Apogee to develop Thunderbolt audio interfaces

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.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.