From WSU Technology Knowledge Base
What is the Thunderbolt Port?
- Intel co-invented USB and PCI Express, which have become widely adopted technologies for data transfer. Apple invented FireWire and was instrumental in popularizing USB. Intel then created Thunderbolt as the current fastest Input/Output in a personal computer. It gets a data transfer rate of more than 10 gigabytes per second.
- Thunderbolt began at Intel Labs with a simple concept: create an incredibly fast input/output technology that just about anything can plug into. After close technical collaboration between Intel and Apple, Thunderbolt emerged from the lab to make its first appearance in the MacBook Pro.
- PCI Express is the technology that links all the high-performance components in a Mac. And it’s built into Thunderbolt. Which means you can connect external devices like RAID arrays and video capture solutions directly to MacBook Pro. Thunderbolt also provides 10 watts of power to peripherals. It is also possible to connect to Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks using simple adapters.
- Because Thunderbolt is based on DisplayPort technology, the video standard for high-resolution displays, any Mini DisplayPort display plugs right into the Thunderbolt Port.