Intel name-checked a number of storage and A/V companies on board with Thunderbolt and expecting to release products using the new 10Gbps port found on the early 2011 MacBook Pro, but we’re already hearing other rumors about potential adopters currently flying under the radar. According to Nikon Rumors‘s source, the Nikon D4 will be the first DSLR to offer Thunderbolt as a connection option.
Interestingly, the tip supposedly came in “[a] few weeks ago”, so this looks less like someone merely jumping in on the Apple hype. Intel itself expects to see general Thunderbolt computer and peripheral adoption in late 2011, though has confirmed that it isn’t mandatory for manufacturers to hold off and give Apple a window of opportunity. In fact, broader adoption would probably help the MacBook Pro, since right now there’s a dearth of gadgets for new owners to plug the notebook into.
While shuttling data off of a camera at high-speed is the most obvious application for Thunderbolt on the D4, as with the speculation of the port making an appearance on the iPad 2 it’s the processor in the device (either camera or tablet) itself that’s probably the bottleneck there. What a D4 with Thunderbolt could do, however, is high-resolution tethered images and video, recording directly to a MacBook Pro. No word on when the D4 might make an appearance, however.