[clug] [OT] New Interconnect from Intel+Apple: Thunderbolt. 2*10Gbps. mini-display-port compatible

Ben Nizette bn at niasdigital.com
Sun Feb 27 15:10:18 MST 2011

On 28/02/2011, at 8:51 AM, Hugh Fisher wrote:

> Steve Walsh wrote:
>> Thought some people on the list might be interested.
>> This might be like firewire/i-Link: niche market.
> Or might be like the last connection standard that Intel proposed
> and Apple were first to widely implement: USB.

hehe good point

> IIRC, Linux people working on power saving are not at all happy
> with the constant polling required by USB's master-slave design.

Yeah, I remember this too.  Although I believe some of the polling nonsense has been removed for USB3.0

> Thunderbolt also supplies up to 10 amps

10 watts?  At 5V that's 2A (which is still heaps)

> to peripherals, while
> USB is only 900mA (I think).

I think it's 500mA but I've seen some cheap chinese hubs happy to pass down the full current of whatever power supply you've plugged in.  Not great when the downstream device has a fault and instead of the hub going in to over-current all the smoke comes out :-/

> Brad Hards wrote:
>> They have it working over copper, so I'm not sure optical will take hold, except in niche markets.
> The copper is limited to 3m while the optical is supposed to reach up
> to 100m. No power over optical though. People building large scale
> clusters or disk farms would probably appreciate the extra range.

Not to mention that theoretically the technology can scale to 100Gbps (IIRC) but there ain't no way that's going to happen over copper.

I'm wondering how long it's going to be before we see consumer optical cables manufactured in the same way as a lot of larger ones - with the fibres surrounded by copper sheathes to carry the power.  I suspect that in truth computer companies are just reluctant to require a cable that can't be bent tightly or run over with a chair.

> The other market for optical would be musicians who want to hook
> together their laptops and video gear with a bit more room in between.

Right, it's all about the peripherals.  I'm kinda looking forward to seeing what kind of whacky uses of extreme bandwidth peripheral manufacturers come up with to convince us that we need Thunderbolt in our lives!


> 	cheers,
> 	Hugh
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