Taiwanese hardware news portal Digitimes has reported that Intel recently informed its partners that Thunderbolt technology will be available in April 2012. Some of the top PC manufacturers are expected to launch their Thunderbolt supported products at around the same time.
According to Digitimes, Intel has cooperated with Apple to speed up standardization of Thunderbolt by putting Thunderbolt ports in Apple products. And thanks to this partnership, Intel saw obvious growth and has decided to release the technology for public use.
Currently Sony is expected to adopt Thunderbolt technology into its product lines with players such as Asustek Computer also expected to adopt the technology into their high-end notebook products. Gigabyte Technology, which has been aggressively adopting new transmission technology into its product line, is also expected to launch Thunderbolt-featured motherboard in April of 2012 to compete against Asustek and ASRock.
So far, economic factors have prevented the widespread adoption of Thunderbolt technology. Digitimes estimated that the price for each Thunderbolt chip is more than US$20, making it prohibitively expensive to incorporate.
Meanwhile, USB 3.0 seems like the ideal format because it's not only fast, but also backward compatible, allowing users to plug older devices into USB 3.0 ports.