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Intel's Thunderbolt input/output (I/O) technology is designed to connect high-performance peripherals and HD video displays via a single port using two communications methods, or protocols, PCI Express for data transfer and DisplayPort for displays. Thunderbolt provides data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps, which is 20 times faster than the USB 2.0 standard and 12 times faster than FireWire 800.

With Thunderbolt, you can also daisy-chain up to six devices, including a display, without the need for a hub, and also provides 10 watts of power to peripherals. Thunderbolt made its initial debut in the 2011 release of the MacBook Pro laptop series.

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