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At the same demonstration, Intel officials said they expected hardware manufacturing to begin around the end of 2010.Light Peak aimed to make great strides in consumer-ready optical technology, by then having achieved "[connectors rated] for 7,000 insertions, which matches or exceeds other PC connections ...HS1TX(P) of the source is connected to HS1RX(P) of the sink.Thunderbolt is the brand name of a hardware interface developed by Intel (in collaboration with Apple) that allows the connection of external peripherals to a computer.The Thunderbolt port on the new Macs is in the same location relative to other ports and maintains the same physical dimensions and pinout as the prior MDP connector.The main visible difference on Thunderbolt-equipped Macs is a Thunderbolt symbol next to the port.Other implementations of the technology began in 2012, with desktop boards offering the interconnection now available.

Older displays, using DP 1.1a or earlier, have to be located at the end of a Thunderbolt device chain, but native displays can be placed anywhere along the line. In that respect, Thunderbolt shares a relationship with the older system, which used the display connector to support a low-speed bus.However, those cables are retailed almost exclusively in Japan, and the price is 20 to 30 times higher than copper Thunderbolt cables. Half the diameter of and 80% lighter than comparable copper Thunderbolt cables, they work with the 10 Gbit/s Thunderbolt protocol and the 20 Gbit/s Thunderbolt 2 protocol, and thus are able to work with all self-powered Thunderbolt devices (unlike copper cables, optical cables cannot provide power).German company De Lock also released optical Thunderbolt cables in lengths of 10 metres (30 feet), 20 metres (70 feet), and 30 metres (100 feet) in 2013, priced similarly to the Sumitomi ones, and retailed only in Germany. The cables extend the current 30 metres (100 feet) maximum length offered by copper to a new maximum of 100 metres (300 feet), allowing peripheral Thunderbolt devices to be attached farther away from their host device(s).The Display Port standard is partially compatible with Thunderbolt, as the two share Apple's physically compatible MDP connector.The Target Display mode on i Macs requires a Thunderbolt cable to accept a video-in signal from another Thunderbolt-capable computer.CNET's Brooke Crothers said it was rumored that the early-2011 Mac Book Pro update would include some sort of new data port, and he speculated it would be Light Peak (Thunderbolt).

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