Canon backs Intel's Thunderbolt tech

Canon is voicing its support for the new connection standard from Intel. This follows Apple, which already uses the tech on its MacBook Pros.

Camera and copier maker Canon chimed in with support today for Intel's Thunderbolt technology, the first major consumer electronics company after Apple to back the new standard.

Thunderbolt, formerly known by its codename Light Peak, is a new connection technology that combines high-speed data transfer and high-definition video on a single cable. Running at 10Gbps, Thunderbolt can transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds.

Apple has already adopted the technology--its newest MacBook Pros come with Thunderbolt ports--and is a technical collaborator with Intel. The announcement by Canon--which references "video creation"--marks the second major consumer electronics company to sign on.

"We are excited about Thunderbolt technology and feel it will bring new levels of performance and simplicity to the video creation market," said Hiroo Edakubo, group executive of Canon's Video Products Group, in a statement posted by Intel.

Storage device maker Western Digital has voiced support for the standard. And smaller companies such as Apogee, Avid Technology, and LaCie have already come out in support of Thunderbolt, according to an Intel Thunderbolt page.

"Thunderbolt covers a number pain points for users and the industry," said DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim, who explained that the myriad connectors that come with PCs and the corresponding cables have become a headache for consumers and companies. Potentially, Thunderbolt could provide a single connector for various standards.

Shim also points out that because Thunderbolt is based on DisplayPort and PCI Express protocols, existing peripherals based on those two standards will still be able to connect to Thunderbolt, providing backward compatibility.

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