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Intel planning Thunderbolt docking solution for ultrabooks

Posted on Wednesday, November 23 2011 @ 22:11:50 CET by

VR Zone reports Intel is working on Thunderbolt based docking stations for next year's ultrabooks, you can read all the details over here.
As Thunderbolt is a combination of PCI Express signalling and DisplayPort, Intel has some suggestions as to what kind of ports the dock should feature, but this is pretty much open to the notebook manufacturer. Some suggestions include a mini DisplayPort connector, HDMI via DP++, a D-sub connector via USB, a built in USB controller that will connect to USB ports and audio, eSATA via a PCI Express based SATA controller and just about anything else you can think of that needs PCI Express connectivity. Intel is also suggestion that daisy chaining Thunderbolt devices onto the dock could be a possibility, but this does a we know depend on which Thunderbolt chip is being used and will likely increase the cost of the dock by a fair margin.

This solution is meant to be the quickest and simplest way to create a Thunderbolt dock according to Intel as it uses a certified port for Thunderbolt. However, the company isn't dismissing the idea of custom dock connectors, sort of what we've already seen from Sony, although optical connectivity doesn't seem to be part of Intel's suggested route to achieve this. This kind of solution would require certification to make sure the Thunderbolt signalling remains within spec, so it's not the most likely solution.



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