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Apogee to develop Thunderbolt audio interfaces

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The Thunderbolt logo: expect to be seeing this a lot.

The Thunderbolt logo: expect to be seeing this a lot.

Thunderbolt logo

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A Thunderbolt cable. Exciting, eh?

A Thunderbolt cable. Exciting, eh?

Thunderbolt cable

Apogee, the greatly respected manufacturer of high-end and home studio audio interfaces, has announced that it will be developing products based on Intel's Thunderbolt I/O technology.

Announced last week and implemented into Apple's new MacBook Pro, Thunderbolt promises high-speed (10GBp/s) bi-directional data transfer and is based on PCI Express and DisplayPort technology.

Apogee's Director of Marketing Sean McArthur outlined Apogee's strategy when he said: "Simply stated, Intel's Thunderbolt technology on the Mac marks the end of difficult choices and the beginning of unlimited performance.

"In the near future, Thunderbolt will take the confusion out of choosing a professional connectivity standard for audio production. Too often we have seen our customers frustrated by the options: Should I go with USB 3, FireWire 800, PCI cards and when is that LightPeak [Intel's development name for Thunderbolt] thing coming? Now we know, as manufacturers and customers, where we are headed."

That sounds like a ringing endorsement for Thunderbolt, and it's worth mentioning that Avid and Universal Audio have also given it their backing. It remains to be seen how quickly (and how comprehensively) Thunderbolt interfaces will supersede USB and FireWire ones, but it's looking more and more likely that this will be the high-performance audio I/O standard of the future.