Intel's delay shipping Ivy Bridge processors may not be the only thing holding up the new MacBook Pro. Intel is also at work on the next generation of Thunderbolt controllers, which should also appear in the new Apple device. Intel is said to have finished work on the new controller, codenamed 'Cactus Ridge', and according to reports, they are shipping now.
The next generation of Thunderbolt controllers should appear in upcoming iMac and MacBook Pros. According to a report, various PC shipments have been "delayed" because Intel hadn't completed work on the new Thunderbolt controller.
VR-Zone describes the different controllers on offer from Intel. There are two Thunderbolt solutions for the Ivy Bridge chips: the 12x12mm DSL3310 and DSL3510.
The DSL3310 offers two lanes worth of PCI Express bandwidth and draws 2.1W.. The DSL3510 offers four PCI Express lanes, draws 2.8W, and it can be used to daisy chain devices and supports multiple internal DisplayPort inputs.
In March Intel announced that optical cables for Thunderbolt ports that enable faster data transfers over longer distances on computers would be available soon.
Thunderbolt was introduced just over a year ago. It is a high-speed connector technology that shuttles data among computers and with peripherals. Current Thunderbolt installations are based on copper, but optical cables could provide more bandwidth and longer cable runs in the future.
Thunderbolt was co-developed by Apple and Intel and is considered a faster alternative to USB 3.0, with transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps (gigabits per second). A full-length, high-definition movie can be transferred from an external storage device to a laptop in less than 30 seconds.
According to sources Ivy Bridge has been bought forward to 23 April, and Apple is expected to launch an Ivy Bridge-equipped MacBook Pro that week.