Apple first announced its incredible new Thunderbolt interface technology way back in February of 2011. Combining PCI Express and DisplayPort technology into a serial data interface, Thunderbolt allows for up to 20Gbit/s transfer rates, as well as the ability to daisy chain multiple devices, all in a tiny form factor that can fit even in the MacBook Air’s slim housing.
As usual, with Thunderbolt, Apple was at least a year ahead of the rest of the industry… and that’s not hyperbole. Only now are Acer, Asus and Lenovo getting ready to put Thunderbolt in their ultrabook offerings.
According to industry sources speaking to the maybe-occasionally-reliable Digitimes, the three computer makers are all now at work making ultrabooks using Intel’s Ivy Bridge platform, allowing them to bring Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 to their next line of slim ultraportables.
What’s most of interest to Apple fans here won’t be the competition finally catching up, but the fact that this same Ivy Bridge platform is what Apple will build the next MacBook Air around, which means that the next Air (and Apple’s other laptops) will finally adopt USB 3.0 as a matter of course. Of course, who needs USB 3.0 when Thunderbolt’s around anyway?.