CES 2014 – A Big Step Forward for PC Connectivity

Wearables and cool partnerships with fashion designers were a big buzz for Intel at CES 2014, but lots of other important technology dazzled Intel booth attendees last week in Vegas too. One of the major themes at this year’s International CES was the growing adoption of 4K video technology, and how this industry shift is impacting today’s content creators.  For Thunderbolt™, this year’s show offered yet another opportunity to demonstrate why it is the most innovative and versatile I/O technology today, that not only meets the intense demands of 4K video, but provides the media creation industry with the tools to find new and better ways to work.

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At our booth (and this demo was usually two to three people deep) we demonstrated Thunderbolt™ 2 customer products publicly for the first time – an HP ZBook* mobile workstation, LG 29” UM95* display, and LaCie Little Big Disk 2* storage device. The latest HP ZBook mobile workstations, which will soon be updated with Thunderbolt 2, reinforce HP’s stated commitment to take Thunderbolt across their entire line of Workstation products. LG’s inclusion of Thunderbolt 2 in both 29” and 34” QHD monitors generated significant buzz at CES.  These monitors offer screen resolutions that are sure to please gaming enthusiasts, film buffs and graphics professionals alike. But these cool new monitors are also docks, containing three USB ports and two Thunderbolt 2 ports, the latter enabling simple daisy-chain configurations with 20Gbps bandwidth for up to six devices. Also on display was the latest version of Thunderbolt storage from LaCie, the Little Big Disk 2, using two Samsung PCIe SSDs for maximum performance in a portable device. Based on Thunderbolt 2 technology, it’s easily the fastest portable storage coming to market soon, and users are seeing read/write speeds greater than 1200MBps. As stand-alone products, each of these represents a significant improvement in media creation technology. But when put together, they represent a fundamental advancement in 4K video workflow.

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The introduction of new monitors and stand-alone docks, plus a number of high-speed palm drives and other innovative products shown at CES demonstrate how simple and flexible Thunderbolt can be for today’s users. And the growth in these devices is being matched by PC’s, including new mobile workstations from HP and Lenovo, plus a Thunderbolt 2 Card and a number of Thunderbolt ready motherboards from ASUS. Considered together, all of these products signify the broadening appeal of Thunderbolt in the marketplace and its importance for today’s 4K video and technology enthusiasts.

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There was also a lot of excitement around WIRELESS content and data at CES, with cool new technology around Intel® Wireless Display (Intel® WiDi) technology on the show floor. New smart TV’s from market-leading companies LG Electronics* and TCL* have been certified as Intel WiDi optimized receiver devices.  From 2012 to 2013 major CE companies nearly doubled the shipments of Intel WiDi certified receiver devices including TV’s, Projectors, and Adapters. TCL showcased their upcoming HDTV with integrated WiDi support at CES.  This also marks the 3rd year in a row that Intel and LG Electronics have collaborated to deliver Intel WiDi certified LG HDTVs to the market. Millions of people already have the WiDI enabled TVs at home and many more are expected to buy the new products this year. Select 2014 LG and TCL TVs have been certified for the latest Gen 4 Intel WiDi quality and reliability standards to work well with the roughly 75 million Intel WiDi based laptops, tablets, and phones running either Windows or Android. Check out a complete list of Intel WiDi certified devices here.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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