Chipzilla is apparently working to speed up data transfer speeds on Thunderbolt.
Speaking to PC World Intel said that in the future Thunderbolt will support the PCI-Express 3.0 protocol to shuttle data faster between host devices and peripherals. Thunderbolt interconnect currently uses older PCI-Express 2.0 technology.
It is not clear when this upgrade will happen, as Chipzilla is refusing to say.
PCI-Express 2.0 technology can transfer a full-length, high-definition movie from an external storage device to a laptop in less than 30 seconds. PCIe 3.0 will go at 8 gigatransfers per second, which is a significant improvement over PCIe 2.0, which has a transfer speed of 5 gigatransfers per second.
So far take up of Thunderbolt has been slow with only Apple and Lenovo signing up to it. Chipzilla said that it wants to unite many data-transfer, networking and display protocols through a single, unified connector.
Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort, and Intel has said it could bring USB 3.0 support in as well. Intel plans to get rid of the Thunderbolt copper wires and move to optical interconnects that could make data transfers even speedier.
Intel has been doing its best to get PCI-Express 3.0 at the chipset level. The Xeon E5 chip integrates PCIe 3.0 in the processor. It is expected that Ivy Bridge will also support the technology.