Successor To Thunderbolt May Hit In 2015, Says Intel

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The latest interface on the block, Thunderbolt, is barely on the market and there’s already talk of its replacement. It’s a good four years down the road, of course (companies like Intel have to think ahead), but there are already prototypes and Intel is already talking it up. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a cool code name yet, but they’ll fix that soon.

The new tech uses silicon photonics (not to be confused with quantum photonics), and we last heard from these guys when they hit the major milestone of 50Gbps using their prototype hardware last year. And they’ve had this project cooking long before then, too.

So what’s new? Well, nothing they can really talk about. They’re showing it a bit more publicly now, and the 2015 release estimate is more concrete than the no estimate at all we got before. Intel’s Jeff Demain also notes that the new interface could live in harmony with Thunderbolt in some cases, though it’s definitely an advance.

I suppose we’ll hear more from the team in another six or seven months. By then, we’ll be looking at widespread Thunderbolt ports and maybe even optical wires. So exciting!