Face off: The speed wars, Intel Thunderbolt Vs USB 3.0

The challenge

Intel's Thunderbolt technology allows a transmission speed of 10Gps with the use of a standard electrical or optical cable. Intel is expected to release the development kits for this product by the third quarter of this year 2011. This technology has already created questions in the minds of people in the PC industry. The big question now is, "What will happen to USB 3.0 applications? Are USB 3.0 applications coming to its life end?"

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3868 lightpeak 600 super yfkt4 52

As an answer to these big doubts, Intel assures that both these technologies will continue to exist in the market and it will have the next generation chipset in place for the USB 3.0 applications. Apple's MacBook Pro notebooks have already welcomed this new technology and Sony is considering using the same for its high end notebooks.

Speed

USB 3.0

USB 3.0 which is otherwise known as Superspeed USB cab allows a transmission speed of upto 5Gps.

Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt with its 10Gps capability can even download a high definition movie in a stunning timeframe of less than 30seconds.

Winner: Thunderbolt

Compatibility

USB 3.0

USB 3.0 is backwards compatible which means even older versions like USB2.0 devices can be connected to the USB3.0 ports. The speed capability will vary between the older devices and USB 3.0.

Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt works on two protocols - PCI express and Display port enabling connection of monitors, external drives etc. The Display port element is also backwards compatible.

Winner: Thunderbolt

Availability

USB 3.0

USB 3.0 devices are easily available in the market

Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt being a new technology is currently only adopted by Apple. Once Intel launches this technology full fledged into the market, the availability of the thunderbolt will increase.

Winner: USB 3.0

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clipboard01 ew8lq 52

The verdict:

It is too early to say if the thunderbolt will beat the USB 3.0 application in its game or if they will be able to co-exist in the same world of PC. Both these applications will definitely have various price and performance models for meeting consumer’s choice. Certainly the thunderbolt has an edge over the USB 3.0 with its high speed feature but USB 3.0 also has its own uniqueness. With Apple and Intel promoting Thunderbolt technology, it is quiet expected that we will be seeing more of this technology making headlines.

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