Intel Reportedly Shipping New Thunderbolt Controllers Ahead of April 23 Ivy Bridge Introduction

VR-Zone reports that Intel has begun shipping its second-generation Thunderbolt controller chip, known as "Cactus Ridge". As previously discussed, Cactus Ridge will arrive in both four-channel (DSL3510) and two-channel (DSL3310) versions, offering Apple a pair of options for including the new chips in its forthcoming products.

Another aspect that makes the DSL3510 interesting is that it supports multiple internal DisplayPort inputs. What this means is that it could in theory interface with a discrete graphics card as well as the integrated graphics from an Intel CPU. This is likely to be the chip used by Apple in its desktop systems, whereas the more power efficient DSL3310 will end up in notebook products.

thunderbolt controller comparison
The arrival of the new Thunderbolt chips lines up nicely with Intel's Ivy Bridge processors to set the stage for updates to a number Apple's Mac lines. Previous reports have indicated that the first batch of quad-core desktop and mobile Ivy Bridge chips appropriate for Macs should be arriving on April 29, with an announcement coming in the week prior to that date.

Digitimes now claims that the announcement will take place on April 23, with a number of PC manufacturers lined up and ready to launch systems using the new processors. The report points to PC vendors being ready to release new ultrabooks beginning in May, but previous reports had claimed that the lower-voltage chips likely to make their way into the more compact machines won't be launching until early June.

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Top Rated Comments

Laco Avatar
160 months ago
Once affordable devices that use Thunderbolt are produced then I will care.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ristlin Avatar
160 months ago
I bet Mac Pro is going to be the first updated Mac they release this year.
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Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDK86 Avatar
160 months ago
Seems like the new Macbook Pro is just around the corner :)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bungiefan89 Avatar
160 months ago
Enough with the games, Intel! You've been teasing us with this sexy technology for over a year now.

I demand some cheaper cords, external GPUs, more affordable external hard drives, and developer kits delivered to third-parties so the industry as a whole can benefit from these super-awesome thunderbolt speeds!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Omgitsdesmond Avatar
160 months ago
Oh yay. Maybe I will be getting my first MacBook sooner than I anticipated.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Northgrove Avatar
160 months ago
Maybe Intel is ready to ship slightly ahead of schedule. Hard to tell whether this means slightly earlier Macs though. They may be looking to align these new desktops and laptops with the release of Mountain Lion, which is announced for "summer". Especially if the timeframe between their earliest ship dates for these computers and the new OS version ends up being just around one month or so. Makes more of a bang if they can announce a new OS X along with new Macs.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)