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Intel reveals identity of Falcon Ridge aka Thunderbolt 2

Intel has an official name for the 20Gbs I/O controller code-named Falcon Ridge, which the company has been teasing since April — Thunderbolt 2.

It's not the most original name but as Intel pointed out in a blog post this week, Thunderbolt has grown from its first implementation by Apple on its MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 to finding a place in more than 30 PCs and motherboards in the past year.

More than a dozen of those products are newly released PCs and two-in-one laptop-tablet hybrids powered by Intel's new fourth-generation Core processor formerly code-named Haswell. There are also more than 80 peripheral devices supporting the current Thunderbolt interface and Intel said "more than 220 companies worldwide" are currently developing Thunderbolt-enabled products.

In short, Thunderbolt is a powerful brand these days. The next iteration of the technology will double the throughput of the current Thunderbolt interface by "combining the two previously independent 10Gbs channels into one 20Gbs bi-directional channel that supports data and/or display," Intel said.

That means Thunderbolt 2 will be capable of pushing through 4K video and display simultaneously — and "that's a lot of eye-popping video and data capability," the chip giant said.

Falcon Ridge also adds DisplayPort 1.2 support to give future Thunderbolt 2 devices the ability to stream video to either a single 4K video monitor or dual QHD monitors, Intel said.

"By combining 20Gbs bandwidth with DisplayPort 1.2 support, Thunderbolt 2 creates an entirely new way of thinking about 4K workflows, specifically the ability to support raw 4K video transfer and data delivery concurrently. And our labs aren't stopping there, as demand for video and rich data transfer just continues to rise exponentially," Jason Ziller, marketing director for Thunderbolt at Intel, said in a statement.

Thunderbolt 2-enabled products will be available before the end of the year and ramp through 2014, Intel said.