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back to article 4K-friendly Thunderbolt 2 WILL ship this year, Chipzilla pledges

Chip giant Intel has reiterated its pledge to get a faster version of its Thunderbolt connectivity tech out in time for Christmas and its plethora of high-res vid-streaming kit. Speaking at Intel Developer Forum this week, Ben Hacker, who does planning for Intel's Client Connectivity Division, said the firm’s Falcon Crest Falcon …

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Headmaster

Format war

Why a format war? Both have different uses.

USB is ideal for scanners , mice etc, lower bandwidth hard disk requirements etc. Thunderbolt on the other hand has the potential for RAID arrays, outboard graphics cards and all sorts of things that you'd usually have to locate inside the computer or buy an expensive interface for.

Horses for courses. Both will co-exist and have their own niche.

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Re: Format war

What war? In order for there to be a war, there needs to be 2 armies on the battlefield.

I only see one.

Sure, you hear a lot about the other guys but you never really see them.

I can get USB3 gear without seeking it out. It's just there. It's all around you and even if you don't seek it out, you may find that you've bought it already. TB is something you have to specifically go out of your way to try and find. You can't bolt it onto an old system (like you can with USB3). Even if you try to buy an entirely new system to get this stuff there are still fewer devices and vendors to choose from.

This right here, us in the peanut gallery, we're the only thing resembling a "war" on this matter.

If you think there's an actual format war going on then you're just a stupid fanboy.

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"Thunderbolt is undoubtedly the better technology - it’s not lumbered by having to have an old standard clamped on for compatibility the way USB 3.0 is"

instead it's shoehorned into the displayport and needs a ton of glue-logic

imho it's the bigger mess

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Thunderbolt was originally called Lightpeak and was supposed to operate at up to 100Gbps along optical fibres which could be up to 10 metres long. Basically every bus inside a PC could run over the top of it.

It is hard to get excited about something which is 1/5th of its original promised speed and gimped to use copper so that it requires expensive cables with error correcting circuitry to function.

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Exactly right - "active" cables that cost a lot. It is a huge mess.

Now, USB 3 isn't the greatest, but it is already a commodity interface. However, what is needed is a protocol over common structured cabling. Perhaps 10/40 Gbps ethernet would be a nice transport layer.

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?

Maybe I'm missing something, but once you get into the real high speed range, why bother with either? Surely bog-standard (fast) Ethernet becomes more practical, and is a darned sight simpler to manage.

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HDbaseT

HDbaseT version 2.0 supports 4K, carries up to 100 watts of power, AND carries USB! If your computer used this to connect to a monitor, it could power your monitor and allow USB connections on the base of your monitor for your keyboard/mouse. Your computer could be 100 feet away if you wanted. It also carries IR, RS232 and Toslink in both directions for CE/commercial control/AVR applications.

Version 2.0 also allows it to run over a normal network. Well, if you have a 10GBaseT network at home, which isn't exactly common these days but in another couple years I'm sure that will become affordable.

Imagine having a phone that supported this. You could plug your phone into a monitor that's plugged into the wall, and it would charge your phone. Or plug your phone into a switch that is also connected to your monitor, and both are powered by the switch. The phone would connect to the USB keyboard and mouse you have plugged into the monitor and if you ran a desktop GUI on your phone you'd have a full fledged computer with proper keyboard and mouse running on your phone. More and more people will bin their PC if that happens, and Microsoft starts to feel some major pain.

What's that you say, a phone is way too small for an RJ45 connector? No problem, the phone would just need some sort of mini 8 pin connector with configurable pins. Sounds like that Lightning connector on the iPhone 5 everyone was whining about....hmmm, makes you think, doesn't it? Not saying this has anything to do with the move to Lightning by Apple, but even if that was not part of the plan doesn't mean there might not be someone working on this in Cupertino right now.

Personally I think Apple will abandon Thunderbolt for HDbaseT down the road. HDbaseT just makes too much sense. Instead of having all these different ports on the back of your PC, you could do with just one, you don't even need USB ports, they move to your monitor. Apple loves eliminating ports, they'd certainly love to someday have a Macbook with only one port.

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Anonymous Coward

does this mean the the current thunderbolt doesn't support 5k*4k for a high definition cinema display?

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