thunderbolt ASMedia is aiming for Thunderbolt compatible solutions

What can only be called a very recent addition in the world of peripheral IC makers, ASMedia has quickly made a name for itself, thanks to in to small part to its USB 3.0 host and device controllers as well as its SATA 6Gbps controllers. Now the company is said to be aiming to product solutions that are compatible with Intel's Thunderbolt standard.

Updated with a correction from ASMedia

What can only be called a very recent addition in the world of peripheral IC makers, ASMedia has quickly made a name for itself, thanks to in to small part to its USB 3.0 host and device controllers as well as its SATA 6Gbps controllers. Now the company is said to be aiming to product solutions that are compatible with Intel's Thunderbolt standard.

Digitimes is reporting that ASMedia's president, Lin Che-Wei said that the company is planning to produce Thunderbolt compatible peripherals for the second half of this year, but sadly no details as to the specific types of devices were revealed. So far, Intel hasn't seemed to be very keen on sharing the Thunderbolt specification with anyone, but we've been hearing rumours for quite some time that the company is considering opening up the peripheral chipset end of the standard. Even so, Intel will remain the sole manufacturer of the host side chipsets and as we've reported several times already, the company appears to be having some issues getting its upcoming Cactus Ridge chipset out the door.

In addition to whatever Thunderbolt compatible chips ASMedia is working on, the company will continue to make USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps solutions. Both Seagate and Western Digital are using ASMedia's SATA to USB 3.0 bridge chips in their external hard drives and this is where ASMedia is likely to be making its biggest sales when it comes to USB 3.0 chipsets once the third party host controller market dies down. ASMedia was planning on making a new host controller, but in the end decided that it wasn't a worthwhile endeavour due to more and more motherboard chipsets featuring integrated USB 3.0 support. We'll make sure that we catch up with ASMedia at Computex in June for a closer look at what the company is working on.

Update: After contacting ASMedia about their so called Thunderbolt solution which Digitimes reported about last week, we were informed that the reporter at Digitimes got things somewhat mixed up. What ASMedia was in fact saying, is that their SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 controllers are all going to be compatible with Intel's Cactus Ridge Thunderbolt controllers. The company is also working on some higher-end SATA solutions for external RAID enclosures that will work over Thunderbolt, as well as in NAS and DAS type devices and of course directly on motherboards as a high-end version to the ASM1061 SATA 6Gbps controller.

Source: Digitimes