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Thunderbolt 'faster than USB 3.0'

Intel is set to launch a new connectivity technology

Chip maker Intel is set to launch a new connectivity technology that promises to double the speed of data transfer.

Thunderbolt, which will be first installed in Apple's Macbook Pro computers, is not expected to reach its maximum speed right off the bat as Intel has had to use copper wires instead of fibre optic cables.

Initially, the speed of the cable interface is expected to be 10 Gigabytes per second. Though it is twice as fast as USB 3.0, it is still well below the theoretical maximum using optical wires.

However, the company assured it would gradually integrate fibre optic cables into the technology, and once that is done, it will be able to achieve the speed of 100 Gb/sec.

While the new technology is not considered a breakthrough, it is likely to be hailed by users of HD video.

Sarah Rottman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research, said: "This isn't an innovation that consumers have been asking for, but it's one they'll appreciate.

"Especially when transferring video, as that's when [USB] starts to feel slow."

Copyright Press Association 2011

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