Intel to Design Thunderbolt PCIe Cards


It seems like everyone is eyeing PCI Express these days. Looking to get Thunderbolt on as many PCs as possible, Intel is going to offer reference design boards to companies such as ASUS to get things in motion. Not too surprisingly, this news comes close to the USB 3.1 specification annoucement.

Currently, Thunderbolt suffers from expensive cables, poor availability, and lack of compatibility (USB is backwards compatible and works with a lot of legacy devices). On top of that “All add in cards and motherboards must be certified together and must contain prominent “Thunderbolt ready” identifiers according to Intel.” Also, the new board will require a PCIe x4 or greater slot. This further hurts Thunderbolt’s comparability since a new motherboard will be required to use this PCIe card. In addition, what is there to stop USB-IF members from designing a USB-PCIe card and setting a design specification of their own?