Thunderbolt™ Technology

This new high-speed cable technology connects your computers and electronic devices together like never before. First-generation Thunderbolt™* technology supports two 10Gb/s bi-directional channels from a single port, the fastest data connection available on a personal computer.

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Thunderbolt 2

Thunderbolt 2, brought to market in late 2013, now features two 20Gb/s channels. With this potential speed increase, Thunderbolt 2 now enables 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously. And despite the new speeds, it uses the same cables and connectors and works with existing Thunderbolt computers and devices.

Support for Existing Protocols

Thunderbolt technology supports both data and display protocols simultaneously over a single cable. Integrating the two communication methods, PCI Express and DisplayPort, enables new and exciting ways to simplify our lives at home and the office. With both protocols on the same cable we can build even thinner laptops while limiting the amount of connections between devices. This powerful yet flexible technology can connect to a wide variety of devices, such as peripherals, displays, storage, docking stations, audio/video devices, and more. Using copper cables, the Thunderbolt technology offers transfer rates superior to rackmount fibre channel storage. Cables also easily fit into a Mini DisplayPort interface to assure backward compatibility with numerous displays.

Fastest Connection to Your Computer

The fast Thunderbolt technology transfer rates are vital to multiple environments as consumers and professionals continue to manage the explosion of digital media. Content creation, IT administration, data and content delivery, digital libraries, and home storage will all benefit from this new and dynamic performance. Videographers can work directly from RAW files, getting full quality from 4K footage without first needing to convert footage into a lower resolution. Photographers can browse and edit massive photo libraries of thousands of RAW files with zero lag time. Audio professionals will notice incredibly smooth audio mixing, even when working with hundreds of tracks simultaneously.

Daisy Chain and Multi-Tasking Throughput

Thunderbolt technology supports daisy chaining up to six computer peripherals. Devices (including the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2) feature two ports to join a daisy chain with compatible peripherals such as hard drives, monitors, cameras, etc. A single cable attached to one of the ports provides two channels of up to 10Gb/s (20Gb/s for Thunderbolt 2) in both directions. This means that video and data can be pushed both ways without compromising the bandwidth. On a single line, an editor can digitize HD from a video source while playing high resolution images on a display.

Universal Compatibility

While Apple® brought Thunderbolt technology to market in 2011, and Thunderbolt 2 in 2013, PC manufacturers are now rushing to implement the protocol. And as the industry’s Thunderbolt technology leader, LaCie already has the market’s widest range of first-generation Thunderbolt products certified for PCs. It is also the first in the industry to announce a portable Thunderbolt 2 product. All LaCie first-generation Thunderbolt products have passed a certification process by Intel to work with PCs and/or Mac computers. See the full list of compatible products > Now that first-generation Thunderbolt is available on both Mac and PC, users enjoy a host of new benefits. PC users can now benefit from Thunderbolt’s extraordinary speed for high-bandwidth applications such as video editing and backup. And all users can take advantage of Thunderbolt technology while working on the platform they are most comfortable with. What’s more, cross-platform compatibility means that storage can easily be shared between PC and Mac at optimum speeds.

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* Thunderbolt and the Thunderbolt logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.
** This chart reflects the maximum real-world speeds attainable through a single connection, with optimized configurations that include RAID and daisy chaining.