a pretty good reason why Apple might have a head-start when it comes to Thunderbolt-capable machines, but Apple doesn't actually have a timed exclusive on the technology, at least according to Intel PR. The company told us that while it's currently targeting an early 2012 launch for Thunderbolt with other OEMs -- whereas the new MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt right now -- there's nothing stopping other manufacturers from launching machines with the 10Gbps interconnect a good bit earlier if they so desire.
In related news, the first Thunderbolt peripherals have just been formally announced -- the Promise Pegasus RAID array we saw spitting out 800MB / sec video streams, and the LaCie Little Big Disk. The former will come in four-bay and six-bay variants, topping out at 12TB of magnetic storage when it arrives in Q2, and the latter will boast a pair of Intel 510 Series SSDs -- which, by the way, have yet to be formally announced -- in RAID 0 for 500GB of storage in total. PR after the break.