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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the apple-can-afford-life-support-for-a-while dept.

Intel 355

Lucas123 writes: "The USB SuperSpeed+ spec (a.k.a. v3.1) offers up to 10Gbps throughput. Combine that with USB's new C-Type Connector, the specification for which is expected out in July, and users will have a symmetrical cable and plug just like Thunderbolt but that will enable up to 100 watts of power depending on the cable version. So where does that leave Thunderbolt, Intel's other hardware interconnect? According to some analysts, Thunderbolt withers or remains a niche technology supported almost exclusively by Apple. Even as Thunderbolt 2 offers twice the throughput (on paper) as USB 3.1, or up to 20Gbps, USB SuperSpeed+ is expected to scale past 40Gbps in coming years. 'USB's installed base is in the billions. Thunderbolt's biggest problem is a relatively small installed base, in the tens of millions. Adding a higher data throughput, and a more expensive option, is unlikely to change that,' said Brian O'Rourke, a principal analyst covering wired interfaces at IHS."

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Only with a proper HOSTS file (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996293)

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Re:Only with a proper HOSTS file (0)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 5 months ago | (#46996659)

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Re:Only with a proper HOSTS file (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 months ago | (#46996781)

Isn't this exactly how everybody competes with Apple?

In the future, we will ship something WAY better than what Apple is shipping now, so obviously what Apple is shipping now is worthless.

So in other words, it will be just like Firewire (5, Insightful)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | about 5 months ago | (#46996301)

I figured that all along. It took off on Apple hardware, with almost no pickup on normal PCs. That has finally started to happen a little - some upper end motherboards have 1 or 2 Thunderbolt ports now, and Asus has an add-on board for a few others - but it is really a niche thanks to its odd hardware requirements and lack of early adoption outside of Apple. USB is easier to use, and at least up to 3.0 has been backward compatible with older devices. With an even faster option, as long as they don't screw something up, I don't see how USB could not continue to be the leading connectivity standard.

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (2)

sharkytm (948956) | about 5 months ago | (#46996349)

This is exactly what I came here to post. It's a shame, because FW400 was far superior to USB2.0. The problem lay with the peripheral manufacturers who didn't want to put in more expensive controllers and dual-ports on their enclosures. Heck, wasn't the iSight the only webcam for Firewire? No demand=no supply=high prices. FW800 was pretty much the same. Better tech, limited market, high prices, bang, whimper. I love that my old Mac Mini can transfer data between 3 daisy-chained FW400 drives much faster than it can transfer to a single USB2.0 drive, but the fact that enclosures are expensive and basically non-interchangeable with any of my other devices makes it a pretty niche market. Thunderbolt will probably follow the exact same progression, right down to the "new" faster Thunderbolt. Sure, its PCI-E, but 95% of consumers don't know, care, or need that capability. They buy on price and availability, plain and simple.

Re: So in other words, it will be just like Firewi (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996377)

Fireside wasn't just more expensive hardware, it was more than 10x the license cost of USB.

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (1)

Macrat (638047) | about 5 months ago | (#46996429)

Heck, wasn't the iSight the only webcam for Firewire?

No, I had firewire webcams from 2 different vendors long before Apple released the iSight.

The original demonstrations I saw at conferences with the early firewire boards only had a Sony firewire webcam as firewire was originally only designed for moving video.

Using firewire for external hard drives and other tech came long after firewire/i.link was added to video cameras.

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (2)

Atomic Fro (150394) | about 5 months ago | (#46996579)

This. Firewire was designed for video. Almost all video equipment of the era had firewire ports. Pro and prosumer video cams still do.

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 5 months ago | (#46996839)

Just had a look at my local online camera shop. None of the Canon home, prosumer or pro-broadcast cameras have FW anymore and only the Sony pro-broadcast cameras have it, not their prosumer or home devices. Sad.

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | about 5 months ago | (#46996703)

This is exactly what I came here to post. It's a shame, because FW400 was far superior to USB2.0. The problem lay with the peripheral manufacturers who didn't want to put in more expensive controllers and dual-ports on their enclosures. Heck, wasn't the iSight the only webcam for Firewire? No demand=no supply=high prices. FW800 was pretty much the same. Better tech, limited market, high prices, bang, whimper. I love that my old Mac Mini can transfer data between 3 daisy-chained FW400 drives much faster than it can transfer to a single USB2.0 drive, but the fact that enclosures are expensive and basically non-interchangeable with any of my other devices makes it a pretty niche market.
Thunderbolt will probably follow the exact same progression, right down to the "new" faster Thunderbolt. Sure, its PCI-E, but 95% of consumers don't know, care, or need that capability. They buy on price and availability, plain and simple.

One of the security failures of firewire was that it provided direct access to memory. In other words a malicious external device could gain complete control of the computer. Having your peripheral interface be PCIe is just as bad. USB for all its overhead is still more secure (assuming you finally fix some of the stupid windows autoexecute bugs)

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#46996791)

I think you're talking about specific firewire host controller implementations rather than firewire in general. I imagine the same issue could happen with pcmcia or cardbus.

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996823)

Correct, it is possible for the host controller to disable DMA access. At boot, the OS can set the host controller into this mode so that peripherals cannot access physical memory directly. However, doing do has a significant impact on Firewire performance.

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (1)

mozumder (178398) | about 5 months ago | (#46996391)

Apple is large enough to make entire peripheral markets. They're the reason FireWire survived so long. Right now Thunderbolt is going to do just fine with Apple leading the way.

The commodity PC market doesn't need Thunderbolt, but the premium market of professional editors and other mass data users are already using it and are moving their Firewire devices over.

Really, the high-speed external storage market is going to be dominated by Thunderbolt anyways because of the Apple market. Do people even use USB for high-speed external RAID data storage? It was always FireWire (for Apple) or eSATA (for PCs), and now Thunderbolt. Not sure what USB 3.1 is going to be used for? Maybe throw-away USB keys?

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (0)

mjwx (966435) | about 5 months ago | (#46996409)

I figured that all along. It took off on Apple hardware, with almost no pickup on normal PCs.

This, just like Firewire.

Thunderbolt is a solution looking for a problem.

Sure the fanboys can tell me I can hook up a small supercollider via thunderbolt but really, who needs to do that. What advantage does it provide me over USB when all my current devices are connected via USB and do everything I need them to. I use USB for connecting peripherals and storage devices. USB does this brilliantly. In order to switch to thunderbolt I need to buy a new PC (from a brand I cant stand), adapters for my current devices and add strenuous requirements when looking for new devices... So why not just stick with USB?

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996569)

I figured that all along. It took off on Apple hardware, with almost no pickup on normal PCs. That has finally started to happen a little - some upper end motherboards have 1 or 2 Thunderbolt ports now, and Asus has an add-on board for a few others - but it is really a niche thanks to its odd hardware requirements and lack of early adoption outside of Apple. USB is easier to use, and at least up to 3.0 has been backward compatible with older devices. With an even faster option, as long as they don't screw something up, I don't see how USB could not continue to be the leading connectivity standard.

Yes, we want technology that is 1/2 as good as what Apple offers and we are good with that. What dill weeds

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 5 months ago | (#46996633)

Failing to provide a normal micro USB connector is a pratfall everybody but Tim Cook could see coming a mile away.

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (3, Informative)

kirthn (64001) | about 5 months ago | (#46996743)

same niche market that Apple made popular ;)......it was Apple who made USBpopular, with their first iMac.....USB was also original by Intel, and did hardly anything for 5 years...then came the first iMac, and suddenly almost overnight USB was hot...it took PC's about 2 years to catch up, from PS/2

would not underestimate the influence of Apple ...

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (4, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 months ago | (#46996785)

There is one thing Thunderbolt does have going for it, however.

Since it's essentially a PCI bus extension --- this means, you can add an external PCI chassis attached via Thunderbolt without needing special drivers, and in theory.... you can do things like add additional GPUs and arbitrary PCI devices to your desktop way beyond the expandability of your physical motherboard's or primary chassis' form factor.

There's really no way to accomplish something like that using USB, at least.... not with complicated specialized drivers being developed

Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#46996793)

Except that USB is the badly designed but good enough for average users standard. Like choosing IDE over SCSI, not a decision made on the technical merits but by low margin motherboard manufacturers. The problem USB has won't be fixed with higher speeds, it'll still be a master-slave polling architecture and have latency issues.

No Threat To Thunderbolt (5, Informative)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 5 months ago | (#46996305)

Thunderbolt isn't going to replace USB in all cases, but Thunderbolt isn't about the speed. It's about the protocol. Thunderbolt is basically PCI-E over a wire. Can you connect a GTX 780 Ti (http://techreport.com/news/26426/thunderbolt-box-mates-macbook-pro-with-geforce-gtx-780-ti) with USB 3.1? No? Not really a replacement then. Same goes for any other device that has traditionally been a PCI-E card. Or, you know, you can get an adaptor (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpressiii.html) and directly connect a PCI-E card.

Speed wise Thunderbolt is evolving too. At this rate there isn't much of a chance of USB 3.1 catching Thunderbolt. As the OP mentioned, Thunderbolt is still ahead of USB 3.1 and 40 Gbps Thunderbolt is coming soon (http://www.extremetech.com/computing/181099-next-gen-thunderbolt-details-40gbps-pcie-3-0-hdmi-2-0-and-100w-power-delivery-for-single-cable-pcs). But again, even is USB catches Thunderbolt, or both become fast enough, the protocols and designs of the connections makes them entirely unsuitable for each other's uses (you wouldn't connect a mouse and keyboard to your PCI-E bus directly via Thunderbolt.)

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (2)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | about 5 months ago | (#46996371)

Is there a real use case for connecting a PCI-E card to a system via an external port? The link you showed was basically an enthusiast/hobbyist novelty. If I actually need that sort of graphics power (gamers or CAD), I'm probably using a gaming rig or a workstation, which both have PCI-E slots in the case. I can't imagine what other sort of PCI-E cards I'd be carrying around with my laptop.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996439)

There are niche use cases - for us it would allow a standard class device to be used with these external peripherals, rather than adding a PCI-E video card. Having the same standard PC as everyone else reduces support and management effort.
For small shops that's not a big deal, but when you have thousands of devices it's preferable to remove edge cases where possible.

They are also available for 10-20 bucks.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996773)

On amazon instead of the stupid thunderbolt connectors. Only things you lose out on are: No/expensive express card versions, and displayport over PCIe.

Other than that there are already PCIe x1 to PCIe x16 adapter cards that act basically like a copper thunderbolt cable for externally connecting video cards for bitcoin mining and what have you. They're on Amazon, every dropship site that carries computer equipment, etc for 10-30 bucks (basically entirely passives so the 30 dollar price is a scam).

Given that and USB 3.1: Who *WOULD* buy thunderbolt hardware given the markup?

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#46996841)

PCIe videocards are designed for 16 channels, Thunderbolt only has 4.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (4, Interesting)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 5 months ago | (#46996445)

Is there a real use case for connecting a PCI-E card to a system via an external port? The link you showed was basically an enthusiast/hobbyist novelty. If I actually need that sort of graphics power (gamers or CAD), I'm probably using a gaming rig or a workstation, which both have PCI-E slots in the case. I can't imagine what other sort of PCI-E cards I'd be carrying around with my laptop.

The point isn't to make PCI-E cards portable. It's to make it so you only need one machine. Why buy a desktop when you can simply plug the PCI-E cards straight into your laptop? You COULD buy a desktop with a bunch of PCI-E slots, but you don't need to now. Why buy a redundant CPU with a redundant motherboard just to drive a few PCI-E cards?

And if you're a pro with a desktop, and you run out of PCI-E slots, do you simply buy a whole new machine? Thunderbolt can drive six PCI-E devices per bus (http://www.macworld.com/article/2146360/lab-tested-the-mac-pro-daisy-chain-challenge.html). Most desktops don't have six PCI-E slots total.

A lot of pros are adopting Thunderbolt because it allows them to use the devices that used to require a desktop quickly and easily with a laptop, and they can reduce their machine count by one. Thunderbolt doesn't need to displace USB because it has a niche that USB effectively can't replace.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (3, Interesting)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | about 5 months ago | (#46996491)

Why buy a desktop when you can simply plug the PCI-E cards straight into your laptop?

What PCIe cards are you plugging in again? Graphics cards? You still have yet to demonstrate that it is not a novelty. I have never seen a CAD setup like that. Nor have I heard of a gaming rig that uses a laptop CPU but has an external graphics box. Maybe you're right and it will be all the rage in CAD houses.

And if you're a pro with a desktop, and you run out of PCI-E slots

You're kidding, right?

A lot of pros are adopting Thunderbolt because it allows them to use the devices that used to require a desktop quickly and easily with a laptop, and they can reduce their machine count by one.

What devices are these? Still graphics cards?

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (5, Informative)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 5 months ago | (#46996539)

What PCIe cards are you plugging in again? Graphics cards? You still have yet to demonstrate that it is not a novelty. I have never seen a CAD setup like that. Nor have I heard of a gaming rig that uses a laptop CPU but has an external graphics box. Maybe you're right and it will be all the rage in CAD houses.

What devices are these? Still graphics cards?

http://www.red.com/store/produ... [red.com]
http://www.blackmagicdesign.co... [blackmagicdesign.com]
http://www.nvidia.com/object/q... [nvidia.com]
http://eshop.macsales.com/item... [macsales.com]
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Du... [amazon.com]

I could go on but really the answer is "Every single PCI-E card that exists." Or "Every single PCI-E card that is important to professional users that just because you don't know about doesn't mean it doesn't exist."

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (2)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 5 months ago | (#46996601)

Of those examples, they are still mostly video accelerator / transcode acceleration area, and a couple have USB 3.0 / SS versions. Outside of the die hard MBP/MP users, anyone with a non-Apple laptop who works in industries where such hardware is necessary will have a dedicated render station to run those cards. You seem to forget that a MBP is going to have CPU, RAM, and I/O buses which simply can't match a regular desktop much less server-class workstation motherboards.

The other part that you are ignoring is the fact that anyone who deals with video or CG at that level is going to need serious storage. Even a 1TB SSD option isn't going to cut it. Sure you can plug storage in via ThunderBolt, but the cost just spirals up getting all these niche parts.

So your use case still boils down to Mac Pro users, which while selling alright, comprises a smaller portion of the PC sales market than desktops with Linux pre-installed.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | about 5 months ago | (#46996623)

Look buddy, I don't doubt that there are PCIe cards that are useful to professionals. What I doubted was the desire to hook them up to a laptop. This post [slashdot.org] happily provided one example, so I clearly stand corrected. I still don't buy your premise that Macbook Pros with external boxes for these sorts of things are going to be common.

Just so you know, the second link in your list shows a (non-PCIe card, but rather meant-to-be-external) device available with either a Thunderbolt or USB3.0 interface. There is still a Thunderbolt-only device there too that looks to be the higher-end device, and obviously there's the PCIe card version (which is clearly targeted at non-external use given their external device offerings, btw). But doesn't this demonstrate that USB3.0 *can* solve at least some of these more niche use cases, and thus there *is* overlap with/thread to Thunderbolt?

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996697)

For the niche use case of external PCIe on a laptop, external PCIe boxes with a ExpressCard host interface existed well before Light Pea... Thunderbolt.

Mostly just for Mac-type systems (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 months ago | (#46996449)

You might want such a thing with a Mac Mini or Mac Pro since they are more or less totally un-upgradable. So you might want an external card, even a graphics card.

For a standard desktop? No, you'd put it inside. Much cleaner, easier, and more sensible.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (5, Informative)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | about 5 months ago | (#46996455)

Probably not for most people, but I do it all the time on film sets. Rather than carry a workstation, you can just cary a laptop and a thunderbolt chassis with a RED ROCKET card for playback and transcoding. On location, this is a lifesaver.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | about 5 months ago | (#46996535)

This is the first legitimate use of Thunderbolt that I've heard of. Thanks for providing the example. I suppose Macs are big in the media industries and Thunderbolt solves this problem nicely.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (4, Informative)

immaterial (1520413) | about 5 months ago | (#46996699)

The first? There are any number of "docking station"-style solutions that are less specialized and therefore legitimately useful to even more people - the primary one being the one integrated into Apple's Thunderbolt display (but there are cheaper solutions from Belkin, Sonnet, Matrox, CalDigit, etc). Get home, plug your laptop in, and with that one connector it instantly has access to your 30" display(s), gigabit ethernet, and your USB 3, Firewire, and other Thunderbolt peripherals (and the speakers, mic, and webcam built into the display, too). For a laptop, Thunderbolt can be remarkably useful. On a desktop less so IMO.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 5 months ago | (#46996459)

Exactly - the cost of the external enclosure alone is more than a decent desktop PC. Not to mention the Thunderbolt speed limits its performance to basically the level of a much cheaper video card, anyway.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 5 months ago | (#46996667)

40Gbps is 10 lanes of PCI-e 2.0, enough for any normal gaming card.

The external enclosures are expensive because they're a niche item. They're manufactured in low volume and sold to a 'pro' audience with deep pockets.

In reality, Thunderbolt controllers aren't all that expensive. [mouser.com] . Even if an external GPU cost $75 or $100 more than the internal equivalent, it would still be a great way to upgrade an Ultrabook, or a Steam box, or even a cheap name-brand desktop.

Also, you might see completely new products, like monitors with their own GPUs. Don't underestimate a new interface; even USB languished before new ideas like flash drives made it interesting.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996759)

Thunderbolt2 is 20 Gbps. Not 40.
And that's raw bitrate, it has 8b/10b encoding on top.
Exactly the same usable bandwidth as PCIe 2.0 x4 (= a hair more than PCIe 3.0 x2).

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (3, Interesting)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about 5 months ago | (#46996559)

I've been thinking hard about a cable that will bring data to my CPU with the lowest latency. At the other end of the cable would be a guitar with several A/D converters, one for each pickup. Including piezos, that might add up to about 10 192Hz/32bit signals. That's still not a tremendous amount of bandwidth, but latency is much more important in this application. I don't think there is any dispute that the lowest latency lane to the CPU in current PCs is over PCIE. If thunderbolt is PCIE over a wire, it would be a natural technology to finally modernize the electric guitar for the digital age. Well, a guy can dream!

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (2)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 5 months ago | (#46996625)

Using a laptop at home with a big-ass video card? (think docking station)

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#46996835)

But what if you want to connect your PCIe3 16x video card to what is effectively just a 4x PCIe2 channel?

For random devices you buy from China, Thunderbolt has direct access to all your memory, outside the control of the OS.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996393)

It isn't "basically" PCI-E over a wire, it is PCI-E mixed with display port. Personally I find it pointless that they made Thunderbolt that way, there is already a standard for external PCI-E.

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (1)

Animats (122034) | about 5 months ago | (#46996815)

Thunderbolt isn't going to replace USB in all cases, but Thunderbolt isn't about the speed. It's about the protocol. Thunderbolt is basically PCI-E over a wire.

Bad idea for security reasons. Any device plugged in can read and write memory. That's not a good thing. At least with USB, it's just packets to and from the driver.

FireWire had the same problem. Most FireWire PC interfaces allowed limiting the hardware capability to accept packets that read and wrote memory. (There were address limit registers. The default settings for Linux left memory wide open to FireWire attack. (Under Linux, all of memory was open on 32-bit systems, but because this was a bug, not a feature, only the first 4MB was open on 64-bit systems. I once reported this as a Linux kernel bug. There were people who didn't want it fixed because they were using it for kernel debugging.)

Re:No Threat To Thunderbolt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996817)

I know. It's amazing. All you have to do is casually walk past the laptop with the right device, and you can root it in seconds!

Can we please keep trusted buses with DMA and bootcode/EFI access to the INSIDE of the machine, where an attacker can't simply just drive-by them?

You can easily build the device out of an Apple Gigabit Ethernet adapter and... no, I'll keep that to myself for now. But I bet the spy agencies have them already. I saw iSEC start their own analysis.

I have a really hard time caring... (5, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about 5 months ago | (#46996307)

I have a really hard time caring about "up to 100 watts of power depending on the cable version", mostly because of the "depending on the cable version" part of the statement.

How is this different from DVI, which much or might not have multichannel audio, might or might not be analog, might or might not support 5 channel digital sound, etc., etc.?

One thing Thunderbolt has going for it is that a cable is a cable, and you don't have to worry about it. If you want negotiated power supplied over USB, fine, but don't make me search my cardboard box for the "most sincere USB 3.1 cable". Thanks.

Re:I have a really hard time caring... (1)

stoborrobots (577882) | about 5 months ago | (#46996363)

I suspect this has less to do with finding the

"most sincere USB 3.1 cable"

and more to do with finding one with thick enough wires - the flimsy little cables which were specified to carry 0.75 watts (150mA @ 5V) for USB 1.0 would probably melt in a few seconds if made to carry 100 watts...

Re:I have a really hard time caring... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996397)

I've heard that USB4 will deliver up to 1.21 jiggawatts of power

Re:I have a really hard time caring... (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about 5 months ago | (#46996467)

But it only runs at 88mph...

Faster speeds are nice, but... (2, Funny)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 5 months ago | (#46996311)

Will the new spec be able to solve the problem of not knowing which way up to insert the USB plug?

*ducks*

Re:Faster speeds are nice, but... (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 5 months ago | (#46996329)

stupid me doesn't read articles

"reversible plug orientation" = WIN

Re:Faster speeds are nice, but... (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 5 months ago | (#46996549)

As someone with an iPhone, reversible USB plugs can't come soon enough. The transition stage will be annoying, but oh so worth it.

It's likely to be like Firewire (1, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 months ago | (#46996319)

A niche technology, used mainly by Apple fans. Part of it is just lack of need, and increased cost. Most devices work just fine on USB and Thunderbolt, being a PCIe bus more or less, has more hardware requirements on the device side than USB.

However it is also because of Apple's meddling. Apple got involved with it back when it was an Intel project called Lightpeak and paid Intel to influence the development. They wanted an exclusive on it, since Apple loves being "first", for a year and convinced Intel to integrate it with DisplayPort video. The problem with the DP integration is that it means you could no longer just drop in a PCIe card that would add it to a system, it has to be integrated in to a device to work with the GPU. So there's been little interest in it overall.

That'll probably continue for the foreseeable future. It isn't totally worthless, but there are few cases where it would matter much instead of USB, so its adoption is likely to be lackluster not so much because USB keeps getting better (though that helps) but because most of the things people want to do with an external connector, USB3 does "good enough" and everything has USB of some sort or another.

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (4, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | about 5 months ago | (#46996343)

The problem with all USB to this point is the fact that it has been largely CPU bound. PCIe, Thunderbolt, SCSI, FireWire are DMA devices, not without it's risks but with proper management the performance is leaps and bounds above USB - sure it costs a little extra but that point quickly becomes moot when you see the benefits.

USB is fine for mice and keyboards and some other low-bandwidth and very cheap things. FireWire has been doing low-latency audio and video (high-res) since it's inception. Even full-speed USB2 on a modern computer has difficulties getting a VGA frame buffer to work properly while studios have been able to live-edit multiple streams using FireWire since the PowerMac G5.

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996433)

The problem with all USB to this point is the fact that it has been largely CPU bound.

So was Ethernet and TCP/IP...and then, we got cards with offload engines. Is there any reason why this shouldn't be possible with USB?

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (4, Informative)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | about 5 months ago | (#46996443)

USB 3.0 added DMA and async (no-polling) control. CPU usage should be on par with FireWire.

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#46996673)

USB 3.0 added DMA and async (no-polling) control. CPU usage should be on par with FireWire.

DMA?

So is it a gaping security hole like Firewire now too?

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996803)

USB3 has DMA in the same sense Ethernet has DMA.

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 5 months ago | (#46996693)

USB 3.0 added DMA and async (no-polling) control.

Do we now have to worry about the same memory access vulnerabilities that was an issue with FireWire ports?

Doesn't matter all that much (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 months ago | (#46996481)

CPUs have gotten really, really, fast and for many things are seriously undertasked. Like I said, not knocking Thunderbolt for certain uses, but they are limited. USB3 on a modern system is capable of being "good enough" for most things. Audio? No problem, even USB2 has that licked. Video? Yep, USB3 can handle that. Data transfer? Well it is fast enough that even fast sticks are slower than it so no big deal. Network? It'll do 1gbps no issue.

Thunderbolt is faster, and lower latency, no question, but for most uses it isn't relevant. Same deal as it was with Firewire. That was not common at all.

Actually Thunderbolt has the additional issue of USB now being much better. Back when Firewire was first introduced, USB was not able to do many of the things it could do, at all. So it was use it or do without. However for quite a few things all Thunderbolt can claim over USB3 is that it is lower latency, or lower CPU load. Ok, fine, maybe that matters, but USB can still do it and so people will just use it.

I work in IT and I've seen next to zero uptake on Thunderbolt. Most of the places I've seen it is A/V type places, and mostly because they use Macs. They'll buy a thunderbolt LaCie drive not because they need it, but because that's what the new Macs use. That's only for the lower end stuff too. The higher end still seems to be all PCIe directly. For example the Avid Nitris DX won't work with the new Macs via Thudnerbolt. That's coming, but will be a separate adapter, in place of their native PCIe card.

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996755)

> largely CPU bound

And that is why the Republicans love USB. Their kind isn't capable of understanding the limitations of their USB garbage versus Firewire. Of course since their kind owns all of the tech companies, they have shoved their USB garbage down our throats. It is disgusting how they have ruined interfaces. It's just like when they pushed their bumper-car Ethernet garbage over FDDI.

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996375)

well, yeah - increased cost == lower volume, lower standard adoption, and only applied to botique-level devices.

As I'm seeing now, thunderbolt peripherals are generally twice as expensive as USB.

Thunderbolt is definitely Firewire for the 21st century.

The only thing that might possibly save it is if the Monitor Industry steps up with incorporating Thunderbolt hubs cheaply. (so far, only extremely overpriced Apple displays).

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (1)

immaterial (1520413) | about 5 months ago | (#46996387)

That myth about Apple getting a one-year exclusive deal on Thunderbolt was debunked by Intel the day after it's release [pcmag.com] , three years ago. On top of that, Thunderbolt could never work as a standard PCI add-on card, because it is lower-level and needs to expose/act as an entire PCI bus itself. Asus makes add-ons [techpowerup.com] for certain of their motherboards that have an additional specific Thunderbolt header, though - and Displayport is optional there, busting yet another one of your claims.

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 months ago | (#46996421)

The USB standards org is mostly Intel. The the thunderbolt standards org is entirely Intel and Apple. Intel is competiting with themselves here so they cannot lose. That said, the USB group has a winning record despite sometimes inferior tech by being free with licensing. The nerd in me prefers the thunderbolt, infiniband derived tech, especially over single mode fiber. But I am not going to turn down cheap ubiquitous USB especially when more devices support it.

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996487)

All devices that support Thunderbolt also have USB 3.0 ports on them.

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996493)

All devices that support Thunderbolt also have USB 3.0 ports on them.

You mean all host computers, not peripheral devices.

Re:It's likely to be like Firewire (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#46996845)

The thing I dislike most about USB was the Intel style slathered all over it (or at least their host controller interfaces). The next problem is taking something designed only for low speed devices and twisting it so that it can work with full and high speed (polling at very infrequent intervals and a master/slave interface is ok for a mouse or keyboard, but not for a high speed device).

Betteridge's law of headlines (0, Flamebait)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 5 months ago | (#46996331)

Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

No.

Especially with

Thunderbolt withers or remains a niche technology supported almost exclusively by Apple.

Re:Betteridge's law of headlines (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996435)

Oh look, a samsung shill. Could you be any more stupid and ridiculous? Thunderbolt is everywhere, you're just not looking.

Re:Betteridge's law of headlines (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about 5 months ago | (#46996497)

Given Apple now has almost 15% of the laptop market (and way more if you count tablets, like some silly analysts do), it's clearly not a niche any more.

Especially since it's the top end of the market. Like iPhones, Apple may not have the #1 market share, but their customers spend a *lot* more per device than other hardware owners, which is a lot of motivation for high-end peripheral manufacturers to build it into their high-end peripherals...

Re:Betteridge's law of headlines (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#46996683)

(and way more if you count tablets, like some silly analysts do),

As the tablets don't have thunderbolt ports its pretty irrelevant.

which is a lot of motivation for high-end peripheral manufacturers to build it into their high-end peripherals...

Meaning highend peripherals will support both thunderbolt and USB3.1? I mean its a high end peripheral right? so 2$ worth of hardware and some royalties aren't really a deal breaker.

And this ultimately just serves to marginalize thunderbolt even more, since the peripherals now have it, but you don't even need it to connect to them.

Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996339)

Maybe this is a "Let them eat cake" moment, but It's not like I'm a teenager in 1994. I don't really drag peripherals along with other upgrades. ... I can use my 5 year old USB/Thunderbolt/Whatever Display/Drive Array with my new computer, but I'll probably just buy a new one using the connector that works best. So, Is Thunderbolt going to be niche? Probably. Is it because I can't use my old thunderbolt display with my new computer? No.

If Apple is its biggest supporter, then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996347)

Thunderbolt 2 will continue to exist until Apple chooses to abandon it. There is little reason for them to do so now.

Even when SuperSpeed+ products running 40Gb/s ship out, their biggest competitor will be USB 2.0, not Thunderbolt. USB 3.0 devices have been on the market for years, but popular webcams, mice, flash drives, and external hard drives are still made with USB 2.0 heads. Though I can't claim to know *the* reason, two possible reasons include manufacturing cost (which makes them unappealing to hardware companies) and a wide disparity of performance among 3.0 devices (which makes it difficult for customers to trust their purchases).

Re:If Apple is its biggest supporter, then... (2)

lennier1 (264730) | about 5 months ago | (#46996521)

It'll turn out just like how they abandoned Firewire once there was finally enough hardware on the market to even take note of it.

Re:If Apple is its biggest supporter, then... (3, Insightful)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 5 months ago | (#46996555)

I don't think devices outside of mass storage really call for USB 3.0. Many keyboards still use USB 1.1, even today, because they don't need anything more advanced.

They are orthogonal use cases (5, Insightful)

stoploss (2842505) | about 5 months ago | (#46996351)

Thunderbolt 2 allows me to connect a 4k DisplayPort screen (or daisy chain two lower resolution DisplayPort monitors). Its connector is the same as mini-DisplayPort. It's small and convenient. Apple fit two TB 2 buses next to each other on my 13" MacBook Pro. Nice. Very high bandwidth, PCIe.

I don't want to plug a keyboard into this bus, because its overkill. Thunderbolt will probably never have any cost effective way to do a hub/star type topography. For general use lower bandwidth (haha, 1 gigabit is low bandwidth now!) peripherals I need USB. And my MacBook has that too. I wouldn't want it any other way.

That said, USB 3.0 seems like a ball of hurt compared to the difference between USB 1.0/1.1/2.0
  Just look at the ads for USB 3 hubs. Most of them state which chipset revision they use, so you can look up whether or not your motherboard / OS will have difficulty with them. I built a FreeBSD 9.1 file server using usb 3 / usb 3 docks, but I failed them all back down to using their 2.0 interface due to persistent flakiness/dropping off the bus type issues. Rock solid on USB 2.0. YMMV, but I hope that USB 3 gets over its growing pains soon.

Re:They are orthogonal use cases (1)

willy_me (212994) | about 5 months ago | (#46996461)

I built a FreeBSD 9.1 file server using usb 3 / usb 3 docks, but I failed them all back down to using their 2.0 interface due to persistent flakiness/dropping off the bus type issues.

If you look at MacZFS you will notice that ZFS over a USB bus is garbage. Far too many problems - developer says to not even bother reporting the bugs. And in my experience, FreeBSD is not much different in this regard. Had major problems with ZFS over USB while UFS appears to work fine. Use a different connection, like eSATA or Firewire, and ZFS starts to work again.

I only mention this because it is quite possible that USB was working fine. Glitches / delays / disconnects, regardless of which layer they originate in, appear to hit ZFS hard. Better to use eSATA if you have a FreeBSD box.

Re:They are orthogonal use cases (2)

stoploss (2842505) | about 5 months ago | (#46996627)

I considered eSATA, but that is spiked ball of hurt, presuming you want to connect more than one drive per port via multipliers. Thanks for the suggestion, but it really was the USB 3.0... devices would drop off the bus (no longer present in usbconfig) on 3.0. Nary an issue with the exact same hardware on 2.0.

I think it's due to hacks like USB 3.0 hubs apparently also having USB 2.0 as a separate bus/hub logically, rather than attempting to unify the device tree somehow. Given some other comments here, there are probably other, less-visible hacks and kludges in the protocol as well.

Anyway, upshot: same OS, same motherboard, same USB ports on the computer, same SATA docks, just different (i.e. 2.0) cables. Yes, I tried swapping the 3.0 cables before downgrading. Very stable now on USB 2.0. Runs for stably months on end and zfs scrub never reports an issue on a 18 TB RAID-Z2 pool.

It's laughably not enterprise grade, and I would never suggest anything like that for business use, but for my home NAS it's fine.

No (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 months ago | (#46996499)

DisplayPort lets you connect a 4k DisplayPort screen, or multiple streams (specifically the 1.2 MST). Thunderbolt is not required. It's fine that it is a Thunderbolt connector as well bunt don't get confused here. A DP connector coming off a regular videocard in a desktop will drive the monitor just the same. It is the DP 1.2 signaling that matters, not the PCIe lane of Thunderbolt.

If all you are doing with your Thunderbolt connector is hooking up displays, that's an argument AGAINST Thunderbolt since you aren't using it, you are just using DisplayPort.

Re:No (1)

LoneTech (117911) | about 5 months ago | (#46996543)

Sadly reality is even more confusing. Lots of Macs support multiple displays only via Thunderbolt, even though DisplayPort has multi-stream natively. Some got MST support in a firmware update. The Thunderbolt display daisy-chaining is not MST compatible.

Re:No (1)

stoploss (2842505) | about 5 months ago | (#46996565)

If all you are doing with your Thunderbolt connector is hooking up displays, that's an argument AGAINST Thunderbolt since you aren't using it, you are just using DisplayPort.

No, that's incorrect logic. Should we fill your unused PCIe slots with cyanoacrylate simply because you aren't using them right now?

Thunderbolt gives me a high speed expansion bus while conveniently not requiring a separate connector to do so. It duplexes with DisplayPort, for which I had immediate use.

Come on, I expect better arguments than this. Here... if you really hate Thunderbolt, have already made up your mind, and are just searching for stones to fling at it then why not refer to the DMA attack vector instead?

Re:No (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 months ago | (#46996619)

My point is simply that your argument for Thunderbolt isn't actually an argument for it. You like DisplayPort, not Thunderbolt. An argument for Thunderbolt is if you are using one connector for display and for other things. If you are just using it for display, well then it could be DP for all you'd know/care.

That's the thing: Doesn't matter how good it looks on paper, doesn't matter how technically perfect it is, what matters is if it gets used in a meaningful way, such that people want to buy devices with it. If not, it gets relegated to being a small-time thing that few care about.

So if the argument is "It lets me use high rez displays!" then people will say "Ya but so does the DP I already have so I don't care," and won't seek it out. The less people who look for/ask for it and buy it, the more niche it becomes.

Like when I bought my motherboard, there were two candidates: An Intel DZ77GA-70K and an Intel DZ77RE-75K. The main difference was the 75K had Thunderbolt. So I thought about it, and just couldn't come up with any scenario where I'd want Thunderbolt, and opted for the cheaper board. I don't regret the decision at all, and when the 99X boards come out, I am again going to pass on Thunderbolt, unless it happens to be part of a board I want anyhow.

So that's the thing: You need use cases that people care about that require it. Then people will start wanting it, and it'll grow. Otherwise, it'll be the thing that is limited to very few systems. Same shit that happened with Firewire.

Re:No (2)

stoploss (2842505) | about 5 months ago | (#46996741)

My point is simply that your argument for Thunderbolt isn't actually an argument for it.

Haha, yes, I understood the point I *thought* you were trying to make, but that wasn't what you said. It isn't my job to restate your conclusions correctly.

You are correct that my citation of using the DisplayPort functionality isn't support Thunderbolt per se. 1394 was certainly niche, but it was great when it came to bulk data transfer, such as pulling video from cameras.

I like Thunderbolt because I want a high speed PCIe type bus, and I believe the approach is more elegant than slots on a motherboard. I'm sure you understand that intersection of utility between a PCIe type bus and USB type peripheral bus is quite small. Things tend to fit into one realm or the other.

I also appreciate that Thunderbolt multiplexes DisplayPort, which is an elegant solution especially on smaller laptops.

Apple has a history of trying proprietary video connectors. The HDB-15, then the weird thing on some first gen PowerMacs, and then the ADC. With Thunderbolt/mini-DisplayPort they finally will probably succeed, mostly because the PCIe part is optional. I don't perceive why Apple would feel pressure to relent on Thunderbolt if DisplayPort monitors continue to get traction, and the Mac Pro users (especially) want high speed expansion.

Terrible interoperability (5, Interesting)

Ion Berkley (35404) | about 5 months ago | (#46996563)

Amen to the "Ball of hurt".

I design USB3 H/W....what. a. piece. of. shit. I have truly given up hope of engineering anything that will ever work universally, even Intels interfaces which you would like to believe would be a model reference design look like crap when you plug them into a gizillion dollar Agilent USB3 analyzer. Should I be be surprised? Probably not, USB has never exactly been the premium interface has it? Firewire didn't go away because USB was technically superior thats for sure. Thunderbolt just friggin' works, day in, day out, incredible and reliable performance. Sure cables are expensive, they have all sorts of clever active electronics...because...thats what it takes to make 10G in a consumer application work...not a $1.99 piece of injection molded crap from god knows what Asian hell chemical works. In fact Thunderbolts worst problem is ....Intel.....who seem to have a bizarre attitude towards people who want to buy components from them to make peripherals...I honestly don't get it.

Re:Terrible interoperability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996809)

Amen to the "Ball of hurt".

I design USB3 H/W....what. a. piece. of. shit. I have truly given up hope of engineering anything that will ever work universally, even Intels interfaces which you would like to believe would be a model reference design look like crap when you plug them into a gizillion dollar Agilent USB3 analyzer. Should I be be surprised? Probably not, USB has never exactly been the premium interface has it? Firewire didn't go away because USB was technically superior thats for sure. Thunderbolt just friggin' works, day in, day out, incredible and reliable performance. Sure cables are expensive, they have all sorts of clever active electronics...because...thats what it takes to make 10G in a consumer application work...not a $1.99 piece of injection molded crap from god knows what Asian hell chemical works. In fact Thunderbolts worst problem is ....Intel.....who seem to have a bizarre attitude towards people who want to buy components from them to make peripherals...I honestly don't get it.

Interesting... Other engineers at other companies seem to be able to put out USB 3.0 products with no problems.

Security? (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | about 5 months ago | (#46996441)

If your interface allows DMA, does that not mean that a malicious device can own your computer as soon as it gets plugged in?

Also, I thought I'd read that USB had DMA and hence this security problem.

Could someone who actually knows what they're talking about comment on this please?

Re:Security? (1)

LoneTech (117911) | about 5 months ago | (#46996519)

DMA does not necessarily imply unrestricted access. PCs with IEEE 1394 (also known as Firewire) frequently do have this issue, because they can busmaster at will, and those PCs did not have any memory protection from busmasters. More modern systems frequently do, in the form of advanced IOMMUs; serious workstations did even when 1394 was introduced. This feature is present mostly on AMD chipsets (Intel have restricted it to some server-oriented ones). USB before version 3 did not have this issue because devices could not be true bus masters; the CPU would have to set up all transfers, including what memory they access. Similarly DMA on the ISA bus actually did not let the unit doing DMA transfers select the memory address, the DMA controller did. I have not yet read the host controller specifications for USB 3, so I'm not sure if the controller itself must offer this protection - even if it doesn't, the bus mastering would surely have to be enabled by the OS.

Re:Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996677)

USB3 controllers do DMA the same way modern storage or network controllers do it.
CPU sets up address/length lists for input/output buffers, the host controller does the transfers, devices don't ever see any of it.

Installed base? (1)

pahles (701275) | about 5 months ago | (#46996485)

How big is the installed base of USB 3.1 with the new C-type connector? ZERO! Apples and oranges, ladies and gentleman...

100 Gbps 40 Gbps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996507)

Thunderbolt FTW

Won't go away, just stay niche. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | about 5 months ago | (#46996537)

USB is the "mainstream, use for anything" connector. USB SS+ with type-C and 100 W power delivery makes it even moreso.

Thunderbolt is external PCI Express. Over long distances with optical cabling. Yes, there are few places in which TB is better than USB SS+, but in those places, USB SS+ can't compete - at all.

Need a 20 Gb/s connection to your storage array in the next room over? USB SS+ can't do that. Need an effectively-zero-latency connection to an external sound/video editing rig? Yeah, PCIe is your format, over Thunderbolt.

And don't expect Thunderbolt to sit still, either. While USB has plans to increase speed, so does TB. TB has PCIe3 coming up, and other improvements.

No, I never expect Thunderbolt to become even as mainstream as FireWire was, but it most certainly won't just go away, either.

When did they add DMA? (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 5 months ago | (#46996613)

I thought USB had to pass thru the CPU/driver. Firewire had device DMA access and PCI is well, as low as you can go. I read about Thunderbolt 3 which is also being worked on; since both come out from intel you can expect Thunderbolt to be ahead of USB in terms of speed and flexibility. Don't see much need for high power output when Thunderbolt devices like displays will probably need their own power supply anyway.

I'll trade (0)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46996589)

I have a bunch of thunderbolt ports and handful of USB 3 ports on my Mac. I would love to trade my thunderbolt ports for some more USB 3s and maybe 2 HDMIs.

I remember for years my fellow mac people blah blahed about how firewire was so much better than USB and how it was the future. Basically it was the future for about 3 minutes.

I am smelling the same thing with Thunderbolt.

Basically my experience with thunderbolt is summed up by my monthly search for a reasonably priced thunderbolt to USB 3 adapter.

Rank idiocy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996685)

They should just call Thunderbolt "USB 4". It's as related to what people call USB as USB 3.1 is. Different connectors, standards, etc.. The only thing it shares is the "USB" name itself. So might as well just call Thunderbolt "USB 4".

It's the connector stupid. (1)

pablo_max (626328) | about 5 months ago | (#46996711)

I would be the first to agree... Thunderbolt is technically better than USB3.
However, that is not the point.

What is the advantage of USB? Simple. The connector.
I can plug a USB1 device into any USB3 port and it works. The reverse it also true, albeit at a pretty slow transfer rate.

The point it, the USB plug is ubiquitous while thunderbolt is already planning to change the connector again. That means buying adapters.
That also means that the next motherboard I buy most likely wont have thunderbolt on it. Which means I would not be buying any thunderbolt devices.

My impression is that thunderbolt is marketed specifically toward "Apple" people. Since I am not an apple person, I cannot say if this next part is true or not, but the impression that non-apple folks have is that "Apple" people will replace their gadgets every year or two with what ever new thing Apple has come out with.
If that is true, the connector thing is no big deal since you would be starting over every time.

Isn't it important... (4, Insightful)

gerardrj (207690) | about 5 months ago | (#46996717)

That we keep talking about the two in language that exactly describes the two, but we completely ignore the language?
EVERY spec for USB refers to the "up to" speed and quotes the maximum theoretical burst transfer rate that is sustainable for only fractions of a second in host to single peer communication.
Thunderbolt's speed is the speed. period. 1 peer or 16 peers doesn't matter. You get 20Gb/s every second after every second. USB has never and is likely to never achieve that.

This was true of Firewire vs USB as well; USB claimed "up to 480Mb/s" but could never sustain that for any human sense-able time. Firewire 800 was flatly 400Mb/s. Firewire didn't advertise a theoretical maximum speed that you could get once in a while; it was a real-world measurable throughput when you were copying files.

So as long as people are ignorant enough to fall for marketing hype instead of actual useful data then USB will continue to dominate (and people will continue to purchase cars based solely on HP ratings)

It's all about the certification process (1)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | about 5 months ago | (#46996723)

Aside from the technical advantages that people keep on bringing up, one of the main non-technical advantages that Thunderbolt has is its certification process. Any USB chipset that is faster than USB2's theoretical speed is certified as USB3, whereas in order to get certified as Thunderbolt 1 or 2 you must actually reach the advertised speed.

When you buy a USB device (unless it's from a reputable manufacturer such as Intel), its actual speed is usually an order of magnitude worse than the advertised speed. That is a huge difference!

Re:It's all about the certification process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996867)

Intel has patents on Thunderbolt and refuses to license them to anyone.
So the whole "certification process" is a farce, there's exactly *one* supplier of Thunderbolt host and device controllers.
Intel.

SCSI, Firewire (1)

kirthn (64001) | about 5 months ago | (#46996733)

It wil have the same position as SCSI, Firewire etc...meaning CPU independent throughput, and higher-end systems, and more reliable.....

as for market share compared to USB...it was Apple who made USBpopular, with their first iMac.....USB was also original by Intel, and did hardly anything for 5 years...then came the first iMac, and suddenly almost overnight USB was hot...it took PC's about 2 years to catch up, from PS/2

would not underestimate the influence of Apple ...

Re:SCSI, Firewire (1)

nonicknameavailable (1495435) | about 5 months ago | (#46996865)

My old AT PC had USB ports

Thunderbolt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46996859)

Thunderbolt is the new Firewire 800

Not symmetrical (1)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | about 5 months ago | (#46996869)

Minor nitpick: the Thunderbolt connector is not symmetrical. The writer must be confusing it with Apple's Lightning connector for iDevices, from which the new USB connector probably copied this feature.

(Actually, I believe the Thunderbolt connector is more or less symmetrical with respect to the x-axis, but this is undoubtedly not what the writer meant.)

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