Intel introduced the world to the next generation of Thunderbolt controllers at IDF 2011 recently. We were told that the next-generation controllers, codenamed “Cactus Ridge," will be available next year when chips based on the Ivy Bridge architecture begin shipping. But a fresh rumor suggests that the two Cactus Ridge chipsets revealed earlier in the month aren’t the only Thunderbolt controllers that Intel has lined up.
is to be believed, Intel has a third, much smaller controller in the pipeline that should enter production before the end of 2011 and reach vendors in early 2012. Reportedly called Port Ridge, it is said to be a low-cost, low power chip with one 10Gbps bi-directional channel that lacks support for pass-through connectivity, making it ideal for small mobile devices.
According to the report, Port Ridge will have the smallest package size (5x6mm) of all the controllers. All other controllers, whether those currently available or the ones in the pipeline, have much larger package sizes and feature either two or four Thunderbolt channels.
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