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The case against Thunderbolt

2/28/2011 04:00 PM EST
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LarryM99
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
LarryM99   2/28/2011 4:22:08 PM
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I really don't see Thunderbolt as a replacement for USB. If anything, USB3.0 is ahead of the curve a bit in its established peripheral market. What I do see are new uses for it to which USB does not apply. For example, you could use it for a subsystem interconnect to move expansion cards outside of the PC chassis. Need a couple more PCIe slots? Add an external chassis via a Thunderbolt link. Larry M.

GREAT-Terry
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
GREAT-Terry   2/28/2011 4:59:11 PM
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Higher speed may finally turn out new applications, especially from some companies like Apple. Without knowing the price tag however really puts some uncertainty on how well the market can accept this new technology. But Intel+Apple seems is a good reason why people can keep watching at.

evangellydonut
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
evangellydonut   2/28/2011 5:17:10 PM
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The new SSD external HDs using SandForce 2 controllers are pushing 400MB+/sec speed that USB 3.0 is unable to support (400MB is theoretical after protocol overhead). Will USB 4.0 come out in 2012-13 to support the next generation SSD drives? I'm buying a new Macbook Pro because of the fact it supports Thunderbolt so I can use it with the new SSDs and not have an interface bottleneck.

fdunn0
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
fdunn0   2/28/2011 10:22:03 PM
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Then don't buy an external HD without either FibreChannel or 10Gb ethernet fabric. You starting to feel the pain yet? "Thunderbolt" (really lame name) is nothing more than 10Gb ethernet with a differing protocol. With that said, 10Gb transceivers (optical in particular) are not yet commodity priced interfaces so it will start off slow and more than likely be replaced at the point of "final take off" by 100Gb ethernet.

elctrnx_lyf
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
elctrnx_lyf   2/28/2011 5:22:41 PM
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This situation looks like the big leaders are pushing technology even if it is required or not. But the consumers will decide the future of it.

fdunn0
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
fdunn0   2/28/2011 10:27:38 PM
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There will be room for both but as you said the consumers will have the final say. The motherboards I see and buy have many times more USB ports than FireWire due to the formers high take-up rate and low cost. On the flip-side (as a hardware guy) FireWire does not use as much CPU time as USB. IMHO - Thunderbolt (LightPeak is better) will be limited to the Mac domain and there will be some PCIe Add-On cards for PCs.

halarpd
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
halarpd   2/28/2011 6:39:35 PM
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The controller chip is required on both side, in transmitter - a notebook and in receiver - a peripheral. Also, as written here, TB is expanding PCIe to an external box so if you want to put any device on this extend PCIe bus one would need PCIe to xyz converter silicon - for example PCIe to Sata for sata drive. With today's semiconductor technology all these (TB controller plus xyz peripherals) could be integrated in a low cost solution but it does not exist today. So I would say there were will be players like Apple who will use this technology but any mass adaptation is two to three years away. Oh by the way the DP is only 1.1 not 1.2!!

dang99
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
dang99   3/1/2011 12:01:42 AM
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DP 1.1a has been replaced by DP 1.2. Several of the OEMs have announced and will be shipping this month DP 1.2 with the Sandy Bridge platforms.

Sanjib.A
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
Sanjib.A   2/28/2011 6:40:29 PM
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Not only USB 3.0...after Intel comes out with an optical cable for Thunderbolt in 2011, what is going to happen to "Lightpeak"? Has Intel dropped the idea of "Lightpeak"?

old account Frank Eory
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
old account Frank Eory   2/28/2011 7:26:07 PM
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Thunderbolt is the new name for Light Peak.

Code Monkey
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
Code Monkey   2/28/2011 9:18:01 PM
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10GBPS serdes probably fits better into their process roadmap, where 5GBPS (USB) either leaves too much performance on the table or fizzles out too soon. Apple invented USB, so they surely looked long and hard at the tradeoffs between USB and Thunderbolt.

fdunn0
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
fdunn0   2/28/2011 10:35:00 PM
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Apple did not invent USB, Intel did. Designer Ajay Bhatt, Intel Designed January 1996 Manufacturer Intel, Compaq, Microsoft, NEC, Digital Equipment Corporation, IBM, Nortel Superseded Serial port, Parallel port, Game port, Apple Desktop Bus, PS/2 connector Apple is not even on the Board at the USB consortium: www.usb.org

selinz
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
selinz   3/1/2011 4:04:08 PM
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Apple needs something to differentiate themselves because the consumers are beginning to realize that they are other prodcuts offering the same functionality (or more) that are more accessible (price and useage). I just don't think this is much of an attraction.

Jeff Dickey
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
Jeff Dickey   3/7/2011 10:06:20 AM
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I expect the second rev of TB to be compelling, certainly more so than USB 3/4. Apple, for instance, has had a long history of first-gen products that show amazing potential, while leaving it to the second-gen products to start delivering on that. Think Thin Mac/Fat Mac, Apple I/Apple II, iPad/iPad 2. Apple already have a speed differentiator; in my testing, FireWire 800 delivers over twice the throughput as USB 2. This is true both on Apple gear and on tests I've made using a "mainline" PC desktop with a dodgy Chinese FW800 PCIe card in it. I'd love to see a real horse race develop in I/O technologies. I think one of the problems with the PC for the last several years has been the pervasive monoculture of USB 2, and training people to not expect more efficient/higher speed interfaces when there was dubious-at-best engineering rationale for not delivering them. TB has its problems. (One display device? and if I want to change, I have to do *what*?) But so did USB 1.0, back in the day. Intel learned and did better, and I'm sure they will again. If not, Apple will find some other hardware partner who will. They've shown, more than once, great willingness to make major, shift-the-earth changes when progress wasn't as fast as they thought it should have been. While it may be true, as Yogi said, that "the future ain't what it used to be," there's little reason to doubt that it's going to be very interesting.

Bear1959
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
Bear1959   3/4/2011 3:12:54 PM
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I predict Thunderbolt will end up being Vaporbolt.

StevePxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
StevePxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx   3/4/2011 9:32:59 PM
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The merits and utility of the interface don't matter. It's a positioning game. Intel chip-sets have an interface that will likely get massive co-op advertising. Customers will see the port on some products. Enter "fear uncertainty and doubt". For $10USD more I get a feature I don't understand but has been getting a lot of advertising. Many will make the "safe choice".

damngoodengineer
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
damngoodengineer   3/7/2011 6:07:06 PM
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I don't see the point of such a negative article. You really think we'd be better off without it, waiting for some alternative that we haven't heard of yet? Would you have rather seen Apple come out with USB3 ports? What? Rather, why don't you bitch about how this came about with such apparent exclusivity.

tjwal
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
tjwal   3/7/2011 8:16:51 PM
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“640K ought to be enough for anybody.” -Bill Gates (1981)

David Ashton
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
David Ashton   3/7/2011 8:57:46 PM
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And it would have been, for a long time, without Microsoft's code bloat.....

tjwal
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
tjwal   3/8/2011 8:51:35 PM
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David Can't argue with you there, but the following quotes would have worked just as well "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. Thomas Watson President IBM 1943" "Everything that can be invented has been invented." -- Charles Duell, Commissioner of US Patent Office, 1899" Point being that the arguments that there is no current need for thunderbolt and therefore it won't succeed are short sighted. Its success is likely more dependent on the inertia of the market than on any current need.

PR14
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re: The case against Thunderbolt
PR14   1/10/2012 7:11:49 AM
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"Apple is so far the only system maker adopting Thunderbolt" Sony Z series laptops.

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