Thunderbolt Ready Program from Intel Hopes to Expand Reach of Interconnect Technology
Intel has announced a new program to broaden the reach of the ultra high speed interconnect technology known as Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is already included with all new Apple Mac computers and Intel is hoping to increase the number of PC users that have access to the technology. It plans to accomplish this with the new "Thunderbolt Ready" program, which will provide for an extremely easy upgrade. Users will receive a PCIe card and cables to connect the card to an available general purpose input/output, GPIO, header on their motherboard and an empty DisplayPort connector on their motherboard or a video card. The first expansion card and motherboard to participate in the program are from ASUS with its ThunderboltEX II and Z87 Pro motherboard. More companies are expected to release solutions in 2014. Corporate VP and General Manager of Motherboard and Desktop Systems Business Unit at ASUS Joe Hsieh said, "ASUS ThunderboltEX II is the first expansion card certified by Intel as a Thunderbolt 2 upgrade solution — and it gives users a simple, fast and flexible option to upgrade their existing hardware whenever they want."