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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  • vkristof - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    "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. "

    USB3 will soon cost very little extra because it is integrated into AMD's just-coming-out-now A75 FCH (Fusion Controller Hub). The Llano/A75-USB3 combo should be appearing in laptops/etc real-soon-now.

    The "very little extra cost" would be due to the more complicated USB3 connector which has to contain the original USB2 contacts AND the second set of contacts for the high speed USB3 signals.

    I don't know what Thunderbolt requires, besides an extra connector.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    If TB is built into the chipset it won't cost much on the mobo makers part, assuming enough PCIe lanes are available (unless intel bumps the southbridge from 8 to 12 to compensate for dropping legacy PCI I'm not sure there will be). Implementing the significantly more complex PCIe protocol on the attached device will add to costs there, and keep mainstream stuff on USB.
  • AmdInside - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    I could care less about Thunderbolt. Leave the PCI-E lanes to the graphics card. But I'm glad they are finally including USB 3.0. Even if I get an Ivy Bridge system, chances are I will not buy a Thunderbolt hard drive or other peripheral for a long long long time. And I am generally an early adopter.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    thunderbolt is going to be using southbridge lanes; excepting the x4 slot on some mobos these are never available for the GPU.
  • danjw - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    It will result in the same fate. It uses the outdated concept of daisy chaining items, it isn't an open standard, and it will be more expensive then USB 3.0 so it won't catch on with consumers. It may have a place with the workstation crowd, but that is about it.
  • fluxtatic - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - link

    What killed Firewire was the ridiculous royalties Apple demanded for it. Competing against a royalty-free (IIRC, anyway) USB protocol, Apple mis-played it hugely. Yes, it is arguably a better interface, since it has its own controller and therefore doesn't suck CPU cycles to perform tasks. However, with the huge cost difference, Firewire got relegated to niche status. Even today it's mostly found only in the domains of pro audio and video, where the lower latency over USB makes a big difference. The premium in cost to manufacturers and consumers made it a no-go for things that were good enough in a USB flavor, eg, everything with a USB interface today.

    If LightPeak (Thunderbolt, whatever) is really that good, Intel would open it up to any and all, and keep royalties low. By itself, it won't be enough to sway people to Intel. It might help a decision along with other factors taken into consideration, but it isn't compelling enough alone. Let's see what the peripheral makers come up with (and how richly Intel starts lining pockets to push it.) It would be a huge mistake to go all in with peripherals that only support Thunderbolt if Intel is the only player with it. Why wouldn't I stick with USB? Even my car stereo has USB...with (at worst) a couple adapters, I can plug a USB flash drive into damn near any electric-powered device around (except a bunch of Apple products, lulz)

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