Latest in Light peak

Image credit:

Sony's Thunderbolt implementation hiding in plain (web)site, uses USB connector not Mini DisplayPort?

Thomas Ricker, @trixxy
May 17, 2011
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Look closely at that picture. See that Type-A USB jack? The one with the blue stripe sandwiched between the round AC jack (with its green light) and VGA USB 2.0 and HDMI ports? Yeah, that's Sony's Thunderbolt implementation according to a trusted source. A bit of digging reveals that the "Ultimate Mobile PC" teased by Sony above is actually the same VAIO Hybrid PC leaked by Sony Insider back in March said to feature an external dock with one USB 3.0 jack, HDMI, Ethernet, AMD Whistler discrete graphics, and a Blu-ray Disc writer. Naturally, the dock attaches to the VAIO's Thunderbolt jack.

What we're trying to get our heads around, however, is Sony's choice for a USB connector instead of the Mini DisplayPort used by Apple's dual-channel 10Gbps Thunderbolt implementation. The decision to go USB was first brought to our attention by site Gula Digital. We've long known that Sony would be a Light Peak partner in some capacity. And the decision to go USB certainly echoes those first prototype interconnects demonstrated by Intel that combined a hybrid USB 3.0 connector with an optical interface and electrical connection to carry power. We also like the idea of being able to connect a USB 3.0 hard disk without first attaching an adapter. What troubles us, though, is a statement made by the USB Implementers Forum last summer expressing reservations with Intel's proposed interconnect:

"USB connectors are not general purpose connectors and are not designed to be used in support of other technology applications or standards or as combo connectors."

Perhaps Sony has worked out a licensing arrangement with the USB-IF? We don't know. But we're told that Sony's Thunderbolt implementation is definitely using a USB connector and definitely not using Mini DisplayPort. But we'll wait until this thing ships before complaining about Thunderbolt fragmentation too loudly.



All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Some of Ubisoft's PS4 games won't run on PS5

Some of Ubisoft's PS4 games won't run on PS5

View
RISC-V is trying to launch an open-hardware revolution

RISC-V is trying to launch an open-hardware revolution

View
Chevy will start selling EV retrofit kits in 2021

Chevy will start selling EV retrofit kits in 2021

View
Ford reveals how much its Active Driver Assist option will cost

Ford reveals how much its Active Driver Assist option will cost

View
Scientists found an Earth-sized ‘rogue’ planet in the Milky Way

Scientists found an Earth-sized ‘rogue’ planet in the Milky Way

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr