Intel's Thunderbolt 2 now allows peer-to-peer Mac connections

The feature is available now through OS X Mavericks

Intel Thunderbolt cables

Intel Thunderbolt cables

Intel is bringing peer-to-peer computer networking capabilities to Thunderbolt 2 with a feature that allows Macs -- and soon, PCs -- to connect directly for high-speed data transfers.

With the Thunderbolt Networking feature, users can connect two Macs for a peer-to-peer connection and then transfer files directly. That reduces the need to use an external hard drive, USB stick or a local network for file transfers between computers.

For now, the feature is available for connections between Macs through the OS X Mavericks operating system, but users will soon be able to establish PC-to-PC or PC-to-Mac connections when a driver for Microsoft's Windows OS is released.

"By offering simple and fast file sharing, Thunderbolt Networking enables backup or upgrade across two computers like never before, using existing cables and connectors," said Dan Snyder, an Intel spokesman, in a Monday blog post on Intel's website.

The new feature is a key addition to Thunderbolt, which has struggled to find adoption due to the high prices of cables and accessories. Thunderbolt 2 is used mostly to connect external storage devices, high-definition video cameras and monitors to Macs and PCs. USB remains the dominant connector technology.

Intel said Thunderbolt Networking emulates an Ethernet connection and provides throughput similar to 10 Gigabit Ethernet, in which data packets are transferred at 10Gbps (gigabits per second). Thunderbolt 2 provides a maximum throughput of 20Gbps, which is two times faster than USB 3.1. Thunderbolt technology supports PCI-Express protocol for data transfers, and DisplayPort for monitors.

Intel is developing faster Thunderbolt technology that will be able to transfer data at 50Gbps. However, Intel is biding its time to release the faster Thunderbolt as the company considers the current throughput adequate for PCs.

The Thunderbolt Networking technology was announced and demonstrated by Intel at the NAB trade show in Las Vegas.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Applehardware systemsComponentsintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?