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AMD: Thunderbolt Another Proprietary Standard

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."