Apple Introduces Thunderbolt… One Connector To Rule Them All

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Screen shot 2011-02-24 at 8.51.16 AM

Apple has just update their official website with an overview of Thunderbolt, which they all-but-confirm is Light Peak and designed in collaboration with Intel Labs (who has their own press conference scheduled for later this morning).

Thunderbolt is up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and twice as fast as USB 3.0. It’s a single cable that consolidates almost all existing ports, from FireWire to USB to miniDisplay to eSATA. This is one cable to rule them all.

And even though the new MacBook Pros come with only one Thunderbolt port, it shouldn’t matter for end users: two 10Gbps channels on the same connector mean you can daisy chain multiple high-speed, data-intensive devices and multiple displays to the same port without using a hub… and without reducing performance.

Forget everything else about the new MacBook Pros: this is the most important Apple announcement of the week. Apple and Intel’s reticence to adopt USB 3 now makes sense: they were out to kill it and every other connector out there once and for all.