Intel in the future will support thePCI-Express 3.0 protocol to shuttle data faster between host devices and peripherals, an Intel spokesman said in an email. Computers with Thunderbolt interconnect currently communicate with external devices using the older PCI-Express 2.0 technology.
The company will incorporate PCI-Express 3.0 in Thunderbolt, but could not provide a time frame for when it will be accomplished.
Apple’s Mac laptops transfer data to Thunderbolt devices such as storage drives via the PCI-Express protocol. Current Thunderbolt technology is able to transfer a full-length, high-definition movie from an external storage device to a laptop in less than 30 seconds. Data transfers will get significantly faster with PCIe 3.0, further cutting lag time that also exists with other technologies such as USB.