So - my ears were very much pricked up this morning given the implementation of lightpeak that’s hit the macbook pro’s.
Seems that intel are being both forward thinking AND acknowledging current interconnect standards…

First implementation lightpeak = thunderbolt = COPPER, not light. = 2 x bidrectional (10Gbps?) interconnects, with
Second implementation looks like light, up to 100Gbps.

Up to 6 daisy chained devices.

Using standard PCIe communication protocol

Adopted Display Port connection. I CAN’T work out if the DP implemtation = a part of the thunderbolt protocol, or sits alongside it. It should allow it to go down the same pipe, but I suspect in the MBP’s that it just uses a different set of connectors in the same plug. I have no details to support this theory, other than the way standard DP cables work already.

Thunderbolt to FW and USB = very possible, probably with a simple cable. Hubs with multiple ports = a given in the next 6 months or so.

OWC will have raid drives using this interconnect by april.

And first AUDIO interface to support thunderbolt goes to? Well, given we saw a bodged together implementation back in september of an avid PT interface actually working (the PCIe comm protocol now sheds light on HOW bodged together it could have been) - but I suspect avid will be one of the first. Metric Halo perhaps? Or RME?

Bodes well for those who currently use FW, given it will continue to run over thunderbolt… especially given rumours MBP’s from 2012 may only carry thunderbolt ports. (I for one look forward to that!)

Anyway - this is exciting, and interesting, and may well be an important interconnect for professional audio going forward. Must talk to mates down at the sydney opera house about what they’ve chosen for the new drama hall audio install - I believe that they are NOT going to continue with their current Dante install.

Cheers, Brendan.

Sounds good, any news on this being available for windows PCs too in the near future?

No, it’s exclusive to Apple until next year. However, that’s no real loss because:

  1. You will need a new motherboard to run it
  2. There have to be things to connect to it
  3. it is “only” the copper wire version. The optical, which is the real revolution, isn’t ready yet.


Now here’s some interesting bits of info I’ve gathered in the last few days…

It isn’t actually an apple exclusive technology for a year or more… intel just don’t anticipate other users til early 2012. It doesn’t meant it won’t happen.

The fibre based version is going to work in the current macbook pro implementation - by having the fibre receiver and transmitters in the cable themselves. What this does to the price of these cables is anyone’s guess, but it is seen as a solution to the 3m limit of the copper cable.

Stuff to connect to it - by april / may, there looks like there will be at least 3 HD arrays out to market - and given apogee (among others) has been a development partner, I’d say we’ll see converters on the market before years end.

My opinion only…


It seems like Asus will shortly release a new Rampage III Black motherboard that comes with a daughter board named “Thunderbolt”:

Probably not the same thing as the new interconnect port that the MBPs have, but I thought it was a funny coincidence…

Now somebody please tell me I’m wrong and it IS the same thing…

There are already some PC products out there supporting Thunderbolt. I hope it’ll be the new standard for audio interfaces.