Thunderbolt ports coming to a PC near you in 2012

Much has been said about the power of Thunderbolt ports on the latest Macs. So far, it's been an Apple-only affair. A new report says some big PC makers are getting in on the speedy port fun.

According to DigiTimes, Intel wants to speed up the standardization of Thunderbolt" by introducing them to PCs next April. Sony and Asus are expected to be the first companies to jump onboard the new interface.

DigiTimes says that because of Apple's adoption of Thunderbolt in its Mac computers, demand has strongly increased, despite USB 3.0 ports being cheaper than the Thunderbolt ports (Note: Apple doesn't ship Macs with USB 3.0 ports).

The time is ripe for Thunderbolt to become a widely used format as the price for it "is expected to drop in the second half of 2012."

Dedicated PC heads shouldn't be too shocked to hear that Thunderbolt technology is inbound. Intel actually said back in April that its Ivy Bridge processors will support both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.

Will one of the technologies win out? Intel thinks they can live in harmony together:

Intel is going to support USB 3.0 in the 2012 client platform. We're going to support Thunderbolt capability. We believe they're complementary," said Kirk Skaugen, a vice president at the Intel Architecture Group, speaking at Intel's developer conference in Beijing today. The event was streamed over the Web.

I've seen what USB 3.0 can do and it's pretty fast stuff, but it can't daisy-chain to monitors and hard drives the way Thunderbolt can.

What's your pick? USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt? Let's take price out of the equation and give them both a fair shake, ok? Leave us your thoughts below.

DigiTimes, via

For the latest tech stories, follow DVICE on Twitter
at @dvice or find us on Facebook