Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

Summary: Like it or not, the PC laptop world is becoming an Ultrabook world, and Intel is looking to expand its notebook platform's footprint big-time in the coming year. Part of its strategy is geared toward corporate buyers in the form of a new docking solution.

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Like it or not, the PC laptop world is becoming an Ultrabook world, and Intel is looking to expand its notebook platform's footprint big-time in the coming year. Part of its strategy is geared toward corporate buyers in the form of a new docking solution.

Of course, laptop docking stations are nothing new, but this potential one has a major twist. According to VR-Zone, Intel is prepping a docking solution that includes support for the Thunderbolt interface, which promises super-fast transfer speeds but hasn't made a major impact since its release earlier in the year. The plans require notebook manufacturers to actually embrace Intel's proposed solution, but the chip giant has shown how persuasive it can be to get what it wants from vendors (i.e., throwing gobs of marketing money at them).

As VR-Zone points out, the emphasis on Thunderbolt suggests that Intel is trying to marginalize USB 3.0 as a connection standard, despite it being more affordable (if less impressive and less flexible). Of course, Intel gains more from promoting Thunderbolt, having developed the technology. Considering that the Thunderbolt rollout has been limited to Apple devices and a few third-party peripherals, Ultrabook docks with support for the interface could be a key way to mainstream the technology.

[Image: VR-Zone]

Topics: Intel, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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  • RE: Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

    Intel will push this by throwing gobs of money at people. Then, Apple fans will declare that all the other guys are "slavishly copying Apple" by embracing Thunderbolt. It'll be amusing to watch.

    The reality is, if Apple's laptop/desktop sales were as awesome as some people believe we'd have tons of Thunderbolt peripherals by now and the other manufacturers would have to jump on board. Reality is, they're still a small part of the market and so peripherals are slow to arrive. Until Dell/HP/Asus/etc start incorporating Thunderbolt the peripheral manufacturers will drag their heels.
    Ididar
    • RE: Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

      @Ididar
      Cool stuff, but i'll stick with the cheaper alternative in USB 3.0. I'm sorry but at the rate tech changes it's foolish to spend too much on technology today when it will be replaced in 8-12 months. This tech will be around longer but i'd rather have cheaper devices over saving a few ms.
      Rob.sharp
      • RE: Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

        @rob.sharp@...<br><br>Yeah, because SOOO many USB 3.0 peripherals are flooding the market.<br><br>Not to mention that nothing about your complaint about the longevity of tech can't be more pertinently directed at USB 3.0.
        .DeusExMachina.
    • RE: Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

      @Ididar<br><br>Where to begin?<br>First, Apple has about 10% market share. If you contend that 10% is small, too small to drive third party product development, you have no idea what you are talking about. The iMac when it came out stood virtually alone in adopting the original USB, and yet was single-handedly responsible for driving USB peripheral development by third parties.<br>Apple's share of the premium (over $1000) market is a stunning 91%! That is the segment where people with the money shop, the people third party developers want to attract.<br>But that also misses the point that actually, there are quite a number of thunderbolt peripherals, so your argument falls kind of flat. Certainly compared to USB 3.0, which you can hardly claim has flooded the market with devices, the much younger thunderbolt is doing just fine. But that doesn't help your Apple bashing, so shhhhhh.<br><br>Finally, your entire argument is built off a logical fallacy. Straw man, anyone?<br><br>Oh, and BTW, thunderbolt was originally brought to Intel by Apple, and is the successor to SCSI and FireWire.
      .DeusExMachina.
  • What a scam

    All Thunderbolt does is mux DisplayPort and PCIe over a single cable. It does not add any other functionality.<br><br>So Intel has taken a royalty-free protocol (DisplayPort), muxed it with another protocol (PCIe) that has no use off of the motherboard (but hey, we can extend it now, how cool are we), and turned it into a proprietary protocol (Thunderbolt).<br><br>Or, in other words, pay us to replace your royalty-free DisplayPort cable so that you can also transmit PCIe to all zero external devices on the marketplace that can make use of it. Genius!
    Win8AnUglyDisaster
    • Actually I'm tired of ...

      @johndow1,

      ... having to open my desktops, and installing hard drives, memory, and boards. I would really love to be able to plug these peripherals into my PC, just as easily I plug in a printer via USB. PCs should be more like appliances, and I believe Thunderbolt (at least theoretically) is a great way for this to happen. I don't believe the PC should abandon the USB standard. I just believe the USB standard should be supplemented with a technology like Thunderbolt, in order to provide high speed connections for certain peripherals - in lieu of having to dive into your PCs to connect these peripherals to the motherboard.
      P. Douglas
      • RE: Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

        @P. Douglas
        And if they wanted to make a PCIe port that would be great. But, why combine that with DisplayPort? That part never made much sense to me. Video and hard drives on the same port? That'll pretty much drive the necessity of having break-out cables handy.
        Ididar
      • RE: Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

        @Ididar<br>You clearly do not understand Thunderbolt. Because Thunderbolt daisy chains devices, breakout cables are not necessary.
        .DeusExMachina.
    • RE: Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

      @johndow1<br><br>Um, what are you talking about?!?<br>First, the Thunderbolt spec provides for optical data transmission. Neither DisplayPort or PCIe do that. Second, Thunderbolt adds far more than PCIe. PCIe is just one of many protocols at the bus layer that Thunderbolt supports. It also supports USB, FireWire, SCSI, and any number of other interconnect protocols.<br><br>Nor do you need to replace your DisplayPort cable. They work just fine in Thunderbolt. You just can't get the same speed, because that requires hardware chips at either end of the actual cable, which is why the cables cost so much.
      .DeusExMachina.
  • RE: Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

    The problem with both technologies is that they require a legacy medium in the form of cables. Wireless USB is the future.
    Scarface Claw
  • RE: Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

    Until Microsoft supports Thunderbolt in the OS, its not going anywhere and they have only announced support in Windows 8 next year. Until then peripheral makers are not going to jump on the bandwagon. It is the same anytime a standard is upgraded SATA 3, USB 3.0, until Microsoft buys in and either updates its OS or releases a new version they just languish, manufacturers aren't going to write drivers when the OS doesn't support the interface yet, they run the risk of breaking more than giving the user an enhanced product. Even Apple doesn't support the full Thunderbolt experience because none of the products sold uses the optical fibre interface yet, they all use the slower copper connections which is on par to USB 3.0.
    Rndmacts
    • RE: Intel to introduce an Ultrabook dock with Thunderbolt support next year?

      @Rndmacts
      First, the peripheral makers already are jumping on board, so that kinda kills your argument. Second, they were on board with USB far before there was proper support from MS.
      Furthermore, even over copper, USB3.0 is not on par with Thunderbolt.
      .DeusExMachina.