More good news on Thunderbolt. Signs that the media connectivity technology is maturing are becoming bigger. At the NAB show, Intel revealed another extension to the Thunderbolt family with the addition of Thunderbolt 2 Networking. This is a new way to directly connect computers using a standard Thunderbolt cable.
Thunderbolt 2 Networking provides a 10Gb throughput between two computers by emulating an Ethernet connection environment. This technology is already available on the Mac with OS X Mavericks under the Network preferences. A driver for the PC will also be available soon to connect two PCs together or a PC to a Mac. Thunderbolt 2 Networking expands the file sharing options for audio and video professionals across two computers.
The number of media devices with Thunderbolt is growing rapidly. NAB 2014 announcements include storage devices from Lacie, Western Digital, and Promise Technologies, plus a new professional camera from AJA called CION and a new 4K Thunderbolt monitor from LG Electronics.
Other media devices include two Thunderbolt 2 products from Blackmagic Design called the UltraStudio 4K and the Production Camera 4K. There’s also a wealth of other Thunderbolt 2 products announced at the 2014 NAB show including offerings from AkiTio, ATTO, Cubix, G-Technology (HGST), HighPoint, Magma, mLogic, Maxx Digital, OWC, Sonnet, Corning and others.
Sign of more Thunderbolt support on the PC side are also growing. In addition to the Apple Mac Pro and MacBook Pro, Hewlett-Packard recently extended Thunderbolt across its line of Z workstations, including mobile, desktop, and All-in-One. Lenovo has also started shipping its ThinkPad W540 with Thunderbolt connectivity. And ASUS is now offering Thunderbolt ready motherboards that work with their Thunderbolt 2 add-in cards.
These developments are good news for independent audio (and video) professionals. They will hopefully bring the prices of Thunderbolt devices and storage solutions down in the near future.