Apple's exclusivity period set to end but with USB 3.0 becoming widespread, is it too late for Thunderbolt?

Intel’s Thunderbolt to appear in PCs early 2012

Intel has plans to make the firm’s new high-speed interconnect ‘Thunderbolt’ more widely available in PC systems according to a DigiTimes report.

Intel so far has limited Thunderbolt to Apple products but upstream supply chain sources told the DigiTimes that Intel is preparing to release the technology for incorporation into devices such as PC motherboards and notebook computers.

Whether the industry is terribly interested in Thunderbolt is another question mark. Given that current USB 3.0 implementations already require using an additional chipset to support the high speed interface, as Intel still doesn’t support USB 3.0 in the firm’s own chipsets.

PC manufacturer’s apparently believe that with the cost of implementing Thunderbolt falling in the second half of next year, Intel’s USB 3.0 rival could become more widespread.

Among the firms apparently interested in incorporating Thunderbolt are Sony and Asus. Motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte will apparently produce a Thunderbolt-equipped board in April.

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