Intel is screwing up Thunderbolt

Intel has been accused of keeping its Thunderbird interconnect technology niche by making crippling licensing demands.

Thunderbolt is mostly only seen on Apple machines and part of this might be due to the small number of available Thunderbolt accessories.

However, according to ArsTechnica,  Intel’s lengthy licensing and certification process is a nightmare and is mostly to blame for Thunderbolt not taking off the way it should.

Vendors have been reporting that Intel has been cherry picking which vendors it worked with and will only work with a select number of vendors to ensure products meet its stringent certification requirements.

Chipzilla has said that is rubbish, but did admit that it has had limited resources to approve new products. However, Jason Ziller, director of Thunderbolt marketing and planning with Intel, was quoted as saying that licensing will expand to a greater number of vendors this year.

It is fairly clear that if Thunderbird is going to take off something has to be done. Even Intel’s number one partner on the project, Apple, has admitted that the technology is too expensive. Last week it released a shorter cable measuring half a metre in length, and also shaved $10 off the price of the original 2-metre cable that debuted in 2011.

Thunderbolt was developed in cooperation between Apple and Intel, and first launched on Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup in March 2011. Thunderbolt ports have also begun to appear in some Windows-based PCs.

Thunderbolt pairs the high-speed PCI Express serial interface with the Apple-developed Mini DisplayPort to provide both data and video through a single port with I/O performance of up to 10Gbps.