Originally Posted by hezetation
That's the problem with USB (Universal Serial Bus), it was designed around HIDs & not around hardware expansion. Thunderbolt basically brings PCIx expansion to the laptop, one of a few limitations to laptops that still makes desktops an appealing choice for pros & gamers.
Actually USB was designed for 32 and 64 bit operations as the old legacy ports for keyboards et al were 16 bit channels. Intel designed USB to be used instead of FW because USB promoted the use of processors. The advantage of FW was it was a smart controller scheme and did not require a Processor interrupt to work ... so data transfer was faster. Sony picked up on FW and renamed it iLink... they wanted it so they could transfer large digital photo files without needing a computer at all. (Just a bit of history).
If I understand Thunderbolt correctly you could basically beef up your laptop via expansion devices through the thunderbolt port like adding cards to a desktop. I don't think DP takes any of this bandwidth, as it has it's own 20Mbps provision I think, though I'm not 100% certain on that.
Actually Apple designed the concept of Lightpeak (downgraded performance a bit but included power distribution through copper wires to Thunderbolt. Lightpeak was fiber optics oriented and data rates up to 100 Mbps) to get back to the idea of one port that daisy chains into hubs that can offer all the older legacy ports that so many cling to and feel are so essential. Intel developed the controller for Thunderbird and implemented it for the PCI express architecture so it would promote Core2 and their latest series of processors of the "i" family ... i3, i5 and i7. Intel wouldn't license to Nvidea as Intel wanted to include their own graphics chip. It never was a good, but it cost less, and seemed good enough for everything except high performance gaming , et al.
If Apple has somehow included the TB controller for ARM processors in their mobile products then a whole new world of interconnects develops. That is what seems to be happening with the patent re: the 30 pin standard mobile connector Apple has been using for the past few years with their mobile devices. It remains to be announced if that hardware is already in iPad2 or requires iPad3 for implementation. We just don't know yet. Rumors will spread this every which way. Best just to wait and learn.
This all seems to play into an idea Apple had long ago where you could have a Dock for your computer that is more than a port replicator or USB hub, but that actually turns it into a beefy desktop when docked. No more need for a Mac Pro & a MacBook Pro!! I guess right now that is probably still wishful thinking.
TB is not for docking. Docks are expensive and have not been a good investment as new technology grows. Sony tried that and it failed, because it was too expensive over time. The same thing happened with HP.
If you'll notice the recent stuff from Adobe wherein they are offering apps for iOS that will enable input creative color mixing,etc. via iPad2 then using high speed data transfer to MBP for instance where in post movie editing via Final Cut Pro can be accomplished in a very professional way.
Look at the new pre NAB conference where all this discussion of all this new stuff is coming together.