Intel recently announced that upgrades to the Thunderbolt and USB SuperSpeed specifications will double data transfer speeds and boost power transfer in both directions from 10 watts to 100 watts.
The increase in power means that electronic devices could be powered through the use of a single USB hub, which also would allow for a bidirectional data flow.
"This is going to change the way computers, peripheral devices, and even HDTVs will not only consume but deliver power," says USB Implementers Forum president Jeff Ravencraft. He says consumer pressure will eventually force vendors to accept a standardized power and data interface based on the USB SuperSpeed specification. "This power delivery capability is going to extend the ease of use for consumers, reduce clutter in the work and home environment, but also reduce electronic waste filling up landfills with custom chargers," Ravencraft says.
Thunderbolt will receive its performance boost from a new controller chip called Falcon Ridge. The upgrades also lend themselves to higher-definition displays, and support more external devices based on NAND flash technology.
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