ASRock, once a subsidiary of Asus and now owned by Pegatron (at least until when/if Asus buys the brand back), ended the work week by unveiling its Z77 Extreme6/TB4 motherboard with dual Thunderbolt ports. Using the Daisy Chain feature, the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 supports up to twelve Thunderbolt devices, six in each port, ASRock points out. Thunderbolt isn't the only thing the board has going for it.
Acer is laying claim to the "world's thinnest Ultrabook" with the launch of its Aspire S5, available soon in the U.S. The Aspire S5 measures a scant 0.44 inches at this slimmest point, and only 0.59 inches where it's the chunkiest, if you can call it that. Wrapped in an "Onyx Black" magnesium-alloy and brushed aluminum metal chassis, the Aspire S5 barely budges the scale at a mere 2.65 pounds.
If someone sent out invitations to Intel's Thunderbolt party, consider MSI as having received one, hence the release of the company's Z77A-GD80 mainboard that was first introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. Built around Intel's Z77 chipset with support for 22nm (Ivy Bridge) processors, the Z77A-GD80 is one of a handful of Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards making their debut today.
Asus on Monday announced the launch of its P8Z77-V Premium motherboard, the flagship slice of silicon in the P8Z77 Series and, as it happens to be the case, the first Intel certified mainboard to boast a Thunderbolt interface, the company claims. Remember Thunderbolt? It's the previously much hyped high-speed interface from Intel that was supposed to give USB 3.0 a run for its money, though Intel claimed from Day 1 that the two technologies were meant to co-exist and not necessarily compete with each other.
When you're talking the Z77 chipset, one thing springs to mind first and foremost: Ivy Bridge. Intel's upcoming CPU isn't the only newcomer to the game, though, as Z77 is the first Intel desktop chipset to support the company's high-speed Thunderbolt interface -- assuming a Thunderbolt controller is on the mobo, of course. Most of Asus' Z77/H77 'boards have lacked an integrated controller, but it looks like Thunderbolt compatibility is coming thanks to an upcoming expansion card.
In May 2011, Hewlett-Packard said it hadn't found a "value proposition" in Intel's Thunderbolt (formerly known as Light Peak) interface, and come to find out, Thunderbolt controllers are 10 times more expensive than USB 3.0 chips. Big whoop, HP's stance isn't getting in the way of other system makers jumping on the high-speed interface.
The way in which we shuttle files back and forth between our mobile devices and home PCs is changing, but changing to what? Just as the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 spec gets ready to be baked in natively to chipsets from Intel and AMD, both companies are also looking at Thunderbolt (Intel) or equivalent alternatives (AMD), but where USB 3.0 has an advantage is in cost.
With Ivy Bridge chipsets receiving USB 3.0 certification recently, Intel is now all set to support the technology natively with its next-generation processor platform. But it isn’t the only data transfer technology that Intel plans to support. According to a new report, Intel’s Thunderbolt technology will strike the PC market in April 2012
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.
In case you haven’t noticed, Gordon’s been updating the Maximum PC Twitter feed with timely bursts of insight from the ongoing Intel Developer Forum. If you didn’t notice, shame on you! You’ve been missing out on all kinds of info, like the fact that Intel showed off nifty things like an Ultrabook running Windows 8, Ivy Bridge tidbits and next-gen Haswell and Atom news. Something else you missed: the announcement that next year, the super-speedy Thunderbolt connection is coming to the PC.