Thunderbolt MacBook Air May Land in July

The fabled MacBook Air with Thunderbolt support has been rumored to be coming soon almost as long as the most recent MacBook Pro update rolled out. Now the latest round of rumors claim the MacBook Air update is only a few weeks away in mud July, according to 9 to 5 Mac.

Unnamed sources said the updated MacBook Air will include Intel’s new Thunderbolt port along with the Sandy Bridge chip set.

MacBook AirThunderbolt and Sandy Bridge chips headed to the MacBook Air

Thunderbolt is a new high-speed expansion port that uses the same connector as Apple’s Mini Display Port video adapter and can currently support up to six devices in a chain. The port offers dual-channel 10 gb/s data throughput, supports hard drives and other peripherals as well as displays, along with FireWire, USB and Gigabit Ethernet devices with adapters.

Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors use a 32 nanometer architecture that offer both higher performance and lower power consumption than the two-year old Core 2 Duo processors currently used in the MacBook Air, and will be a significant upgrade for Apple’s smallest and lightest MacBook laptop.

Apple was said to have ordered some 380,000 new MacBook Air units earlier this month in preparation for the new model rollout. Orders for the current design are apparently wrapping up, too.

Apple hasn’t confirmed that new MacBook Airs will be shipping soon, although it’s safe to assume that upgrades are on the way. The company has already added Thunderbolt to the MacBook Pro and iMac, and will most likely add the expansion port to the rest of the Mac lineup as new models come out.