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AMD: Thunderbolt Another Proprietary Standard

By - Source: X-Bit | B 60 comments

AMD is apparently not impressed with Intel's Thunderbolt.

An unnamed AMD representative reportedly said that Intel's new Thunderbolt tech will become another proprietary standard that may not be widely adopted. The obvious reason is the current overall lack of devices that can take advantage of the extreme throughput.

But AMD also doubts that its rival's new tech will bring any tangible improvements to the industry, as it does not "substantially" outperform current generation I/O technologies and can even offer lower bandwidth in some cases.

"Existing standards offer remarkable connectivity and together far exceed the 10 Gb/s peak bandwidth of Thunderbolt," the AMD spokesman told X-Bit. "These solutions meet and exceed the bandwidth utilization of many peripherals."

The DisplayPort1.2 standard offers up to 17 Gb/s of peak bandwidth for displays. The total bandwidth for a Thunderbolt channel is only 20-percent higher than one PCI Express 3.0 lane and about 52-percent higher than a single USB 3.0 port. "AMD-based platforms support USB 3.0 which offers 4.8 Gb/s of peak bandwidth, AMD natively supports SATA 6Gb/s with our 8-series chipsets," the AMD official claimed.

AMD also pointed out that by employing Thunderbolt in the DisplayPort connector, available bandwidth for DisplayPort is decreased thus reducing the available bandwidth for various multi-display configurations. If anything, SSDs will actually be able to utilize 10 Gb/s of bandwidth once manufacturers like Western Digital and Seagate release drives with the Thunderbolt interconnector. External graphics processors would be the only other peripheral that would consume that kind of bandwidth over the PCI Express protocol.

"Consumers generally benefit by having standard, high-speed ports available on their mobile devices," the spokesperson said. "Proprietary ports, or the requirement of a dongle to employ those industry-standard ports may be an obstacle to consumers having the full computing experience at home or on the road."

Intel has previously indicated that Thunderbolt is currently aimed at professionals, not the mainstream consumer. The company also believes that the adoption rate will not be "considerably limited."

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  • 1 Hide
    COLGeek , March 2, 2011 5:34 PM
    Time (and the consumers) will tell.
  • 0 Hide
    banthracis , March 2, 2011 5:38 PM
    Completely agree, light peak had lots of potential.
    copper peak/thunderbolt...not so much.

    Intel could have had a revolutionary product, instead, they went forward with a product that was a moderate evolution.

    I don't buy Intel's whole fiber is too expensive argument. If you're aiming the product at enterprise yes those dollars add up. In the consumer industry? That extra $5 or $10 isn't gonna make a difference in a $1,000 PC.
  • 3 Hide
    rhino13 , March 2, 2011 5:40 PM
    Oh man, AMD doesn't like Intel's standard. This is news!
    As I recal they weren't big fans of AGP either.
    It just generally stinksto have to liscence your competitor's technology.
  • 1 Hide
    Snipergod87 , March 2, 2011 5:41 PM
    I can see the issue with linking displays over light peak when using multiple displays.

    But as of now there is no other standard with that bandwidth that will support devices like external hard drives. Unless somebody comes out with a standard that can compete or beat light peak, this is all we have.

    THe article seems to me tha AMD more trying to say our new 8-series chipset has SATA-III and USB 3.0
  • 4 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , March 2, 2011 5:41 PM
    they do have a point
  • 5 Hide
    pozaks , March 2, 2011 5:51 PM
    rhino13Oh man, AMD doesn't like Intel's standard. This is news!As I recal they weren't big fans of AGP either.It just generally stinksto have to liscence your competitor's technology.

    Like x86-64, right?
  • -1 Hide
    mikat , March 2, 2011 5:56 PM
    haha, well said
  • 0 Hide
    ElMoIsEviL , March 2, 2011 5:57 PM
    AMD hedged its bets on Display Port 1.2. Their entire Radeon HD 69xx lineup take advantage of DP 1.2.

    No wonder they dislike the Intel Thunderbolt.
  • 1 Hide
    southernshark , March 2, 2011 6:10 PM
    Intel makes good processors for desktop computers. That's about it. The rest of their products are subpar.
  • 3 Hide
    newbie_mcnoob , March 2, 2011 6:16 PM
    Go Intel! Maybe this proprietary interface will be as successful as your early Pentium 4 motherboards that used RDRAM. Oh wait...
  • -1 Hide
    hoofhearted , March 2, 2011 6:18 PM
    Hmm, "SSDs will actually be able to utilize 10 Gb/s of bandwidth"

    Windows boot time.... games with large load times...
  • 3 Hide
    Marco925 , March 2, 2011 6:20 PM
    hoofheartedHmm, "SSDs will actually be able to utilize 10 Gb/s of bandwidth"Windows boot time.... games with large load times...

    Even though by the time that SSDs even make it to 10gbps, I'm sure Sata 4 will be out by then
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 2, 2011 6:45 PM
    Let's get one thing clear, it's a hella fast connection that could leverage a larger variety of media devices. AMD's argument is mute. Comparing USB 3.0 (with it's less than ideal current speeds) to "Thunderbolt" is ridiculous. "Thunderbolt's" 10Gps (both up and down with minimal overhead)trumps pretty much everything available now. Don't worry, the devices (Apple has a year before everyone else) are on the way. Also, the option of going optical still remains. So, expect to see optical variations to "Thunderbolt" next year.
  • 0 Hide
    maestintaolius , March 2, 2011 6:58 PM
    pozaksLike x86-64, right?

    Yeah, but in the case of x86-64, neither can pull the others licensing because if AMD pulls x86-64, Intel can pull x86 and visa versa so one's beholden to the other. In this case (thunderbolt) all the power lies in Intel's hands, which likely has AMD a little miffed.
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , March 2, 2011 7:02 PM
    Wait for "Lightning Bolt" (perhaps a decent name for the optical variant?)

  • 2 Hide
    segio526 , March 2, 2011 7:05 PM
    rhino13Oh man, AMD doesn't like Intel's standard. This is news!As I recal they weren't big fans of AGP either.It just generally stinksto have to liscence your competitor's technology.

    Actually, AGP was a crappish interface. More of a stop gap between PCI and PCIe. They changed the port and voltages half way through it's life and no one ever ended up using two ports for SLI. Maybe 3DFX would still be around today if they could have pulled off 2 card 4 GPU Voodoo5 SLI.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 2, 2011 7:08 PM
    @Snaggy7

    I dont think AMD is taking a direct aim at external media storage, sure thunderbolt is heck better then USB3 for that, but to say that thunderbolt can take over from DisplayPort or even sata3 is a bit much, for a single point to point connection it's great but when you start to daisy chain these devices, having a single connector serve all your connection needs maybe unwise, especially if you plan on chaining more then one display

    and i maybe wrong, but i yet to see cooper produce any kind of light, going optical will likely mean compatibility issues, might as well call it a different product altogether, i dont know maybe something like lightpeak....
  • 2 Hide
    banthracis , March 2, 2011 7:11 PM
    Problem is, at 10gb/s thunderbolt is slower than DP 1.2.
    Yes, it's twice the speed of USB 3.0, but considering that SATA III is 6gb/s and already looking short with the new SF SSD's, this is hardly a big improvement.

    Intel had the opportunity to release a format that could done 50 gb/s or 100gb/s easy and would have been a major revolution. Heck, with 50gb/s it could have replaced both a PCIe x32 link and a DP link and allow cabling of huge lengths without signal loss.

    It would have made a modular PC setup possible with PC in a (well ventilated) closet somewhere, 1600p monitor on the other side of the house and the GPU replacing your space heater a possibility.

    The point is that Intel chocked and decided to just stick with copper. Can they upgrade to fiber? Sure, but any feature they release in the future will have to be backwards compatible and work with current devices.

    Do you really think Apple is ok with their customers coming in next year and asking why their macbook pro can't run a new 3D monitor with thunderbolt despite Intel advertising it as a possibility with the new fiber based thunderbolt?
  • -2 Hide
    deanjo , March 2, 2011 7:11 PM
    Sigh, you would think that industry competitors would at least know what they are talking about before bashing the competition.

    "Existing standards offer remarkable connectivity and together far exceed the 10 Gb/s peak bandwidth of Thunderbolt,:

    10 Gb/s PER CHANNEL and each port has two channels totalling 20 Gb/s.
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