Yesterday Intel announced its updated Redwood Ridge Thunderbolt controllers (adding 4K/DP1.2 support, lower power operation and slightly lower BOM cost) as well as next year's Falcon Ridge family of Thunderbolt controllers. I assumed that Falcon Ridge would ship alongside Broadwell in late 2014 but I just got word that the new Thunderbolt controllers will begin production by the end of this year and ramp volume through 2014. I don't have more specific dates than that, but it's still good news.

All Intel is saying about Falcon Ridge is the spec includes a speed bump to 20Gbps per lane up from the current controllers with 10Gbps per lane. Intel's own presentation refers to a single channel/two lane Falcon Ridge controller, delivering no additional bandwidth above existing TB implementations (although there may be practical advantages since you can't easily aggregate all TB channels today). I would assume that we'd see even higher bandwidth implementations but Intel isn't talking about any of that today.

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  • repoman27 - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    The 1st-3rd gen Thunderbolt host controllers provide 2x 10 Gbit/s, full-duplex channels per port. It would appear from this post that in certain configurations, Falcon Ridge (4th gen) controllers will be able to bond those two channels to provide a single 20 Gbit/s, full-duplex link. It is highly unlikely that earlier controllers will ever be able to provide a 20 Gbit/s link in this fashion.

    According to Anand's post, Falcon Ridge won't be available until 2014, so we won't see PC's or devices with these controllers until then.

    Intel has been iterating Thunderbolt continuously, apparently targeting a refresh to accompany each new processor platform release. Calling Falcon Ridge "Thunderbolt 2.0" would be odd—sort of like calling Broadwell "Sandy Bridge 2.0".

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