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Insiders believe Thunderbolt from Intel, Apple will 'greatly affect' USB 3.0

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Though Intel has said it plans to support USB 3.0 with its next-generation chipsets, some in the PC market believe Apple's adoption of Thunderbolt could have a major impact.

Citing anonymous sources in the PC supply chain, DigiTimes reported Tuesday that Thunderbolt and its 10Gbps data connection speed could "greatly affect" adoption of the competing USB 3.0 port in the future. It said that in addition to Apple, which added Thunderbolt to its latest line of MacBook Pros, Sony is also said to be considering adopting the technology into its high-end notebooks.

Last week, Intel publicly said it plans to support USB 3.0 alongside Thunderbolt. But sources reportedly said that Intel is simply hedging its bets by adding USB 3.0 support to its next-generation chips, code-named "Ivy Bridge."

"Sources believe Intel's strategy of adopting both technologies into its next generation products is to minimize the risks of placing all the eggs into one basket," the report said.

People in the PC industry reportedly believe that USB 3.0 is a "transitional product" with legacy support for older USB devices. Thunderbolt, on the other hand, is viewed as the true next-generation successor.

Formerly code-named "Light Peak," Thunderbolt has data transfer speeds that are 20 times faster than the current market standard, USB 2.0. Thunderbolt's 10Gbps speeds are also twice as fast as the USB 3.0 specification.

For comparison, a FireWire 800 port is 800Mbps, while an Express Card slot has bandwidth of 2.5Gbps. Thunderbolt's speeds are accomplished with copper wire, though previous versions of Light Peak were demonstrated with fibre optic strands allowing speeds of up to 100Gbps. Thunderbolt was co-developed by Intel and Apple.
post #2 of 57
Seems to me that for the extra couple of dollars it will cost Intel to include the USB 3 alongside Thunderbolt makes it a no brainer for Intel- and since they are co-developers of Thunderbolt it would be very odd for them not to push that technology.

But I think we are all aware of cases where a superior technology did not win out due to considerations in the marketplace that were not directly related to the technical superiority of the product.

I believe it will come down to how well peripheral device manufactures are able to not only produce but also market and sell devices using these technologies.

Another major factor could be some new use for connecting your computer to a peripheral device that hasn't even been thought of yet - or was previously just not possible using legacy connection types.

It does seem a bit odd to introduce this great new connection type along side effectively nothing to plug into it. I expected Apple to at least announce a new Cinema Display with a Thunderbolt cable on it with USB ports etc - not that I would have replaced my existing Cinema Display - but on my 2011 MacBook Pro I currently have 7 wires connected to the side of it - Power - Gigabit Wired Network - FireWire800 - Thunderbolt to DVI conversion - USB to Cinema display - USB to IPad - (open USB) - and Audio output. It would be nice someday to have only one or perhaps two wires plugged into the notebook.
post #3 of 57
I think it's very hard to know how this will play out. The PC market tends to prefer sticking with technology that is cheaper and backwards compatible. A technology or product has to be really compelling to overcome that tendency. I don't think it's obvious yet that Thunderbolt is sufficiently compelling in terms of real-world applications (it's certainly compelling from a spec sheet standpoint).

USB3 has obviously mainstream appeal as a way to connect external hard drives. It seems to me that the most likely way for TB to become really mainstream is through docking of iDevices. Then the question becomes -- what's more common, having an external hard drive or having an iDevice? I really don't know the answer to that question.
post #4 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

It does seem a bit odd to introduce this great new connection type along side effectively nothing to plug into it. I expected Apple to at least announce a new Cinema Display with a Thunderbolt cable on it with USB ports etc

Some interesting aspects.

1) Thunderbolt will supposedly be more than twice as fast as USB 3.0. USB, because of its design, apparently, never comes close to its theoretical throughput. This was a big deal in the FW/USB2.0 comparisons, where the USB2.0 peak was higher, but FW400 provided a much faster sustained connection.

2) TB does the capability to provide backwards compatibility with USB 2.0, but the rumor was that the USB groups asked them not to add this in. That would have been the nail in USB3.0's coffin.

However, USB has a pretty strong brand name, and that might be enough to carry it through, and TB might get relegated to Professional uses, like FW was. Lets see if Intel is able to push it enough.
post #5 of 57
I don't think USB, as a whole, is going to go away. Nobody is going to buy a TB-USB adaptor just to connect a $10 mouse to their computer. And I don't see anyone ever making a TB mouse (just like there are no FW mice that I am aware of). But I think USB 2 will be the standard for awhile now, and TB will all but kill-off the need for USB 3. USB 3 will eventually make it onto computers when including it becomes as cheap at USB 2. But then it will be a "might as well do it because it doesn't cost any more", not a "need it" choice.
post #6 of 57
This is why Apple is great - leapfrogging entire generations of established technology (USB3, Blu-ray) in favor of more future-looking alternatives (Thunderbolt, wireless streaming). They don't always pick the safest option or the winning horse, but I certainly admire their convictions.

Meanwhile, Dell still ships dial-up ports on certain laptops. Shameful.
post #7 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I don't think USB, as a whole, is going to go away. Nobody is going to buy a TB-USB adaptor just to connect a $10 mouse to their computer. And I don't see anyone ever making a TB mouse (just like there are no FW mice that I am aware of). But I think USB 2 will be the standard for awhile now, and TB will all but kill-off the need for USB 3. USB 3 will eventually make it onto computers when including it becomes as cheap at USB 2. But then it will be a "might as well do it because it doesn't cost any more", not a "need it" choice.

nearly anything that can be connected via USB 2 can be connected via Bluetooth or wifi (mice, keyboards, printers, etc).

iDevices will either go to WIFI or Thunderbolt, or both. Of course USB2 will still be around until thunderbolt makes it to most PCs, though. It will likely be rolled out on all macs as they update throughout the year.
post #8 of 57
To avoid another Firewire fiasco, Apple should include Thunderbolt on all new models of all products. Being better is not enough, as Firewire vs USB demonstrated.
post #9 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I don't think USB, as a whole, is going to go away. Nobody is going to buy a TB-USB adaptor just to connect a $10 mouse to their computer. And I don't see anyone ever making a TB mouse (just like there are no FW mice that I am aware of). But I think USB 2 will be the standard for awhile now, and TB will all but kill-off the need for USB 3. USB 3 will eventually make it onto computers when including it becomes as cheap at USB 2. But then it will be a "might as well do it because it doesn't cost any more", not a "need it" choice.

A bit true, TB technology will be more expensive than USB 3.0 so everyone will keep on using it (USB 3.0) until a cheaper one (and better one) pops out. And yes, good point though on no one will buy an expensive TB-wireless-mouse than more cheaper USB 3.0 mouse. Okay maybe there are some people who will..
post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I think it's very hard to know how this will play out. The PC market tends to prefer sticking with technology that is cheaper and backwards compatible. A technology or product has to be really compelling to overcome that tendency. I don't think it's obvious yet that Thunderbolt is sufficiently compelling in terms of real-world applications (it's certainly compelling from a spec sheet standpoint).

USB3 has obviously mainstream appeal as a way to connect external hard drives. It seems to me that the most likely way for TB to become really mainstream is through docking of iDevices. Then the question becomes -- what's more common, having an external hard drive or having an iDevice? I really don't know the answer to that question.

USB3 does not have mainstream appeal. The vast majority of hard drives and thumb drives are still USB2, the cables are thick and inflexible, not suited for mice and keyboards.

In terms of real world applications, Thunderbolt is incredibly compelling. Laptop docking stations (with USB 3.0 support) through a single cable, monitor hubs, external video cards, blazing fast access to raid arrays. It's an extension of the PCIe bus outside of the computer with DisplayPort built in (don't forget that DP can handle HDMI signaling too), what's not to like?

USB isn't going anywhere though. There are not going to be a lot of TB ports per computer, we wont see TB printers, mice or keyboards. TB isn't designed to replace those aspects of USB, but then again they don't need the speed of USB 3.0 either. I think many devices might stop at USB 2.0, USB 3.0 has not reached critical mass yet and with native Intel support not coming until TB support also comes, its best hope (external hard drives), will have a better option, provided you don't need to break them out of the daisy chain often. The one thing I think USB 3.0 will be good for is thumb drives, and those external hard drives that are frequently disconnected (look for USB 3.0 and TB both to be on external hard drives, giving the consumer the connectivity option).
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post #11 of 57
USB 3 is the last gasp of USB.

It will be a very long, very useful last gasp! It’s backward-compatible, and USB will be with us (alongside Thunderbolt) for years to come. Devices from cameras to keyboards to printers that use USB will not be phased out any time soon.

Eventually, Thunderbolt will probably spell the end of the line for USB. But that’s a long way off, and until then, USB may as well keep improving.
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Some interesting aspects.

1) Thunderbolt will supposedly be more than twice as fast as USB 3.0. USB, because of its design, apparently, never comes close to its theoretical throughput. This was a big deal in the FW/USB2.0 comparisons, where the USB2.0 peak was higher, but FW400 provided a much faster sustained connection.

USB 3.0 is rated at 5 Gbps in one direction (a reasonable expected operating speed is about 3 Gbps).

TB features two 10 Gbps (operating speed), bi-directional lanes, giving a maximum throughput on the cable of 40 Gbps (two devices each using 10 Gbps up and 10 Gbps down).
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post #13 of 57
it is ridiculous to think Apple wont use both Lightpeak and USB 3.0

But... as most people know Apple is cheap with how much it is willing to spend on patents within its products. It forgoes Blu-Ray and many things requiring extra patent and hardware costs.

preferring to keep its products streamlined in the minds of its consumers is one thing, but... don't us consumers deserve to get both Lightpeak and USB 3.0?

I think so.

Most people have tons of USB devices, and there are already many USB 3 devices. you tell me who is acting monopolistic?
post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

It does seem a bit odd to introduce this great new connection type along side effectively nothing to plug into it.

Something has to be first and it makes no sense to introduce peripherals when there is no base to attach them to. Yet with a base device you have other ports to use and the possible high cost of a new connection type is absorbed into the total cost of the machine.

This is the only way to do it. Now that we have some Macs shipping with TB hopefully the next iPhone will be able to sync and charge with TB, considerably cutting its time for both.

Quote:
I expected Apple to at least announce a new Cinema Display with a Thunderbolt cable on it with USB ports etc - not that I would have replaced my existing Cinema Display - but on my 2011 MacBook Pro I currently have 7 wires connected to the side of it - Power - Gigabit Wired Network - FireWire800 - Thunderbolt to DVI conversion - USB to Cinema display - USB to IPad - (open USB) - and Audio output. It would be nice someday to have only one or perhaps two wires plugged into the notebook.

Id think that is coming, but at this point we are talking about 2 months of new MBP sales with TB ports. Thats not a lot of units on the market, and certainly a very small percentage of the installed base.

The good thing is that it uses the mDP port so Id think any new Apple LED Display with a single TB port and power would be backwards compatible with mDP ports on older computers, but wouldnt they also need some other connection type from the display for USB data? How does Apple achieve this? A detachable cable?

I think we might see a TB hub (per recent patent findings) with plenty of ports so you can support your older peripherals when we get the new displays. But when is ideal for this release? Apple has always been slow to release displays. Just look at how long the 30 ACD was on the market. They did an un-Apple thing and just lowered the price every couple years. Since Lion has double-resolution code maybe well have to wait for Lion to be released before we see new panels with higher density pixels. Releasing before might just make the elements too small to be useful.


PS: Id ideally like to see the patent for optical data in the center of a MagSafe connector. This would bring the cables coming from a monitor to a Mac notebook down to one. The only drawback here is the ease at which MagSafe could pop off if you arent careful.
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post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Something has to be first and it makes no sense to introduce peripherals when there is no base to attach them to. Yet with a base device you have other ports to use and the possible high cost of a new connection type is absorbed into the total cost of the machine.

This is the only way to do it. Now that we have some Macs shipping with TB hopefully the next iPhone will be able to sync and charge with TB, considerably cutting its time for both.


Id think that is coming, but at this point we are talking about 2 months of new MBP sales with TB ports. Thats not a lot of units on the market, and certainly a very small percentage of the installed base.

The good thing is that it uses the mDP port so Id think any new Apple LED Display with a single TB port and power would be backwards compatible with mDP ports on older computers, but wouldnt they also need some other connection type from the display for USB data? How does Apple achieve this? A detachable cable?

I think we might see a TB hub (per recent patent findings) with plenty of ports so you can support your older peripherals when we get the new displays. But when is ideal for this release? Apple has always been slow to release displays. Just look at how long the 30 ACD was on the market. They did an un-Apple thing and just lowered the price every couple years. Since Lion has double-resolution code maybe well have to wait for Lion to be released before we see new panels with higher density pixels. Releasing before might just make the elements too small to be useful.


PS: Id ideally like to see the patent for optical data in the center of a MagSafe connector. This would bring the cables coming from a monitor to a Mac notebook down to one. The only drawback here is the ease at which MagSafe could pop off if you arent careful.

Good points and I was not suggesting that the conversion would happen overnight - this could easily be a 3 to 5 year transition - and even years after the last FireWire or USB2 device is manufactured there will still be plenty of folks using them.

As far as which comes first - you could have a peripheral device with an adapter card (Express/34 or PCIe for instance) whereby a peripheral device with a new connector plus adapter with that connect could be made available prior to a system with that port shipping. Along the lines of the iPad plus MiFi from Verizon is available at a time when there is no CDMA iPad.

I guess I am just wondering how far away is a monitor from Apple that truly takes advantage of the capabilities of Thunderbolt. In my case I have tons of peripheral devices attached and two external monitors on my MacBook -if I could plug in ThunderBolt from Display one - then chain Display two off Display one along with a USB hub and maybe a FireWire drive as well as audio and network connections that would be a benefit to me.
post #16 of 57
I would have put my money on USB, since it is such an established brand. However I think one thing that might turn the tide this time is SSDs. A lot of people have laptops these days and want an external drive. Currently people buy an HD but if SSD price goes down this may change.

The latest Vertex 3 SSDs go at 550MB/s read, but according to Wikipedia USB 3 after overhead is 400MB/s. I think Thunderbolt is the only way to run one of these externally at full speed.

Or possibly eSata if there is a SATA3 version. But even SATA 3 is only 6Gbps. So the Vertex 3 is already pushing up against SATA 3 limits and it is a very new interface. If SSDs get much faster, Macs may have faster external SSDs than PCs have internal ones!
post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

...
Another major factor could be some new use for connecting your computer to a peripheral device that hasn't even been thought of yet - or was previously just not possible using legacy connection types.

It does seem a bit odd to introduce this great new connection type along side effectively nothing to plug into it. I expected Apple to at least announce a new Cinema Display with a Thunderbolt cable on it with USB ports etc - not that I would have replaced my existing Cinema Display - but on my 2011 MacBook Pro I currently have 7 wires connected to the side of it - Power - Gigabit Wired Network - FireWire800 - Thunderbolt to DVI conversion - USB to Cinema display - USB to IPad - (open USB) - and Audio output. It would be nice someday to have only one or perhaps two wires plugged into the notebook.

When Apple made iMac a USB port only machine, there wasn't a lot of USB devices to plug into either. Didn't stop them from going forward with it. The proliferation of USB owe a great deal to Apple's leap.

I see the thunderbolt having the same effect.
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post

it is ridiculous to think Apple wont use both Lightpeak and USB 3.0

But... as most people know Apple is cheap with how much it is willing to spend on patents within its products. It forgoes Blu-Ray and many things requiring extra patent and hardware costs.

preferring to keep its products streamlined in the minds of its consumers is one thing, but... don't us consumers deserve to get both Lightpeak and USB 3.0?

I think so.

Most people have tons of USB devices, and there are already many USB 3 devices. you tell me who is acting monopolistic?

It's ridiculous to even talk about this. As I've said from the beginning, Apple will support USB 3.0 when Intel supports it and we now know that will happen with IvyBridge.

Macs don't have USB 3.0 because Apple would have to add an additional chip to support it. Once Intel natively supports USB 3.0, Apple would have to go through a similar level of effort to avoid supporting it. There's no reason for Apple to do that.

Nothing to do with "acting monopolistic".
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post #19 of 57
Unlike Thunderbolt, USB 3 will be on every netbook, notebook, desktop, and server in the coming months. Thunderbolt will only be available on higher end products.

USB 3 will become the standard and Thunderbolt will become the next FireWire...
post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

When Apple made iMac a USB port only machine, there wasn't a lot of USB devices to plug into either. Didn't stop them from going forward with it. The proliferation of USB owe a great deal to Apple's leap.

I see the thunderbolt having the same effect.

If I recall correctly the move to USB was cumbersome because they removed legacy ports in the process, whereas the inclusion of TB removes not previously used port types.
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post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

I guess I am just wondering how far away is a monitor from Apple that truly takes advantage of the capabilities of Thunderbolt. In my case I have tons of peripheral devices attached and two external monitors on my MacBook -if I could plug in ThunderBolt from Display one - then chain Display two off Display one along with a USB hub and maybe a FireWire drive as well as audio and network connections that would be a benefit to me.

I'd say less than a year, they are probably focusing on refreshing the rest of the mac lineup with TB support first, but there's no way Apple won't push the TB spec forward with their peripherals.
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post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Unlike Thunderbolt, USB 3 will be on every netbook, notebook, desktop, and server in the coming months. Thunderbolt will only be available on higher end products.

USB 3 will become the standard and Thunderbolt will become the next FireWire...

TB will be on virtually every computer with an Intel CPU. Apparently you don't understand what native support means, all a manufacturer has to do to add it is provide the (royalty free) plug.
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post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

TB will be on virtually every computer with an Intel CPU. Apparently you don't understand what native support means, all a manufacturer has to do to add it is provide the (royalty free) plug.


I don't believe it, but I guess we will have to wait and see the outcome.
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Some interesting aspects.

1) Thunderbolt will supposedly be more than twice as fast as USB 3.0. USB, because of its design, apparently, never comes close to its theoretical throughput. This was a big deal in the FW/USB2.0 comparisons, where the USB2.0 peak was higher, but FW400 provided a much faster sustained connection.

2) TB does the capability to provide backwards compatibility with USB 2.0, but the rumor was that the USB groups asked them not to add this in. That would have been the nail in USB3.0's coffin.

However, USB has a pretty strong brand name, and that might be enough to carry it through, and TB might get relegated to Professional uses, like FW was. Lets see if Intel is able to push it enough.

The USB standard was mean to replace the RS-232 and the parallels port in the mid 90, It was a build on simple controler-host topology without any DMA. While the protocol is really simple to boost by speed up the signalling, because of the lack of DMA on USB, reading or writing on USB device make great impact on the CPU. More you boost the bandwidth on USB more you taxes your CPU, making USB inapt for high bandwidth and processing solution like video editing. This is the main reason that explain why FW always been superior to USB for storage.

The new ThunderBolt protocol is a PCI Express 4x external bus, since it pass PCI packet and Intel controller is acting like an PCIExpress-TB bridge with repeater for daisy-chaining device, you virtually can create any kind of external TB adapter like USB, SCSI, Fiber Channel, Ethernet based on existing PCI Express card. ThunderBolt doesn't need to be backward compatible with any port because by design you can adapt any type of port on a PCI bus like Thunderbolt is.
post #25 of 57
i'm sick of buying adapters and not being able to plug in old devices when they're needed - that's why TB will take a long time to gain marketshare. the displayport is still hardly anywhere, but the USB port is everywhere. i don't think we'll kill USB until 802.11x and NFC are fast enough for everything to forgo cables with different connectors.
post #26 of 57
Can't wait to boot up my external SSD drive using TB as my boot up hard drive and just use my internal hard drive for storage. Oh shoot. That means I have to buy the upcoming iMac with TB. Who wants a 27inch iMac, 2010 model?
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post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMac2 View Post

The USB standard was mean to replace the RS-232 and the parallels port in the mid 90, It was a build on simple controler-host topology without any DMA. While the protocol is really simple to boost by speed up the signalling, because of the lack of DMA on USB, reading or writing on USB device make great impact on the CPU. More you boost the bandwidth on USB more you taxes your CPU, making USB inapt for high bandwidth and processing solution like video editing. This is the main reason that explain why FW always been superior to USB for storage.

Wherever did you get the idea that USB doesn't support DMA? Having worked on many USB chips and device drivers, I can assure you that even the cheapest USB chips found in PCs support DMA.

That is not to say that there isn't a *tremendous* overhead in the USB stack. But this is a software issue, not a result of the lack of DMA.

Quote:
The new ThunderBolt protocol is a PCI Express 4x external bus, since it pass PCI packet and Intel controller is acting like an PCIExpress-TB bridge with repeater for daisy-chaining device, you virtually can create any kind of external TB adapter like USB, SCSI, Fiber Channel, Ethernet based on existing PCI Express card. ThunderBolt doesn't need to be backward compatible with any port because by design you can adapt any type of port on a PCI bus like Thunderbolt is.

It will be interesting to see what the software overhead is for Thunderbolt. Not saying it will be any different from PCIe -- I'm saying I don't know and we'll have to see before making major proclamations about its performance.

USB does pretty good with one device attached. When start attaching a half dozen, the software stack really starts to chew up time. Hopefully, this won't be true for Thunderbolt.
post #28 of 57
"Though Intel has said it plans to support USB 3.0 with its next-generation chipsets, some in the PC market believe Apple's adoption of Thunderbolt could have a major impact."

Why? Nobody pays attention to what Apple does. Nobody copies what Apple is doing. Nobody takes their lead from Apple... oh wait.
post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i'm sick of buying adapters and not being able to plug in old devices when they're needed - that's why TB will take a long time to gain marketshare. the displayport is still hardly anywhere, but the USB port is everywhere. i don't think we'll kill USB until 802.11x and NFC are fast enough for everything to forgo cables with different connectors.

I'm sick of all those adapters too. On a brightest side, the TB port is really a great opportunity for docking station like monitor, I predict the next Apple standalone display will have some port replicator (Ethernet, USB, FW, Sound) connect to the mac thru one TB connection. But beside adaptor and port replicator, by the way of using the PCI protocol on TB, it's really easy for hardware developer to adapt their existing stuff on TB like video grabbing PCI card or SAS Raid unit.
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

It's ridiculous to even talk about this. As I've said from the beginning, Apple will support USB 3.0 when Intel supports it and we now know that will happen with IvyBridge.

What many don't realize here or can't seem to grasp is that every shipping system with a USB 3 port to date has been shipping with a PCI Express to USB bridge chip to give yoiu those USB ports. Generally those chips support 2-3 USB ports over a single PCI Express lane thus there is no way to ever get full performance across all of the USB 3 ports implemented!
Quote:

Macs don't have USB 3.0 because Apple would have to add an additional chip to support it. Once Intel natively supports USB 3.0, Apple would have to go through a similar level of effort to avoid supporting it. There's no reason for Apple to do that.

Nothing to do with "acting monopolistic".

Exactly. They would have to use chips to implement USB 3 that up until late last year where power hungery and buggy. Beyond that the bridge chips could never reach USB 3's communications rates across all ports. So really there has been very little incentive for Apple to implement what has been beta hardware to be charitiable.

There is also nothing monopolistic about waiting for technology to mature or stabilize.

As for all the glowing reports from people with their new USB 3 drivesd, that is all fine and good but disk drives, at least magnetic ones, won't be saturating USB3 anyways. It is easy to see great results when your basis for comparison is USB 2, but people need to realize is that TB is a forward looking port. Nobody concerned with TB gives a rats a$$ about how fast a legacy notebook drive dongle works on TB. Yeah the port is faster but that isn't why the port exists by itself, rather it is a forward looking way to handle external communications for future products.

Thus when is see these discussions about USB vs TB the only thing I can think of is man do these people not get it. TB is not a replacement for USB, so any discussion that revolves around TB replacing USB is misplaced at best.
post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Unlike Thunderbolt, USB 3 will be on every netbook, notebook, desktop, and server in the coming months. Thunderbolt will only be available on higher end products.

USB 3 will become the standard and Thunderbolt will become the next FireWire...

I keep seeing this sentiment but I dont get it. It sounds like people are drawing comparison based on the speed of the port, but that isnt a fair comparison. FW was a market failure compared to USB for factors that do not affect TB.

For starters its supported by Intel. Second, it not encumbered with the same excessive licensing fees FW was. Third, the mDP port now has more of a reason to catch on as its a svelte, free option that can be used for fast data and display.

I see no reason why USB3.0 and TB will not be widely popular.
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post #32 of 57
All technologies are transitional, Thunderbutt included. It's a shame Intel can't move faster to adopt USB 3.0.
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

All technologies are transitional, Thunderbutt included. It's a shame Intel can't move faster to adopt USB 3.0.

Based on the timing and their backing of TB I think they simply choose not to include USB3.0 until they could also include TB/LightPeak.
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post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

Wherever did you get the idea that USB doesn't support DMA? Having worked on many USB chips and device drivers, I can assure you that even the cheapest USB chips found in PCs support DMA.

That is not to say that there isn't a *tremendous* overhead in the USB stack. But this is a software issue, not a result of the lack of DMA.


It will be interesting to see what the software overhead is for Thunderbolt. Not saying it will be any different from PCIe -- I'm saying I don't know and we'll have to see before making major proclamations about its performance.

USB does pretty good with one device attached. When start attaching a half dozen, the software stack really starts to chew up time. Hopefully, this won't be true for Thunderbolt.

You're right, I was wrong the USB controller card got DMA, but the USB device doesn't have access directly to the ram to push or read data directly like the FW. It's like TCP/IP, the software driver control each block making a lot of CPU overhead.

The main appeal of TB it's all hardware base, their is any software part of the communication process and doesn't add any layer on top of PCI. But it's still wise of you to wait and see in the real world with real product was is mean in term of real performance.
post #35 of 57
I'm assuming TB will allow bus-powered drives and charging for future iOS devices when sync'ed, though not sure I've seen this for sure. Seems necessary for it to be successfully in a broad way.
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by quiethand View Post

I'm assuming TB will allow bus-powered drives and charging for future iOS devices when sync'ed, though not sure I've seen this for sure. Seems necessary for it to be successfully in a broad way.

Yes, 10 Watts. More than USB but less than Firewire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia

Standard USB hub ports can provide from the typical 500 mA [2.5 W] of current, only 100 mA from non-hub ports. USB 3.0 and USB On-The-Go supply 1800 mA [9.0 W] (for dedicated battery charging, 1500 mA [7.5 W] Full bandwidth or 900 mA [4.5 W] High Bandwidth), while FireWire can in theory supply up to 60 watts of power, although 10 to 20 watts is more typical.

I think, but Im not sure, Thunderbolts 10W is constant regardless of the connection type. Is this enough to connect a external 3.5 HDD without a supplemental power source? I sure hope so.
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post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

It's ridiculous to even talk about this. As I've said from the beginning, Apple will support USB 3.0 when Intel supports it and we now know that will happen with IvyBridge.

Macs don't have USB 3.0 because Apple would have to add an additional chip to support it. Once Intel natively supports USB 3.0, Apple would have to go through a similar level of effort to avoid supporting it. There's no reason for Apple to do that.

Nothing to do with "acting monopolistic".

Well, Sony, Dell, toshiba and many others have added the chip with their new sandy bridge 2 computers to allow USB 3.

I stand by my thoughts that apple can and ought to support USB 3 now. Will those iMacs coming in via boats from china right now have USB 3? Probably not.

So if they aren't monopolistic based on hardware ... Jobs penchant for hating blu-ray, hating adobe's flash. Or as evidenced by the recent closed wall approach to iPad, iPhone and now the mac app store. Where they are demanding $ from any company selling services/content on iOS devices... And blocking those who won't pay the vig fee...

Apple loves to keep their overall costs down. It gives them higher margins. Then they love to close their os and charge others 30% to do business there.

I love apple products, but kind miss the old apple which was open more and... Well even if the products cost more... Offer more. You know... Offer USB 3 and blu-ray when others are

Sorry but I ain't the only person noticing the recent years less than nice and cuddly approach of apple.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Based on the timing and their backing of TB I think they simply choose not to include USB3.0 until they could also include TB/LightPeak.

Let's not forget SATA III.

I expect the delays are all part of an agreement between Intel and Apple.
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Let's not forget SATA III.

I expect the delays are all part of an agreement between Intel and Apple.

Good point. Are these MBPs the first Macs to use SATA III?
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #40 of 57
Thunderbolt is already twice as fast as USB 3.0. TB has a theoretical 10Gb/s throughput, while USB 3.0 maxes out at 5.0 Gb/s. But that's just the beginning for Thunderbolt.

When costs come down enough, it will be possible to use optical buses for another 10x boost in speed, or up to 100Gb/s. And optical Thunderbolt should allow cable runs of up to 100 meters. I doubt any copper-based technology could get anywhere near that performance level. Any future USB 4.0 (if there is one) will need to go optical to compete.

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