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Category: Computers Hardware

New MacBook Air Uses a Cheaper Thunderbolt Cheap

Written on July 30, 2011 by Lulu

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An investigation revealed that Apple is using a tinier and cheaper Thunderbolt chip on their new MacBook Air.

An investigation into the new ’s internals showed that is using a new, relatively untested chip. The said chip is called which has two 10Gbps bidirectional lanes (40Gbps), while the Light Ridge chip in the iMac, MacBook Pro and Mac mini has a full four.

The said part tracked down by AnandTech can only drive one display over Thunderbolt, but is also much smaller and cheaper, a key to fitting it into the 11-inch, $999 Air.

The controller isn’t significantly slower for high-speed like the Promise Pegasus R6 RAID array. Performance differences have more to do with the OS and processor than the Thunderbolt chip. Even if multiple devices in a chain may hit a limit, the chip is still enough to run the multiple interfaces off of a without being blocked.

The MacBook Air seems to be the only Mac that uses Eagle Ridge. It is speculated that ’s more frugal design may become the choice of Windows PC builders, which want to claim Thunderbolt support in a cheaper price.

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