost anyone could use since they're silly cheap to add and almost all devices will have USB support.
  • bernstein - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    LOLing even more because :
    a) thunderbolt piggybacks the (mini)DP port which most notebooks (the more expensive ones) nowadays all have built in.
    b) with integration into the chipset in 2012, all intel notebooks can come with thunderbolt at ZERO additional cost for the notebook/aio manufacturer (well, the 2cents for the miniDP)
    c) intel has ~90% of the notebook market.
    d) there is almost ZERO additional cost & technical expertise involved in making thunderbolt devices. just pick any existing pcie chip & combine with a thunderbolt chip.
    e) thunderbolt is pcie in a cable. as such it is immediately compatible with as may chips as usb.
    e) thunderbolt does not have to replace usb3. and it won't. but it is a formidable threat to dock connectors, expresscard and integrated lan. by making pcie available in the monitor connector notebooks will only have to come with usb3 & dp and have a cheap, fast enough, high latency connector and a slightly more expensive high performance link suitable to drive screens, external graphics, 10gbit lan, ...

    thunderbolt is aimed at power/enterprise users not mainstream. in a nutshell it's todays firewire and it costs nothing.
  • quillaja - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    Are the 3D processors also coming in ivy bridge? I thought I read something to that effect.
  • hyvonen - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    If you mean "3D" tri-gate transistors, then yes - those are used on Ivy Bridge CPUs.
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    Is this for all 7-series chipsets - I.E. it includes X78 this year with SNB-E - or is it only for P/H7x next year?
  • Casper42 - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link


    I was kinda pissed Intel called the X-next chipset the 79 when the only major change from the H/P is the PCIe 3.0 inclusion.
    Would be nice if they could squeeze USB3 in there as well.

    Though I dont know how they will implement TB seamlessly into a platform with ONLY Discrete Graphics. Alot of what TB does is related to Video.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    You'll still have the external PCIe link option for high performance devices (probably audio/video related); you just won't be able to use the TB-DP port adapter on it (unless they can provide software to reroute the GPUs output).
  • DanaG - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    Another lame thing about (current) Thunderbolt: it's only Displayport 1.1, so you can't chain multiple displays off an ATI card if you route it through Thunderbolt.
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    is see TB as a dock interface, allowing us to use one connector to link laptops to a monitor, keyboard, mouse, lan, and whatever else (2 monitors would be nice).

    FireWire and MCA, mentionned in other comments, where at a relatively high extra cost. If TB support is in the chipset, support is going to be very cheap, cheaper than USB3 right now.

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