As is being discussed in the forums, Apple has announced the release of a re-designed series of MacBook Pro notebooks. Among the new features is a new system for connecting peripherals: Thunderbolt. This is a new high-speed peripheral-connection technology that combines data, video, audio, and power in a single connection. Thunderbolt allows for very high-speed connection of peripherals such as hard drives, RAID arrays, video-capture solutions, and network interfaces, and it can transmit high-definition video using the DisplayPort protocol. Each Thunderbolt port also provides up to 10 Watts of power to connected peripherals.
Macworld reports that a Thunderbolt channel can provide up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of data throughput and each Thunderbolt port includes two channels It can also transmit and receive data at the same time. Even with estimated real-world performance of around 8Gbps, Thunderbolt is many times faster than FireWire 800 and USB 3.0. It’s also significantly faster than the eSATA connections available on many Windows PCs.
It is rumoured that the forthcoming Nikon D4 SLR will be equipped with the technology.