Asus has pledged its support for Intel's new Thunderbolt 2 interconnect standard, unveiling the Z87-Deluxe/Quad motherboard featuring up to 20Gb/s transfer rates for Thunderbolt accessories.
Asus' Z87-Deluxe/Quad is the first retail motherboard to include Thunderbolt 2 certification, offering two bi-directional channels with 20Gb/s throughput each.
Announced back in April, Intel's Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt 2 controllers
boost the throughput of the interconnection standard to 20Gb/s. Designed as a premium option to sit alongside the existing Cactus Ridge and Redwood Ridge controllers, both of which offer peak throughput of 10Gb/s, Falcon Ridge is designed for premium products with Asus the first to pledge is support for the Thunderbolt 2 standard.
Announced late last night, the Z87-Deluxe/Quad is - as the name suggests - a Z87-based Haswell-compatible motherboard, based on the ATX form factor. The board includes numerous features to put it towards the top of the company's line-up: 10 SATA 3 ports, eight USB 3.0 ports alongside another eight USB 2.0 ports, and three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots for users with multiple graphics cards.
'Z87-Deluxe/Quad has been subjected to a tremendous amount of compatibility, BIOS, as well as video/audio and other tests to verify its quality and design,
' claimed Joe Hsieh, general manager for Asus' motherboard division. 'Being the world's first certified motherboard for Thunderbolt 2 technology also means setting the standard for all of the upcoming products, which is something that Asus has always done.
It's the Thunderbolt 2 support that Asus is looking to highlight, naturally. The speed boost works by combining the two upstream and two downstream channels of the original Thunderbolt into a pair of bi-directional channels both running at 20Gb/s and supporting a total of up to 12 Thunderbolt devices. According to Asus, the Thunderbolt 2 controller on the Z87-Deluxe/Quad will support running three 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) displays from the single system - one from the onboard HDMI port, and one each for the two Thunderbolt 2 channels.
Sadly, while Asus is keen to talk up the impressive specifications on offer from the Z86-Deluxe/Quad, it is less happy talking about pricing or a launch date for its UK incarnation.