The American computer firm will use the new system, dubbed Thunderbolt by its creators at chip manufacturing firm Intel, on its Macbook Pro devices.
The technology, which uses copper wires to transfer data, works at 10 Gigabits per second, a speed that is twice as fast as traditional USB rates. However, a much higher maximum speed can be achieved if fibre optic cables are used. Intel has said that it will move towards maintaining higher speeds over time claiming that future versions should be able to attain a speed of 100 Gigabits per second.
Sarah Rottman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research, said: “This isn’t an innovation that consumers have been asking for, but it’s one they’ll appreciate. Especially when transferring video, as that’s when [USB] starts to feel slow”.
Apple is believed to have played a significant role in driving the development forward. However, only time will tell whether other manufacturers opt to take up the new system.
Ian Chiu, editor of the website Everythingusb.com, said: “I don’t really know how Intel will make Thunderbolt appealing to all the other first-tier PC manufacturers”.
He continued: “HP, Sony, Dell, Acer, Asus make most of their money from the low-end and medium-end notebooks. On the other hand, Apple’s Macbook Pro line-up is targeted at the prosumers, professionals and other people who aren’t so price conscious”.
Thunderbolt can also carry multiple signals at the same time so that a single cable can be used instead of a selection of wires that are required under current systems.