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Intel will support USB 3.0 alongside 'complimentary' Thunderbolt

post #1 of 66
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Intel and Apple's newly introduced high-speed Thunderbolt port won't be a direct competitor of the USB 3.0 standard. Rather, the two will be "complementary" to one another, Intel believes.

Intel announced this week that it will ship silicon that will support both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt in 2012. According to CNet, Kirk Skaugen, vice president at Intel's Architecture Group, said he believes the two technologies are "complementary."

Support for both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 will appear in Intel's next-generation chips, code-named "Ivy Bridge." Ivy Bridge is the successor to the "Sandy Bridge" processors that began shipping earlier this year.

Both Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt debuted on Apple hardware with the new lineup of MacBook Pros that went on sale in February. The new Thunderbolt port, co-developed by Intel and Apple, features two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to 10Gbps each.

Formerly code-named "Light Peak," Thunderbolt's data transfer speeds are 20 times faster than the current, widely available USB 2.0 specification. Thunderbolt is also twice as fast as the not-yet-widesread USB 3.0 spec.



Despite the slower performance of USB 3.0, Intel has reportedly encouraged developers to support both the Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 standards with any external peripherals. Intel's 2012 Ivy Bridge chipsets will include support for USB .30 directly on the chip, which means USB support will be available on all machines, including laptops.
post #2 of 66
While it certainly makes sense for Intel to support both, I just can't see that USB 3.0 has any value. Since there are no existing USB 3.0 devices, anyone creating a new product has to decide between USB 3 and Thunderbolt. Why not pick the faster, daisy-chainable technology?

USB 3 has the advantage of operating older (USB 2.0) devices, but so would a USB 2.0 port.

From a computer manufacturer's perspective, until this announcement, they could have had USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt on their system. Now they can have USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt on their system. Sure, they'll do it because it's the same number of ports, so why not use the faster one, but there's really no advantage unless there are a lot of USB 3 devices out there.

From a device manufacturer's perspective, Thunderbolt is superior. So if you're making a new device, USB 3.0 doesn't make much sense - so I don't expect to see a lot of USB 3 devices. The ONLY thing that could save USB 3 from a device manufacturer's perspective is if a USB 3 device would work when connected to an older computer with a USB 2.0 port, but I don't think that will work.
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post #3 of 66
Intel dragged its feet so long that the way things are going, AMD will be first to support it in chipsets. Their main rival. Adopting their own tech before they do. Oi, Intel.
post #4 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

The ONLY thing that could save USB 3 from a device manufacturer's perspective is if a USB 3 device would work when connected to an older computer with a USB 2.0 port, but I don't think that will work.

Ah, but it does work. There are a few USB 3.0 hard drives out there (maybe more than a few; certainly more than none) and they advertise their backwards compatibility for use on USB 2.0 machines. Since USB 1, 2 and 3 all use the same port (unlike Firewire 400 and 800), there is no reason for manufacturers (of computers and peripherals) to switch to 3.0 except for cost. I expect the cost difference (if there is one) to disappear quickly as everyone switches over. USB 2.0 will be history shortly.
post #5 of 66
I think it depends on which side of the peripheral divide we are looking at. From a systems manufacturers point of view, there doesn't seem to be a compelling reason to choose USB3 over Thunderbolt, since TB will effectively give them USB3 through adapters. They could certainly have both, but if they had to choose one, my bet would be on TB, assuming the cost is not substantially higher.

But for the device manufacturers, it is a different story. Adding multiple ports on a single device is less common than single port devices. In that case, when choosing between TB and USB3, if they had to choose, I would guess they would opt for USB3. They could do two identical devices, one with TB and one with USB3, but that adds to costs, inventory management, etc. The choice for a single standard would seem to be the opposite reasoning than the systems manufacturers. If the device people had to choose one over the other, then USB3 would seem to make more sense. It will work with TB systems through adapters, whereas a device with a native TB port might not work with a USB3 system port (or would it?).

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post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

While it certainly makes sense for Intel to support both, I just can't see that USB 3.0 has any value. Since there are no existing USB 3.0 devices, [...]

What? There are TONS of USB 3.0 devices on the market. Especially external hard disks.
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

While it certainly makes sense for Intel to support both, I just can't see that USB 3.0 has any value. Since there are no existing USB 3.0 devices, anyone creating a new product has to decide between USB 3 and Thunderbolt. Why not pick the faster, daisy-chainable technology?

USB 3 has the advantage of operating older (USB 2.0) devices, but so would a USB 2.0 port.

From a computer manufacturer's perspective, until this announcement, they could have had USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt on their system. Now they can have USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt on their system. Sure, they'll do it because it's the same number of ports, so why not use the faster one, but there's really no advantage unless there are a lot of USB 3 devices out there.

From a device manufacturer's perspective, Thunderbolt is superior. So if you're making a new device, USB 3.0 doesn't make much sense - so I don't expect to see a lot of USB 3 devices. The ONLY thing that could save USB 3 from a device manufacturer's perspective is if a USB 3 device would work when connected to an older computer with a USB 2.0 port, but I don't think that will work.

but there are usb 3.0 add in cards but no Thunderbolt add in cards. Also how will pci-e video card tie in to the TB bus? Will there be data only TB ports? without the DP part?
post #8 of 66
Why do I get the feeling Thunderbolt is going to be another Firewire? Everybody's going to go USB3.
post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Ah, but it does work. There are a few USB 3.0 hard drives out there (maybe more than a few; certainly more than none) and they advertise their backwards compatibility for use on USB 2.0 machines. Since USB 1, 2 and 3 all use the same port (unlike Firewire 400 and 800), there is no reason for manufacturers (of computers and peripherals) to switch to 3.0 except for cost. I expect the cost difference (if there is one) to disappear quickly as everyone switches over. USB 2.0 will be history shortly.

Where have you been able to find a USB 3 port that accepts USB 1/2 without an adapter? In this regard USB 3 has no advantage over Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt has the advantage in that with the proper adapters, it provides access to everything from USB 1 through Ethernet through FireWire to MiniDisplayPort.
post #10 of 66
All this chip bloat makes me suspicious that AMD vs. Intel isn't quite creating the competitive, fairly balanced market you'd want it to see.
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Where have you been able to find a USB 3 port that accepts USB 1/2 without an adapter? In this regard USB 3 has no advantage over Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt has the advantage in that with the proper adapters, it provides access to everything from USB 1 through Ethernet through FireWire to MiniDisplayPort.

An adapter?
USB 3.0 is the same size port as USB 1 and 2. USB 3.0, just like 2.0 was, is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 (and 1.0), so the same port can work for both.
post #12 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Since there are no existing USB 3.0 devices,

I guess that disk drive I held in my hands the other day was my imagination. I must have been drunk or stoned or something, and merely imagined that it said "SuperSpeed USB" on it, had the bigger micro-USB port and the USB 3.0 plug on the end of it.

USB 3.0 devices DO exist. Hopefully now that Intel is supporting it natively in their chipsets, we'll soon see Macs with USB 3.0 support. I remember how long it took Macs to get USB 2.0 support (they wanted to force everyone to use Firewire, then finally woke up), same thing is happening with 3.0. *grumble*
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

While it certainly makes sense for Intel to support both, I just can't see that USB 3.0 has any value. Since there are no existing USB 3.0 devices, anyone creating a new product has to decide between USB 3 and Thunderbolt. Why not pick the faster, daisy-chainable technology?

There are plenty of USB 3 devices out there.

However that really has no weight in this discussion. The ports are vastly different and i doubt we will see much overlap.
Quote:
USB 3 has the advantage of operating older (USB 2.0) devices, but so would a USB 2.0 port.

From a computer manufacturer's perspective, until this announcement, they could have had USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt on their system. Now they can have USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt on their system. Sure, they'll do it because it's the same number of ports, so why not use the faster one, but there's really no advantage unless there are a lot of USB 3 devices out there.

Believe it or not some of the world runs on 9600 baud still.
Quote:
From a device manufacturer's perspective, Thunderbolt is superior. So if you're making a new device, USB 3.0 doesn't make much sense - so I don't expect to see a lot of USB 3 devices. The ONLY thing that could save USB 3 from a device manufacturer's perspective is if a USB 3 device would work when connected to an older computer with a USB 2.0 port, but I don't think that will work.

It doesn't matter. The two port standards are so vastly different you will see very little usage overlap
post #14 of 66
Correct. Physically there's no difference in a USB 1, 2 or 3 port other than the color. Blue is supposed to denote USB3. In my opinion that's a huge advantage for for both manufacturers and consumers while in the midst of a changeover. USB3 connections will work on older systems, albeit at lower transfer speeds. No need for manufacturers to create another port.

Personally I'm no fan of Apple's policy of inventing new cable arrays. I think sometimes it's only intended to make sure you have deal with Apple (and their Apple Tax on cables) to connect your new peripherals.
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post #15 of 66
Doomed! I say.
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

While it certainly makes sense for Intel to support both, I just can't see that USB 3.0 has any value.

1. For any device with a high signaling speed, like Thunderbolt, there is significant cost and power draw attached. Thunderbolt support will easily add $5 to a device. If it's a $100 device, it's worth it. If it's a $10 memory stick, what's the point?
2. There's absolutely no reason to do a Thunderbolt keyboard or mouse.
3. Since a Thunderbolt takes up 4 PCI-E lanes on the chipset, you won't see many systems, and especially not laptops, that have more than one Thunderbolt port. Having 6 or more USB ports on a system is commonplace.
4. Since USB 3.0 is fully backward compatible with USB 1.x and 2.x devices, consumers won't need to replace all their USB devices.
5. Since the CPU overhead for Thunderbolt is much lower than any USB variant, high throughput devices (e.g. video, high-end storage, audio) will tend to use Thunderbolt.
6. Daisy-chaining requires more cables and a bit more user sophistication than "just plug it in." Remember that you'll generally want your monitor at the END of the Thunderbolt cable. If you need to plug in a memory stick (which would now need two connectors instead of one), would you really want to disconnect your monitor and, possibly, your storage devices, just to plug it in?

In summary, I don't believe anyone is thinking of this properly. Thunderbolt is more of a single-cable laptop dock connector, and an external PCI-E connector for desktop/server systems. USB3 is better for low-speed, cheap devices that will be inserted and removed regularly.
post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Correct. Physically there's no difference in a USB 1, 2 or 3 port other than the color. Blue is supposed to denote USB3. In my opinion that's a huge advantage for for both manufacturers and consumers while in the midst of a changeover. USB3 connections will work on older systems, albeit at lower transfer speeds. No need for manufacturers to create another port.

Personally I'm no fan of Apple's policy of inventing new cable arrays. I think sometimes it's only intended to make sure you have deal with Apple (and their Apple Tax on cables) to connect your new peripherals.

Too bad this is a standard created by Intel, will be included in their IvyBridge chipsets, and uses a royalty free port.

Never let facts get in the way of a good Apple bashing.

Thunderbolt is a combination of two existing standards (PCIe and DP) and isn't even a direct competitor with USB 3.0.

TB was never intended to replace USB keyboards, mice and thumb drives. It's there to provide a high speed, multi protocol link over a single wire. It's there to allow for docking stations (DP, HDMI, USB 3.0, eSata, Ethernet, audio, etc) connected through a single cable, external video cards, high speed access to RAID arrays, or anything else that would benefit from external access to the PCIe bus. The only area that USB and TB really compete in is external hard drives, and manufacturers can (gasp) include both ports if they so choose.

@Twelve: Nice first post.
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post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

Too bad this is a standard created by Intel, will be included in their IvyBridge chipsets, and uses a royalty free port.

Never let facts get in the way of a good Apple bashing.

Thunderbolt is a combination of two existing standards (PCIe and DP) and isn't even a direct competitor with USB 3.0.

Thanks for pointing out the inference that Thunderbolt was an Apple development in my post. That wasn't my intent, as I was actually only mentioning that Apple has a penchant for proprietary connectors, which oftentimes appears to be for marketing purposes only.

Thanks for making things clearer.
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post #19 of 66
Nevermind - name collision!
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post

Why do I get the feeling Thunderbolt is going to be another Firewire? Everybody's going to go USB3.

I dont see it. FireWire hindered itself from excessive licensing compared to USB as well as being fully supported by Intel, the original inventors. Now we have a situation where the Thunderbolt port interface has no licensing costs and is fully supported by Intel, who have been delaying the inclusion of USB3.0, perhaps to give TB a better chance.

Then there is the Apple factor. The number of people supporting Macs compared to when the first FireWire iPod arrived is vastly different. If Apple gets TB support in their iDevices then I think PC vendors will rush to support TB in order to compete better with Macs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Personally I'm no fan of Apple's policy of inventing new cable arrays. I think sometimes it's only intended to make sure you have deal with Apple (and their Apple Tax on cables) to connect your new peripherals.

Can you expound on that? I dont see why Apple would go through all this R&D just so you buy a cable from them. There are very real benefits to their decisions, not to mention making mini-DisplayPort port interface free of charge. It seems clear to me they made DisplayPort smaller to accommodate their svelte machines.

Plenty of 3rd-party options
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twelve View Post

1. For any device with a high signaling speed, like Thunderbolt, there is significant cost and power draw attached. Thunderbolt support will easily add $5 to a device. If it's a $100 device, it's worth it. If it's a $10 memory stick, what's the point?
2. There's absolutely no reason to do a Thunderbolt keyboard or mouse.
3. Since a Thunderbolt takes up 4 PCI-E lanes on the chipset, you won't see many systems, and especially not laptops, that have more than one Thunderbolt port. Having 6 or more USB ports on a system is commonplace.
4. Since USB 3.0 is fully backward compatible with USB 1.x and 2.x devices, consumers won't need to replace all their USB devices.
5. Since the CPU overhead for Thunderbolt is much lower than any USB variant, high throughput devices (e.g. video, high-end storage, audio) will tend to use Thunderbolt.
6. Daisy-chaining requires more cables and a bit more user sophistication than "just plug it in." Remember that you'll generally want your monitor at the END of the Thunderbolt cable. If you need to plug in a memory stick (which would now need two connectors instead of one), would you really want to disconnect your monitor and, possibly, your storage devices, just to plug it in?

In summary, I don't believe anyone is thinking of this properly. Thunderbolt is more of a single-cable laptop dock connector, and an external PCI-E connector for desktop/server systems. USB3 is better for low-speed, cheap devices that will be inserted and removed regularly.

Great first post. Welcome to the forum.

I wonder if there can be an internal hub to allow 2 or more TB ports to be on a Mac without using more than 4 PCIe lanes. If so, having a TB port on either side of your Mac notebook (once they free up port-side space from removing the optical drive) could make it easier to plug in peripherals. I dont think each has to be terminated like ye ol BNC.

If each dont have to be terminated I can see a future Apple display that just has the TB port and power. Its internal TB hub will push to USB (which includes FaceTime camera), FW, and audio, with the DisplayPort signaling at the end. Or is my assumption of TBs daisy chaining incorrect?
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post #21 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I was actually only mentioning that Apple has a penchant for proprietary connectors, which oftentimes appears to be for marketing purposes only.

Hyperbole much?

The only Apple proprietary connector was the ADC, and it was a good idea to try to reduce cable clutter but fruitless as people don't care about an extra monitor cable as much as being widely compatible.

FireWire addressed a real need for a high performance, low latency bus. USB 1 and even USB 2 were designed by Intel to rely on the host CPU - because Intel sells CPUs! FireWire supports DMA and had several other advantages over USB - even today it still serves a real purpose. USB 3 is an interesting hybrid, but I see Thunderbolt as a much more viable long term solution. Thunderbolt is more related to FireWire than USB - thats for sure!

As for other connectors, Mini Display Port is far from Apple proprietary - indeed they even freely turned it over to the standards body for royalty free use. It's being picked up by more and more manufacturers because it solves a practical problem - it's a space efficient connector in a world of shrinking devices!

Other technologies that people like to brand as Apple proprietary really aren't - Sun used Apple Desktop Bus (ADP) along with Apple before USB became ubiquitous. I have to laugh because I remember when people thought DIMMs, SCSI and 3.5" floppies were Apple proprietary back in the day. It took the PC industry years to adopt DIMMs - heck, I still have a full size (Full AT size, that is) 386 motherboard that took 4 MB of RAM in DIMMs and the other 4 MB in individual chips (8 chips per 1MB bank), four years after the Mac Plus had been introduced.
post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

That wasn't my intent, as I was actually only mentioning that Apple has a penchant for proprietary connectors, which oftentimes appears to be for marketing purposes only.

AMD Radeon HD 5870 EyeFinity 6 Edition PCIe GPU.

Thats 6 mDP ports. These arent old in Macs and Apple gets nary a cent for AMDs inclusion.
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post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Other technologies that people like to brand as Apple proprietary really aren’t...

I remember people thinking USB was proprietary when Apple jumped in. They missed their Serial and Parallel ports, I guess.

I still encounter people that think the AAC codec is from Apple, not Advanced Audio Coding, the successor to MP3 and “standardized by ISO and IEC, as part of the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 specifications.” Admittedly the quoted part i don’t expect people to know, but I do expect them not to think AAC can only be used by Apple when they work in the computer industry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia

AAC was developed with the cooperation and contributions of companies including AT&T Bell Laboratories, Fraunhofer IIS, Dolby Laboratories, Sony Corporation and Nokia. It was officially declared an international standard by the Moving Picture Experts Group in April 1997.
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post #24 of 66
Solipcism, I'm no going to pretend to have some special insight into Apple planning and marketing, which is why I clearly indicated it was opinion. Anyway, with that said, one of the examples that comes to mind right off is Apple's modification of the industry standard DVI connection a few years back, creating their own proprietary ADC port. At the same time I think they even removed any way of using an existing DVI connector. I'd agree with you that design was certainly an influence. But selling their new cable, available from no one but Apple at the time, for around $140 or so couldn't have hurt the bottom line at all. Granted that eventually other vendors popped up offering those same cables for half the price, or even less. Then there was mini-DVI, which again might have been simply a design decision. But those mini-DVI cables carried a premium price, and with limited initial market for them so little to no 3rd party availability, Apple probably did pretty well with revenue on those. And then there's Apple's data cable for the iPhone. None of Apple's own cables would be considered inexpensive, unlike many of the 3rd party offerings. And tho Apple does have a licensing program that permits outside vendors to sell Apple-compatible cables for a cut of the sales, they're also very aggressive at making sure none of those get sold without Apple's portion assured. It's apparent to me that Apple sees a steady source of revenue from those proprietary connectors.

But you could be absolutely correct that Apple's only consideration when settling on their ports is design. Personally I don't know. But I know what my opinion is.
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post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Believe it or not some of the world runs on 9600 baud still.

OMG!! And I've been using 300 baud all this time on my BBS! Guess I'll have to upgrade my dial-up connection.
post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I remember people thinking USB was proprietary when Apple jumped in. They missed their Serial and Parallel ports, I guess.

Nah! While I miss a good Centronics port as much as the next person - time, and technology marches on...






With today's technology, we have the SCSI set of cables, adapters and terminators -- a real man's interface!


I always say if the cable doesn't weigh more than the connected devices (combined) -- it ain't worth having!

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post #27 of 66
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Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

OMG!! And I've been using 300 baud all this time on my BBS! Guess I'll have to upgrade my dial-up connection.

Bagman -- Are you running a BBS?
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post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Hyperbole much?

Actually. . . Yes

It certainly can be an attention-getter, can't it? Sorry for not acknowledging your post earlier. I got sidetracked on "real" work and never refreshed the thread before replying earlier.

Thanks. Good info in there. I always thought Firewire was an Apple-initiated interface design, eventually picked up by scanner makers, wide-format printers and the like with high data throughput needs. Now I know better.

'preciate it.
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post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post

Why do I get the feeling Thunderbolt is going to be another Firewire? Everybody's going to go USB3.

Think of Thunderbolt as an external PCI slot and that's why it won't be another firewire. It's a multi-protocol port and by linking it with displayport, it means there's no reason for it to go away unless MiniDP goes away.

USB 3 is useful for the multitude of peripherals available for USB2/3 and as mentioned mainly hard drives but in real-world tests, it falls short of the theoretical peak and will likely come in around 1/3 of Thunderbolt, which sustains full speed in both directions.

USB 3 and TB can and should co-exist. Wired USB may eventually be replaced with wireless USB but some things would be too slow over wireless so Thunderbolt will remain at the very least.
post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Solipcism, I'm no going to pretend to have some special insight into Apple planning and marketing, which is why I clearly indicated it was opinion. Anyway, with that said, one of the examples that comes to mind right off is Apple's modification of the industry standard DVI connection a few years back, creating their own proprietary ADC port. At the same time I think they even removed any way of using an existing DVI connector. I'd agree with you that design was certainly an influence. But selling their new cable, available from no one but Apple at the time, for around $140 or so couldn't have hurt the bottom line at all. Granted that eventually other vendors popped up offering those same cables for half the price, or even less. Then there was mini-DVI, which again might have been simply a design decision. But those mini-DVI cables carried a premium price, and with limited initial market for them so little to no 3rd party availability, Apple probably did pretty well with revenue on those. And then there's Apple's data cable for the iPhone. None of Apple's own cables would be considered inexpensive, unlike many of the 3rd party offerings. And tho Apple does have a licensing program that permits outside vendors to sell Apple-compatible cables for a cut of the sales, they're also very aggressive at making sure none of those get sold without Apple's portion assured. It's apparent to me that Apple sees a steady source of revenue from those proprietary connectors.

But you could be absolutely correct that Apple's only consideration when settling on their ports is design. Personally I don't know. But I know what my opinion is.

Apple has done some silly things with their port interfaces, but your original comment elluded to Apple’s purpose was to get you to buy expensive cables, which simply doesn’t make sense.

Take a look at regular DVI. That is huge!

That’s the reason mini-DVI and then later Micro-DVI for the MBA was designed. Now take a look at Monoprice.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/se...ni-DVI&x=0&y=0 They have plenty of inexpensive cables and adapters using mini-DVI on the cheap. If what you’re saying is true then where are the threatening letters from lawyers to remove these products?

I can’t find your $140 cable, but the only one it could refer to is the dual-link DVI-D. That isn’t cheap to make as it’s not just an adapter (I.e.: changing of some pins and port interface) but a changing of the signaling before being pushed between devices. Here are some examples:

What do you see? You should notice that you can’t take the cost of a convertor and assume that it’s some outrageous and erroneous “Apple tax.” You should also notice they all have access to USB because they need to be powered. Thunderbolt resolves all that by being a single port with multiple protocols and more power than USB. We might even be able to get eSATA drives working on these if the power requirements are low enough. Surely some very fast connections for 2.5” HDDs will be coming.

The only faults I have with Apple on ports is that they weren’t not future-forward enough to allow the FW400 port work with the FW800 port, as well the high per port fees that help cause the downfall of FW adoption. They did make FW800 singling backwards compatible to FW400, but you still need an adapter. They also were able to use FW800 port for FW1600/3200, though they seem unlikely to see the light of day. I also take issue with Apple not foreseeing the future need of micro-DVI when they invented mini-DVI.

PS: I hope they can add optical LightPeak to the center of a MagSafe connector for the simplest cable docking solution. I hope they remove Ethernet and FW800 in the next MBPs and put in at least one more ThunderBolt port, and spread the remaining ports along the back of the side edge, like in the MBAs.
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post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post

Why do I get the feeling Thunderbolt is going to be another Firewire? Everybody's going to go USB3.

That because the enemy of "great" is "good enough"...and most thin-margin PC clone makers are loathe to put "great" insider their shitty, $500 plastic laptops. OTOH, if Intel bakes Thunderbolt support into each Ivy Bridge chipset, then the costs of adding TB are absorbed into the cost of the chipset. That's no guarantee that they'll actually add TB support. They might add it as a line-item in "higher margin" model.

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post #32 of 66
The $149 price is correct. Sorry I was going by my less-than-failsafe memory. I do recall my art director at the time being livid over the price of the cable.
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post #33 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The $149 price is correct. Sorry I was going by my less-than-failsafe memory. I do recall my art director at the time being livid over the price of the cable.

1) Thats a Belkin product.

2) That is a less commonly needed product for connecting back into a 27 iMac to use its monitor as your display for a Blu-ray player, PS3, etc.

3) People need to understand what they are buying. If you buy a new machine that uses a new port interface and you have an old display youre likely going to have to buy an adapter, or in what I assume was your art directors case, a convertor.
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post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

That because the enemy of "great" is "good enough"...and most thin-margin PC clone makers are loathe to put "great" insider their shitty, $500 plastic laptops. OTOH, if Intel bakes Thunderbolt support into each Ivy Bridge chipset, then the costs of adding TB are absorbed into the cost of the chipset. That's no guarantee that they'll actually add TB support. They might add it as a line-item in "higher margin" model.

The only light I see here is Apple and Intel working together, along with the royalty free port interface of MDP already being used by Dell, HP, AMD and Nvidia. If Apple gets Thunderbolt support into iDevices we may see PC support it at the lower-end (though maybe not at $500) in order to gain some more sales.
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post #35 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

An adapter?
USB 3.0 is the same size port as USB 1 and 2. USB 3.0, just like 2.0 was, is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 (and 1.0), so the same port can work for both.

Explain this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ComputerWorld

What's new in USB 3.0?

Unlike the change from USB 1.0 to USB 2.0, USB 3.0 brings actual physical differences to the connectors. The flat USB Type A plug (that goes into the computer) looks the same, but inside is an extra set of connectors; the edge of the plug is colored blue to indicate that it's USB 3.0.

On the other end of the cable, the Type B plug (that goes into the USB device) actually looks different -- it has an extra set of connectors, so it looks a bit like a USB plug that's been crimped a little ways down one end. There's also a new Micro Type B plug that has all its connectors laid out horizontally.

The USB 3.0 plug has an extra set of connectors.
As a result, you won't be able to fit a USB 3.0 cable into a USB 2.0 device. However, you will be able to plug USB 3.0 devices -- and cables -- into your current computer; you just won't get the speed advantage.

Brian Nadel, "USB 3.0: The New Speed Limit," ComputerWorld, March 2, 2010.
post #36 of 66

As he stated, its backwards-compatible with USB2.0 signaling and port interface. No adapter required for USB-A.

Quote:
It has the circuitry for USB 2.0 and 3.0 transfers inside and can use either, depending on what's plugged in.

[]

The flat USB Type A plug (that goes into the computer) looks the same, but inside is an extra set of connectors; the edge of the plug is colored blue to indicate that it's USB 3.0.

[]

As a result, you won't be able to fit a USB 3.0 cable into a USB 2.0 device. However, you will be able to plug USB 3.0 devices -- and cables -- into your current computer; you just won't get the speed advantage.
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post #37 of 66
@cmf2,solipsism: You're most kind. Thanks for the welcome.

A few comments:

Cables are not terribly profitable, especially when the cabling and connector technology are brand new. It takes massive volumes to make the price suitable for a commodity interface. Some high-density SCSI cables are still more than $100 each. Cable and connector prices for certain standards, including mDP, are currently subsidized in hopes that popularity will grow.

Intel has many reasons for promoting Thunderbolt. Consider that AMD and any other competitors are at a disadvantage when supporting such a link directly from the chipset. Thunderbolt and Light Peak raise the barrier to entry much more than USB 3.0. Meanwhile, Apple, as a key collaborator, gains more than a svelte design and a head start on the technology. They earnestly want every vendor to use Thunderbolt.

The current implementation of Thunderbolt is not suitable for "hub and spoke" configurations; PCIe lanes can't be easily shared. It's more a matter of protocol than electrical attributes like termination. However, you're very likely to see monitors with internal Thunderbolt breakouts to all manner of special-purpose, slower or legacy ports, and even a few with DisplayPort passthrough.

Apple, for quite some time, has been a key innovator and early technology implementor. Most of you in the industry will agree that a few key organizations (or even people) are creatively responsible for the bulk of today's technology. The vast majority do little more than mimic and posture.

What I find disheartening is the number of self-professed "enlightened" souls who blindly attempt to smother what they have not conceived.
post #38 of 66
1) Apple recently was granted a patent for a hybrid display port USB 3 connector. I don't think Apple see this as an either or situation
2) The first products coming out for Thunderbolt are SSD raid drives that are frighteningly fast. And HUGELY expensive. It's clear the early users of Thnuderbolt are going to be serious video and 3d types, not your average Joe who needs a new external hard drive on Windows Vista desktop. USB is familiar to people, they'll know its the thing you use to connect your stuff to a computer. Most people don't know a huge amount about the technical stuff. Clueless people are a big market (way bigger than geeks!). Cheap and cheerful drive makers (and other acccessories) are going to go USB 3 IMO because its familiar and the cheap end of the PC market will go that way. So depending on how big the demand at the high end for Thunderbolt will be, that will determine if it will outlive USB 3 or succumb to it.
3) Thunderbolt is significantly faster on a tickbox comparison approach but AFAIK thunderbolt also has less latency and thus its everyday "real" speed is closer to its theoretical speed than USB 3 real speeds are to its theoretical limit.
4) I read that its possible to make a USB3 to Thunderbolt adaptor.

Quote:
Third-party vendors will sell adapters, available sometime this spring, that let you connect USB, FireWire 400, and FireWire 800 devices to Thunderbolt ports.
post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Hyperbole much?

The only Apple proprietary connector was the ADC

Also Mini VGA, Mini DVI, Micro DVI.
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

While it certainly makes sense for Intel to support both, I just can't see that USB 3.0 has any value. Since there are no existing USB 3.0 devices <snip>. The ONLY thing that could save USB 3 from a device manufacturer's perspective is if a USB 3 device would work when connected to an older computer with a USB 2.0 port, but I don't think that will work.

Both your points are invalid.

USB 3.0 is everywhere in the external hard drive market. Companies that previously supported FireWire have mostly dropped it in favour of USB 3.

USB 3.0 devices operate just fine connected to USB 2.0 ports. My Mac Mini boots from a USB 3.0 external drive case.

Finally I'm going to guess that implementing USB 3.0 will be cheaper than Thunderbolt.

Thus manufacturers have 3 good reasons to make USB 3.0 devices.
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