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Intel's Thunderbolt coming to PCs in April

Intel is unleashing its Thunderbolt tech for PCs in April next year, with some manufacturers already prepping compatible kit.

We already knew Intel's Thunderbolt port was headed to PCs, but now the word is it'll be here as soon as April 2012. Intel has notified its partners it'll "fully release its Thunderbolt technology in April of 2012," Digitimes reports.

It's not going it alone either, with "several first-tier PC players" already prepping compatible kit including motherboards, notebooks and desktop PCs. Acer and Asus, we're looking at you.

So far, Thunderbolt has been exclusive to Macs, with Apple implementing it in iMac and Macbook products. The technology didn't receive too warm a reception due to being expensive, and competing with USB 3.0. But following Apple's success, and with the cost expected to drop in the second half of 2012, it should become standard in the future, according to Digitimes' sources.

Back in September, Intel showcased a prototype Ultrabook sporting the port. As well as Asus and Acer, Sony is expected to adopt Thunderbolt into its high-end laptops. Nice of it not to invent its own proprietary tech for once (though admittedly that's usually software).

Thunderbolt gives you transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, meaning you can ship across a full-length HD movie in under 30 seconds, or back up a year's worth of MP3s in just over 10 minutes. You can daisy chain up to seven Thunderbolt devices from a single port, doing away with the need for expensive and cumbersome hubs to connect all your devices.

Following Intel's demo, we're expecting to see Thunderbolt on Ultrabooks -- next-gen netbooks with better battery life, more power, and Macbook Air-style dimensions. They also wake up almost instantly from sleep, thanks to Intel's Rapid Start.

Are you looking forward to Thunderbolt coming to PCs? Let us know in the comments below, or over on our Facebook page.