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Friday, 13 January 2012 14:50

AMD comes up with Lightning Bolt

Written by Slobodan Simic

amd logon

Low cost Thunderbolt alternative


Since there were a lot of products at CES that had something to do with Intel's Thunderbolt it is no wonder that AMD decided to shed some light on its Lightning Bolt alternative concept.

Basically, the AMD Lightning Bolt is a sort of cheap Thunderbolt alternative that delivers USB 3.0, DisplayPort and Power over a single cable with mini-DisplayPort connectors. The cable looks like a standard mini-DP cable but with a slight change in two of the pins. The entire concept, which was by the way demonstrated live at CES according to Anand, has been designed to be simple and affordable.

AMD designed a so called mux on the notebook side that combines power, Displayport and USB 3.0 into a single output that plugs into Lightning Bolt dock. According to AMD, the implementation of the mux is easy and should cost a single dollar. There are still couple of unknowns, like the actual bandwidth of the USB 3.0 over Lightning Bolt or the amount of power available, but AMD did claim it will be faster than USB 2.0 but not at full speed.

According to Anandtech.com, Lightning Bolt won't be ready for Trinity launch sometime in the middle of the year, but it could appear on the market by the end of the year.

You can find more info here.

amd lightningbolt_1

Last modified on Friday, 13 January 2012 18:23

Slobodan Simic

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Comments  

 
-3 #1 The blue fox 2012-01-13 23:21
There calling it Lightning Bolt? They could not think up a better name.

Look's like they just merged Display port with USB 3.0. Then named it Lightning Bolt so people believe it's like thunder bolt.
 
 
-7 #2 las 2012-01-14 00:23
fail.......
 
 
+2 #3 DaRAGE 2012-01-14 01:01
Quoting las:
fail.......


How is it fail? It's like $1 compared to $30. Delivering still quite fast USB 3 speeds
 
 
+3 #4 takethis 2012-01-14 01:33
lightning = light
thunder = sound
light faster than sound

or it seems someone has had too much MTG
 
 
0 #5 youserzero 2012-01-14 01:50
Quoting DaRAGE:
Quoting las:
fail.......


How is it fail? It's like $1 compared to $30. Delivering still quite fast USB 3 speeds


Maybe it was Paul Otellini quote or something? He considers Itanium to be a success so who knows what other goofy stuff he would say...
 
 
0 #6 Peter Ong 2012-01-14 03:08
Thunder & Lightning Bolt, AMD & Intel, Windows & Linux ... good things come ONLY when both of them exist :) Bravo AMD
 
 
0 #7 a1927 2012-01-14 12:44
Quoting Peter Ong:
Thunder & Lightning Bolt, AMD & Intel, Windows & Linux ... good things come ONLY when both of them exist :) Bravo AMD


I think you are wrong here. Hardware interface is cheap when it is successful and it is successful when many players adopt it. This announcement dilutes attention to Intel's Thunderbolt. So I think USB3.0 will profit from this announcement and Thunderbolt may loose because vendors will not be certain of wider adoption of Thunderbolt vs competing 'bolts'.
 
 
+1 #8 Memristor 2012-01-14 14:25
Quoting a1927:
Quoting Peter Ong:
Thunder & Lightning Bolt, AMD & Intel, Windows & Linux ... good things come ONLY when both of them exist :) Bravo AMD

... So I think USB3.0 will profit from this announcement and Thunderbolt may loose because vendors will not be certain of wider adoption of Thunderbolt vs competing 'bolts'.



The problem is that Intel went all alone and planned on racking in licensing fees with Thunderbold. That pissed of the rest of the industry and know we are seeing competing solutions like Lightning Bold and External PCIe 3.0. I still hope that the PCI-SIG can work with AMD to create a new open standard that is free for all to use.
 
 
0 #9 TinHat 2012-01-16 18:04
Greed driven ideas always fail. You need cheap early adoption price fix to see the 'longer' term benefits. AMD's idea will both stir the hornets nest, and invite lots of new business.

If i licensed Thunderbolt i'd Sell cheap and make lots of profit later, that way you capture the market for years to come. It works well for game consoles and printers. Is it corporate greed or poor insight?
 

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