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Intel investigating proprietary dock connector for 2012 Ultrabooks

post #1 of 51
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Intel is reportedly planning to release a proprietary connector that will work alongside its Thunderbolt technology to allow for advanced docking stations for the chipmakers' ultrabook design specifications.

The world's largest chipmaker unveiled its ultrabook category of thin-and=light notebooks, but the company's hardware partners have struggled to build "no-compromise" machines that match Intel's requirements and pricing. Intel is aiming for sub-$1,000 ultrabook prices and form factors less than 20mm thick.

VR-Zone claims to have received information that Intel is looking to give ultrabooks a boost with a docking station standard for the design.

"In simple terms, Intel is suggesting that the notebook makers should fit a rather large dock connector plus a mini DisplayPort connector side by side to make it easy to attach a dock or a port replicator via either a cable or a side mounted latch mechanism of some kind," the report read.

Intel is reportedly suggesting that PC makers include "a mini DisplayPort connector, HDMI via DP++, a D-sub connector via USB, a built in USB controller that will connect to USB ports and audio, eSATA via a PCI Express based SATA controller and just about anything else you can think of that needs PCI Express connectivity."




The company is also said to have suggested the option of daisy chaining Thunderbolt devices from the dock, though such a feature would likely increase costs and limit which Thunderbolt chips could be used.

In addition to the dual port solution, the report claims Intel is also considering custom dock connectors, similar to a docking solution released earlier this year by Sony. The VAIO Z uses a proprietary port and Thunderbolt technology to connect with a docking station peripheral that includes an optical drive and dedicated graphics processor.

As for USB 3.0, the report believes Intel has given the standard "the thumbs down" for now. "Intel is calling USB 3.0 a poor option for docking stations when it comes to adding features such as display interfaces and for tunnelling certain protocols through it," the report said

Though the company has promised to support the latest generation of USB alongside its "complementary" Thunderbolt standard, some industry insiders believe that Thunderbolt could have a large impact on USB adoption. However, high costs associated with Thunderbolt could slow down adoption of the technology by lower-margin PC and peripheral makers.

Intel has thrown its efforts into the ultrabook spec, even going so far as to invest $300 million in an ultrabook fund for new technologies for the notebook category. The company aims to reach a 40 percent share of the consumer market laptop by the end of next year. Although, if initial shipments are any indication, Intel may have a hard time reaching that goal. Several key partners are rumored to have set initial production volumes below 50,000 due to uncertain demand.



The first ultrabooks arrived on the market this fall, but Acer and Asus have reportedly reduced ultrabook orders by 40 percent after seeing unsatisfactory first-month sales.

For its part, Apple has seen record growth in Mac sales, especially with its own ultra-thin notebook lineup. The company sold an all-time high of 4.9 million Macs last quarter. According to a recent analysis, MacBook Airs now account for 28 percent of the company's notebook units in the U.S., up from 8 percent in June.
post #2 of 51
So why not just use the regular thunderbolt port for docking? If intel wants thunderbolt to succeed they have to make it mass market to use economies of scale to drive down the price and up the adoption even more. So far both USB 3.0 and thunderbolt are spinning their wheels and we are stuck using e-sata and USB 2.0 on most consumer non enthusiast devices.
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post #3 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

So why not just use the regular thunderbolt port for docking? If intel wants thunderbolt to succeed they have to make it mass market to use economies of scale to drive down the price and up the adoption even more. So far both USB 3.0 and thunderbolt are spinning their wheels and we are stuck using e-sata and USB 2.0 on most consumer non enthusiast devices.

Just do what Apple did, make a single TB port with the accessory having the HW to convert to various other output types.

PS: My only two wishes are to get power for Mac notebooks connected to TB through the optical in the center of the MagSafe as an option and to pull the power supply back out of the Mac mini so that a securable MagSafe connector can be used with the Mac Mini meaning only one plug to the wall outlet from the ATD. But those requests are very, very trivial.

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post #4 of 51
Quote:
Intel is reportedly suggesting that PC makers include "a mini DisplayPort connector, HDMI via DP++, a D-sub connector via USB, a built in USB controller that will connect to USB ports and audio, eSATA via a PCI Express based SATA controller and just about anything else you can think of that needs PCI Express connectivity."

IOW, Intel is saying: Please include kitchen sink. It will help sell ultrabooks.

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post #5 of 51
Why did Intel develop Thunderbolt?

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post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

Why did Intel develop Thunderbolt?

Is that suppose to be a trick question?

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post #7 of 51
I don't know why Intel has to develop an entire notebook and dock spec for their partners. They're supposed to be chip makers. Are their partners so sh*t they can't do anything themselves?
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I don't know why Intel has to develop an entire notebook and dock spec for their partners. They're supposed to be chip makers. Are their partners so sh*t they can't do anything themselves?

Intel has been doing 'reference designs' for years. Most PC manufacturers do very little R&D and focus primarily on Marketing and Distribution. The larger PC makers, such as Dell and HP, do try and differentiate themselves through design and 'advanced' features. Apple is really in a class by itself when it comes to the design and marketing of their products. Not only do they build both the OS and hardware, but they have a design group that is second to none. Finally, they have their retail locations in hundreds of upscale locations throughout the world. Back to Intel. I suspect the Ultrabook reference platform is really more about Intel trying to keep the PC relavent as more users do more stuff on tablets and smartphones. Keeping the Intel Architecture (x86) relavent is Job 1, at Intel, just like keeping Windows relavent is Job 1 at Microsoft...
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

So why not just use the regular thunderbolt port for docking? If intel wants thunderbolt to succeed they have to make it mass market to use economies of scale to drive down the price and up the adoption even more. So far both USB 3.0 and thunderbolt are spinning their wheels and we are stuck using e-sata and USB 2.0 on most consumer non enthusiast devices.

So true. Thats one thing I have never been able to understand. They just don't seem driven enough to implement higher technology into the public sector.
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post #10 of 51
The apple haters love to praise the zenbook even though they thought the MBA was a failed product.... Or maybe they just misclicked somewhere on the terrible keyboard and track pad...but don't want to admit because the zenbook is spec'ed better...go figure

They don't see it as a copy of design either...lol
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post #11 of 51
Docks are for dinosaurs. Most people who have a dock only use it to connect a wired mouse and keyboard and a monitor. Why not go with Apple's solution and make everything bluetooth or connect through Thunderbolt - clean and simple!
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by capoeira4u View Post

Docks are for dinosaurs. Most people who have a dock only use it to connect a wired mouse and keyboard and a monitor. Why not go with Apple's solution and make everything bluetooth or connect through Thunderbolt - clean and simple!

That doesn't fly with a windows user. Too restricting for them.
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post #13 of 51
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Originally Posted by capoeira4u View Post

- clean and simple!

PC users have never gravitated towards clean and simple. They seem to prefer messy, cluttered and butt ugly. Luckily, I don't have an ugly fetish, so that explains why I always choose Macs.
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I don't know why Intel has to develop an entire notebook and dock spec for their partners. They're supposed to be chip makers. Are their partners so sh*t they can't do anything themselves?

Yes.

No, seriously: yes. The PC makers are historically just common off-the-shelf parts integrators. In fact, the first IBM PC (which later got cloned into what we now call x86 Windows PCs) was itself mostly assembled from COTS parts, which made it remarkably easy to clone, once the BIOS was reverse engineered.

Apple had quite the opposite history, developing every machine, from the Apple I to the Lisa to the Mac entirely in house. This is called being vertically integrated. From chips to software. The Mac in particular was as custom as it got for its time. And when Steve went off to build the NeXT Cube, that was completely custom. Seriously, check out those YouTube links.

These are two diametrically opposite philosophies to computer design. The clone makers simply don't have it in their corporate DNA to go and do anything unless it can be easily cobbled together from COTS parts, or else OEM'd from someone else so they can "skin" it. They need Intel to do all the critical engineering, research, miniaturization, integration, so they can easily clone it.

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post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

IOW, Intel is saying: Please include kitchen sink. It will help sell ultrabooks.

I sure hope they include a Centronics parallel printer port.
post #16 of 51
Is should be possible to power on a Mac from a Thunderbolt port, as was previously possible using a device like the i-Cue for USB
http://www.lindy.co.uk/usb-boot-dong...mac/32871.html
or the former ADB Apple keyboards that also allowed powering on the Mac from them. That is really convenient when the Mac is away and difficult to reach, below the table, etc.
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Yes.

No, seriously: yes. The PC makers are historically just common off-the-shelf parts integrators. In fact, the first IBM PC (which later got cloned into what we now call x86 Windows PCs) was itself mostly assembled from COTS parts, which made it remarkably easy to clone, once the BIOS was reverse engineered.

Apple had quite the opposite history, developing every machine, from the Apple I to the Lisa to the Mac entirely in house. This is called being vertically integrated. From chips to software. The Mac in particular was as custom as it got for its time. And when Steve went off to build the NeXT Cube, that was completely custom. Seriously, check out those YouTube links.

These are two diametrically opposite philosophies to computer design. The clone makers simply don't have it in their corporate DNA to go and do anything unless it can be easily cobbled together from COTS parts, or else OEM'd from someone else so they can "skin" it. They need Intel to do all the critical engineering, research, miniaturization, integration, so they can easily clone it.

Thanks for those links, I second your recommendation. The first one in particular was very revealing when Steve Jobs talks about managers. How many here have suffered at the hands of managers who insist on 'managing' when leaving well alone is the best option. Management as an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. The cult of management, a curse of the modern age.
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post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post

The apple haters love to praise the zenbook even though they thought the MBA was a failed product.... Or maybe they just misclicked somewhere on the terrible keyboard and track pad...but don't want to admit because the zenbook is spec'ed better...go figure

They don't see it as a copy of design either...lol

Yep, all of that annoys me no end. I've dissed apple in the past when their products weren't so good, but now I'm humble to admit it. I'm constantly amazed by the people who don't see the similarities in HP's envy series and MBPs, and these zen books and the MBA.


On another note, another PROPRIETARY connector no one will use? Just run with thunderbolt, it's really not that important to have something "latch" on the computer, I'd rather have a trailing hub with the several ports
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

PC users have never gravitated towards clean and simple. They seem to prefer messy, cluttered and butt ugly. Luckily, I don't have an ugly fetish, so that explains why I always choose Macs.

90%+ of the computer users in the world prefer messy, cluttered and butt ugly?

In that case, any further Mac sales increases are doomed!
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDJCM View Post

Yep, all of that annoys me no end. I've dissed apple in the past when their products weren't so good, but now I'm humble to admit it. I'm constantly amazed by the people who don't see the similarities in HP's envy series and MBPs, and these zen books and the MBA.

While it didn't take much vision to see how the MBA style was the future it was pricey with that CULV C2D costing $350 (p1k from Intel) and that aluminium milled chassis being the first consumer attempt from Apple. These surely kept the price high, even though competitors quickly followed and still couldn't beat Apple's price.

On another note, there are rumoured to be 50 or more ultrabooks showcased at CES in January. This is a big deal for the future of computing as it demonstrates a clear move away from the large, slow, clunky, power hungry optical disc drive. This also puts a very clear demarcation line for Blu-ray as an HEC technology, not a consumer 'PC' technology.

PS: Imagine if Apple came out with a cheaper MacBook using Cortex-A15-based chips running Mac OS X, but limited app access to the Mac App Store. I can see this as a possibility on many levels.

Quote:
On another note, another PROPRIETARY connector no one will use? Just run with thunderbolt, it's really not that important to have something "latch" on the computer, I'd rather have a trailing hub with the several ports

It would be nice to at least get Apple's thunderbolt connector on other devices but a locking connector on a dock is a good idea. If a simple knock of your machine could detach your monitor, speakers, external drives, etc. that would be annoying. It's the one drawback I see to Apple's patent of a MagSafe plug with the optical data cable in the center.

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post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post

The apple haters love to praise the zenbook even though they thought the MBA was a failed product.... Or maybe they just misclicked somewhere on the terrible keyboard and track pad...but don't want to admit because the zenbook is spec'ed better...go figure

They don't see it as a copy of design either...lol

Same class of product, similar envelope, in similar price ranges, and last I checked, very similar specs, I really don't see why Zenbook is supposed to be a success and Air not. I don't see it as a design copy though, not anywhere near like Samsung's Android devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post

That doesn't fly with a windows user. Too restricting for them.

Why the doublespeak? A dock is more constricting, the entire dock has to be physically mated to the computer. With TB, you can have everything that's on the dock as much as 10ft away instead. I don't see the benefit of a dock here. With a TB-based hub, you can at least expect to use it with other classes of computers without any design changes. Apple's TB display shows you can have Firewire ports, USB ports, sound, a camera, a display and more TB ports on one Thunderbolt connector. For anything else, a hub designer can just add a PCIe chip into your hub for any peripheral service that the user might want.
post #22 of 51
Docks take up too much space on the desktop. If the display had SD readers, USB, firewire, etc. then the keyboard and mouse can be wireless on the desktop. Connect power and thunderbolt and you are now at your workstation at your desk. Let the display be the dock if you want wired devices.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

If a simple knock of your machine could detach your monitor, speakers, external drives, etc. that would be annoying.

it is easy enough to integrate a latch into the MagSafe design though-- still take advantage of magnetic mating, but add a sliding cover or something.

As everyone here understands... For ThunderBolt to succeed it needs to be more standardized and ultimately the only option. Anything short of that is going to be a mess. The optical interface really needs to come sooner rather than later to become a consumer hit with power integrated.
post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

it is easy enough to integrate a latch into the MagSafe design though-- still take advantage of magnetic mating, but add a sliding cover or something.

An optional lock that can ignored on most devices, but for docking station cables it latch securely with a button on the cable. Shouldn't be too hard, if Apple were to go down that route.

Quote:
As everyone here understands... For ThunderBolt to succeed it needs to be more standardized and ultimately the only option. Anything short of that is going to be a mess. The optical interface really needs to come sooner rather than later to become a consumer hit with power integrated.

We'll see how Thunderbolt is doing at this upcoming CES. I expect more peripherals, but I wouldn't take a lack of mDP/Thunderbolt in "PCs' as a sign that it's failing. Remember it's only been 'on' Macs for less than year, and we didn't even know it was going to be a cooper connection integrated with mDP port interface until it was released.

As for adoption, that will come when Apple can get a small enough TB controller chip into iDevices. At that point I think it'll be like USB2.0, back when Apple offered Firewire and USB syncing options with their iPods, yet most PCs still were using the USB1.0 for syncing which was just awful compared to the speed (and power transfer) of Firewire. Get it on 200 million iDevices in a year and you'l get PC makers wanting to add Thunderbolt support.

edit: Asus and Acer have already committed to supporting Thunderbolt. We'll see if that holds up at CES in January: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Thu...ort,13444.html


PS: How fast are your transfer speeds: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/dat...dna,14089.html

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post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

As for adoption, that will come when Apple can get a small enough TB controller chip into iDevices. At that point I think it'll be like USB2.0, back when Apple offered Firewire and USB syncing options with their iPods, yet most PCs still were using the USB1.0 for syncing which was just awful compared to the speed (and power transfer) of Firewire. Get it on 200 million iDevices in a year and you'l get PC makers wanting to add Thunderbolt support.

They would need to very greatly improve the speed of storage transfer on the iDevices to make a TB iDevice a worthwhile addition. I don't have a 4s, but everything before that, USB cable was nowhere nearly the weakest link, it was the slow speed of the flash chips.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It's the one drawback I see to Apple's patent of a MagSafe plug with the optical data cable in the center.

Is Apple's optical connector IEC 60958 type II? If so, why not just use a cheaper, but just as good, coax copper wires?

SPDIF optical strikes me as an expensive gee whiz technology that offers no advantages.
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

They would need to very greatly improve the speed of storage transfer on the iDevices to make a TB iDevice a worthwhile addition. I don't have a 4s, but everything before that, USB cable was nowhere nearly the weakest link, it was the slow speed of the flash chips.

I think the NAND in the iPhone 4S are about 160Mbits per second, which is well about the current USB2.0 transfer speeds so it could be faster due to lower latencies than current offerings with room to grow due for many generation, but it would also allow for potentially faster recharging when connected to a primary device.

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post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Is Apple's optical connector SPDIF? If so, why not just use a cheaper, but just as good, twisted pair of copper wires?

SPDIF optical strikes me as an expensive gee whiz technology that offers no advantages.

1) It would be silly to offer a single, unified connector and have the only data be digital audio. I assume t was designed with optical LightPeak/Thunderbolt in mind for a universal dock connector.

2) Given the amount of power being supplied to MagSafe I doubt that such a tiny twisted pair would fair well around those electric fields, which is why optical data would in the center of a power cord makes sense.

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post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1)

2) Given the amount of power being supplied to MagSafe I doubt that such a tiny twisted pair would fair well around those electric fields, which is why optical data would in the center of a power cord makes sense.


RF rejection is the only advantage. I once ran long cords from the DVD player to the receiver, and I got hum through the coax. I switched to optical and it was OK.

I think that you are right - if they want to run PCM and AC through the same connector, then they are forced to use optical.
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

RF rejection is the only advantage. I once ran long cords from the DVD player to the receiver, and I got hum through the coax. I switched to optical and it was OK.

I think that you are right - if they want to run PCM and AC through the same connector, then they are forced to use optical.

There is also a potential capacity of data transfer advantage of Thunderbolt over optical. But remember that image is only from a patent they submitted on 30-SEPT-2008. For comparison LightPeak wasn't demoed by Intel until 2009, at least not to the world at large.

Who knows if or when Apple plans to unleash such an option. Having a MagSafe and fairly secure Thunderbolt port that doesn't pop off easily is a pretty good option. On top that Apple tends to keep their display setups for a very long time perhaps too long. If this comes to fruition we might have to wait for HiDPI displays are standard and after this MBP refresh has run its course.

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post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

Thanks for those links, I second your recommendation. The first one in particular was very revealing when Steve Jobs talks about managers. How many here have suffered at the hands of managers who insist on 'managing' when leaving well alone is the best option. Management as an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. The cult of management, a curse of the modern age.

I hear ya! And to hear a young Steve Jobs voice these principles back in the early 80s is pretty amazing. Steve has been quite consistent over the years, matured, but fundamentally the same smart guy. Makes you wonder how Apple's executives could have handled his exile from Apple so badly. Like his teachers, I think they didn't know what to do with the guy.

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post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I hear ya! And to hear a young Steve Jobs voice these principles back in the early 80s is pretty amazing. Steve has been quite consistent over the years, matured, but fundamentally the same smart guy. Makes you wonder how Apple's executives could have handled his exile from Apple so badly. Like his teachers, I think they didn't know what to do with the guy.

In that first link Jobs notes the number of employees at IBM being 350k and Apple being 6,000. As Apple most recent 10-K "As of September 24, 2011, the Company had approximately 60,400 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 2,900 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors." Only 10x as many despite the growth in every area of the company otherwise. For comparison, IBM has added more about 75k employees since the mid-80s.

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post #33 of 51
So Intel is looking for a 40% share of the market, with Apple as their exclusive client, Intel has already a 100% market share

Cheers !
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post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman619 View Post

So Intel is looking for a 40% share of the market, with Apple as their exclusive client, Intel has already a 100% market share

Cheers !

My understanding of Intel helping back the ultrabook product category is to keep ARM out of low-power notebooks. While that's not exactly a big deal today, once quad-core Cortex-A15s arrive with Windows 8 running on ARM Intel's position will start to look threatened.

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post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Is Apple's optical connector IEC 60958 type II? If so, why not just use a cheaper, but just as good, coax copper wires?

Because coax copper is not just as good. One builds a new connector for the future, not for today, and fiberoptic cable allows for future growth.

-Allen
post #36 of 51
Can someone explain to me which is faster and easier to hook-up? How can one say Apple's implementation is simpler? Again, this connector is to STANDARDIZE docking for all ultrabooks. How is this proprietary if it's meant as an industry standard? I suppose USB 2.0 is a proprietary standard? Or how about HTML5 that Apple is in love with?

Basically, if PC vendors don't use Apple's "standard" TB connector, then it's proprietary. Yet, if they adopt Apple's TB connector, then they're simply clueless copy cats milking on the R&D of Apple with no innovation whatsoever. It's hard to be fair with this double-standard.

Apple's TB:
1. Make sure the orientation is correct, plug in TB connector (10W max)
2. Make sure the orientation is correct, plug in MagSafe connector (for power)

Intel's proposed standard:
1. Make sure the orientation is correct, plug in TB and power connector all-in-one

With Intel's standard connector, the power that's available can be as much as the standard allows. The standard can easily require that the minimum power is 100W. The devices will ONLY require as much power as it's needed to function. As a result, you're not burning 100W constantly. Also remember that the TB can only supply 10W maximum. Typically, you don't want to run anything at maximum rating although there's usually a derating already by the manufacture.
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinN206 View Post

Can someone explain to me which is faster and easier to hook-up? How can one say Apple's implementation is simpler? Again, this connector is to STANDARDIZE docking for all ultrabooks. How is this proprietary if it's meant as an industry standard? I suppose USB 2.0 is a proprietary standard? Or how about HTML5 that Apple is in love with?

Basically, if PC vendors don't use Apple's "standard" TB connector, then it's proprietary. Yet, if they adopt Apple's TB connector, then they're simply clueless copy cats milking on the R&D of Apple with no innovation whatsoever. It's hard to be fair with this double-standard.

Apple's TB:
1. Make sure the orientation is correct, plug in TB connector (10W max)
2. Make sure the orientation is correct, plug in MagSafe connector (for power)

Intel's proposed standard:
1. Make sure the orientation is correct, plug in TB and power connector all-in-one

With Intel's standard connector, the power that's available can be as much as the standard allows. The standard can easily require that the minimum power is 100W. The devices will ONLY require as much power as it's needed to function. As a result, you're not burning 100W constantly. Also remember that the TB can only supply 10W maximum. Typically, you don't want to run anything at maximum rating although there's usually a derating already by the manufacture.

You're asking a lot of different questions and I don't think they all make sense. Standardization isnt referring to simply being common within a particular class of computer within a type of computer, it's referring to standards bodies. HTML and USB have standards bodies. The mini-DisplayPort port interface used for Thunderbolt is a standard that anyone can use, royalty free. USB is a standard that can add for a fee.

Intel is rumored to have sought to add TB to USB port interface and was shot down by the USB-IF. Note Intel's creation of USB. They sought other options which Apple clearly supported. What Apple doesn't support is the licensing of their proprietary MagSafe connector, which is unfortunate but that's there call, so to create a unified system for struggling notebook vendors Intel is creating a unified solution. Not all standards are common and not all common systems are considered standars.

They did the same thing for the ultrabook design template. I bet both come with a stipulation that you must use Intel chips. They have a right to protect their business don't they?

As for your comment about one cable with a huge connector or Apple's single cable with two connectors I don't think Intel has some big advantage is utility.

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post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

In that first link Jobs notes the number of employees at IBM being 350k and Apple being 6,000. As Apple most recent 10-K "As of September 24, 2011, the Company had approximately 60,400 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 2,900 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors." Only 10x as many despite the growth in every area of the company otherwise. For comparison, IBM has added more about 75k employees since the mid-80s.

Apples and oranges. IBM and Apple operate in entirely different markets. IBM employ huge numbers of consultants to other companies and many teams developing application-specific custom software for third parties.

At the time of that interview, IBM and Apple were in direct competition in the personal computer market, but even then IBM operated in many more markets than did Apple. That alone makes the comparison unfair; I very much doubt the PC group at IBM would at that time have been much larger than Apple's.

Nowadays, IBM serve an entirely separate set of clients, and are not directly competing with Apple, anywhere. They're actually quite good chums, it would seem.

.tsooJ
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyorpb View Post

Apples and oranges. IBM and Apple operate in entirely different markets. IBM employ huge numbers of consultants to other companies and many teams developing application-specific custom software for third parties.

At the time of that interview, IBM and Apple were in direct competition in the personal computer market, but even then IBM operated in many more markets than did Apple. That alone makes the comparison unfair; I very much doubt the PC group at IBM would at that time have been much larger than Apple's.

Nowadays, IBM serve an entirely separate set of clients, and are not directly competing with Apple, anywhere. They're actually quite good chums, it would seem.

.tsooJ

It's not apples and oranges when the two values being compared are exactly the same: time and growth. Custom software, direct competition, and good chums are all pointless.

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post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinN206 View Post

Can someone explain to me which is faster and easier to hook-up? How can one say Apple's implementation is simpler? Again, this connector is to STANDARDIZE docking for all ultrabooks. How is this proprietary if it's meant as an industry standard? I suppose USB 2.0 is a proprietary standard? Or how about HTML5 that Apple is in love with?

Basically, if PC vendors don't use Apple's "standard" TB connector, then it's proprietary. Yet, if they adopt Apple's TB connector, then they're simply clueless copy cats milking on the R&D of Apple with no innovation whatsoever. It's hard to be fair with this double-standard.

I don't see that at all. Thunderbolt is available to the entire industry. The only complaining I've seen is about companies that create unnecessary variants of it, I think Sony is trying to run it over a USB connector.

Quote:
Apple's TB:
1. Make sure the orientation is correct, plug in TB connector (10W max)
2. Make sure the orientation is correct, plug in MagSafe connector (for power)

Magsafe pretty much orients itself.

Quote:
Intel's proposed standard:
1. Make sure the orientation is correct, plug in TB and power connector all-in-one

There's nothing in the story that says it's a connection for delivering power to the computer: "a mini DisplayPort connector, HDMI via DP++, a D-sub connector via USB, a built in USB controller that will connect to USB ports and audio, eSATA via a PCI Express based SATA controller and just about anything else you can think of that needs PCI Express connectivity.". All that is unnecessary, as a Thunderbolt-based hub can bridge out to give you all that connectivity without a separate connector joined at the hip. Some of that may need wall power, but if you're replacing the dock, then you're probably where you can get wall power.

Will there be a standardized physical dock like the first two images on this story? A mechanical dock is a bad idea if that's what they're really doing, because you're limiting yourself to only one class of devices, and you have this needlessly large and probably heavy dock on the desk. If it's just a connector to a hub, then that means that these potentially useful hubs would be prevented from being used on desktop computers, which have their own power feed already.

Quote:
With Intel's standard connector, the power that's available can be as much as the standard allows. The standard can easily require that the minimum power is 100W. The devices will ONLY require as much power as it's needed to function. As a result, you're not burning 100W constantly. Also remember that the TB can only supply 10W maximum. Typically, you don't want to run anything at maximum rating although there's usually a derating already by the manufacture.

I don't know what you're saying here. TB "docks" - hubs and other devices often be powered by the wall. TB probably can handle loads better than a USB port, because there is more power available to it. A notebook computer probably isn't going to be able to operate on 10 watts.
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