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Old Sep 15, 2011, 12:44 PM   #26
mbp17xxx
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yeah right, new chips, fiber optics... I haven't even used my thunderbolt
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 12:46 PM   #27
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I seriously wonder how many Mac users are currently benefitting from thunderbold? 1%? There is only a handful of devices out there and its not really growing very fast. Yes, there is a dock here and a disk there but compared to USB (which is granted around longer)...
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 12:47 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Dragonlance1561 View Post
I'm not seeing your problem... just daisy chain the devices you want together. If you are right and the display has to be last then what is wrong with that? The idea is that the performance won't be noticeably affected even with multiple devices connected to the same thunderbolt port. It's plug n' play so unplugging your monitor to add a device is not a problem.

Also, if you will notice the MBPs and iMacs still have firewire 800 ports. As thunderbolt becomes more widely adopted I can see apple phasing out firewire and adding another thunderbolt port in it's place.

it's quite annoying when you have a neat setup to pull the monitor cable. you see nothing and the computer searches for monitors, then you plug in the hard drive and you have to wait till the computer recognizes the monitor again. the monitor of course has gone to sleep in the mean time and needs to wake up first.

all in all not very "it just works" IMHO.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 12:51 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by cult hero View Post
USB has got to be the worst design for a connector ever as far as the shape. There's no easy way to see which way the thing should be inserted. I don't even care if it's Apple's standard that's adopted so long as it's a standard where I can simply look and see which way the cable should be inserted.

(Oh, and Firewire 800 also deserves similar mention as a poorly designed connection type.)
Thank you! That and the ridiculous load USB puts on the CPU are the two biggest reasons I was upset USB won out over Firewire. How did the USB connector ever make it past any kind of review? It's like they were so happy with themselves over making the power pins longer than the data pins that they went brain dead when it came to the actual physical practicality of the connector.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 12:51 PM   #30
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So now we have maybe what, 6 devices working and now they already call for optical cables? Lets get started at all before we run to the next new thing. Given the time it took LaCie to get their thing going (and I beleive its still not out)...
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 12:55 PM   #31
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If the only reason to produce fiber-optic cables is to get 10 meter lengths, with no speed increase, but a huge cost increase, I don't see the point. How many people are there out there really that are saying, "you know, I'd pay almost anything to have this thunderbolt enabled hard disk 10 meters away from me!".

Maybe there's demand I just don't see.

Up the speeds to 10x their current value, and you'll see lots of interested buyers, however. IMHO They should wait until the fiber-optic cables can get faster.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 12:56 PM   #32
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When the heck is Apple gonna release a 15 inch MacBook Pro-Air without an optical drive with the option to buy an external Thunderbolt Blu-Ray Superdrive?

Cause, that would certainly convince me to buy.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 12:58 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by gri View Post
I seriously wonder how many Mac users are currently benefitting from thunderbold? 1%? There is only a handful of devices out there and its not really growing very fast. Yes, there is a dock here and a disk there but compared to USB (which is granted around longer)...
This is a terrible way to evaluate whether a new interface is worth adding to your system. If no one has Thunderbolt ports, why would companies start making a bunch of peripherals?

USB had the exact same problem, in fact. It was crawling until Apple ditched all its legacy ports and only stuck USB on the first iMac. People moaned about how crazy they were because of how hard it was to find simple mice and keyboards that used the new interface, but suddenly all kinds of companies were trying to fulfill that need.

The PC world would still be using PS/2 if Apple hadn't so hugely expanded the market.

In the case of Thunderbolt I don't see how people can even begin to complain. It's not even an extra port! I assume that even if Thunderbolt fails a ton of people will still make use of external displays through their mini DisplayPort.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 01:04 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Consultant View Post
There's no need to have fiber at the same as copper, when copper can provide power.
The fibre cable could have several fibres for data, and some copper wires for power. There's no reason to assume that optical means no power.


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Originally Posted by Thunderbird View Post
So will the Thunderbird chip be native with Ivy Bridge?
No, it will continue to be a separate controller chip.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 01:12 PM   #35
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"But What About Fiber Optic Cables?"
I dunno, MacRumors, what about fiber optic cables?
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 01:14 PM   #36
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The PC world would still be using PS/2 if Apple hadn't so hugely expanded the market.
This conveniently ignores the fact that millions of PCs already had USB ports when the Imac shipped, and the fact that Windows 98 with native USB support shipped within weeks of the Imac.

The wave of USB devices would have happened with or without Apple.

Apple's main contribution was to have manufacturers create hideous designs in toxic-colored translucent plastic.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 01:19 PM   #37
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There's no need to have fiber at the same as copper, when copper can provide power.
Longer cable runs.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 01:28 PM   #38
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Will the next version be ThunderCat?

----------

I'm glad to hear Intel didn't cave to Sony trying to put Thunderbolt on USB.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 01:35 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andiwm2003 View Post
it's quite annoying when you have a neat setup to pull the monitor cable. you see nothing and the computer searches for monitors, then you plug in the hard drive and you have to wait till the computer recognizes the monitor again. the monitor of course has gone to sleep in the mean time and needs to wake up first.

all in all not very "it just works" IMHO.
You're right - that's why you shouldn't daisy-chain a non-Thunderbolt display, particularly if you tend to plug/unplug your other Thunderbolt devices a lot. You should just plug your monitor in via the conventional port.

It's not a limitation of Thunderbolt though, it's a limitation of the display which was never designed to be daisy-chained, which is why it doesn't have another output port.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by AidenShaw View Post
This conveniently ignores the fact that millions of PCs already had USB ports when the Imac shipped, and the fact that Windows 98 with native USB support shipped within weeks of the Imac.

The wave of USB devices would have happened with or without Apple.

Apple's main contribution was to have manufacturers create hideous designs in toxic-colored translucent plastic.
I think you're being a little facetious there. Simply having the ports and drivers in place doesn't guarantee the standard will take. Without a firm commitment from PC manufacturers, it could have taken some time for devices to appear in any great number. Apple, on the other hand, removed the legacy ports - that was key. That move alone guaranteed a market for USB devices, and accelerated its adoption as a standard.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 02:10 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by whooleytoo View Post
I think you're being a little facetious there. Simply having the ports and drivers in place doesn't guarantee the standard will take. Without a firm commitment from PC manufacturers, it could have taken some time for devices to appear in any great number. Apple, on the other hand, removed the legacy ports - that was key. That move alone guaranteed a market for USB devices, and accelerated its adoption as a standard.
Not so facetious as you might think. I worked at a CompUSA when the original iMac was released. Windows PCs had had USB ports for a few years at that point (since early in the Win95 cycle), and Windows (as bought on a PC) had basic USB support since Win95 OSR3, OSR3.1 and OSR3.5. It was the release of the iMac that brought USB devices into the mainstream. About 90% of the USB devices came in 'bondi blue and/or frosted white' color schemes. (Including a number of printers!)

Believe, me I remember the complaints from the beige-box crowd about the color scheme on so many mice and joysticks. This was, of course, back before the 'everything has to be black!' craze hit the PC side of the market, when an internal CD-ROM drive with a black faceplate cost $5-15 more than the identical beige faceplate version.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 02:21 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Peace View Post
This all sounds like smaller,faster SCSI.
Way different than SCSI for two basic reasons:

1. Digital video out is native to the protocol via DisplayPort

2. It's an extension of PCIe to outside your computer.

#2 makes it extremely flexible. Anything you could put in a card, you can now plug in.

It's much cleaner than the old-time docking system where you had cards in the docking station and a monster 200+ pin port in the laptop that carried the individual signals for everything: PCI, VGA, USB, sound, Ethernet, etc. The port hardware itself was thicker than a MacBook Air.

Thunderbolt carries native DisplayPort and PCIe, and basically wraps that whole docking thing up into one cable.

Since it's PCIe, you could even make a SCSI connector for it, basically a PCI SCSI card's electronics in a box with a Thunderbolt connector on one end and a SCSI connector on the other. Or build that connector logic into an existing hot-pluggable SCSI storage array. Ultra high-speed storage is only a tiny plug away.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 02:30 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Rudy69 View Post
How come the official spec is for 1 display + 6 devices and the macbook pros and iMacs (maybe mac mini too?) can do 6 devices + 2 displays?
The slide says "6 Thunderbolt devices and 1 native DisplayPort display" (emphasis added).

What they're saying is what has been the case for Macs all along: in your TB daisy chain, you can have a single DisplayPort (i.e., non-Thunderbolt-aware) screen, at the far end of the chain.

Apple's new Thunderbolt display is a different matter: it is a Thunderbolt device.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 02:35 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by tbrinkma View Post
Believe, me I remember the complaints from the beige-box crowd about the color scheme on so many mice and joysticks.
Back then I was looking for a good USB scanner for my PC, and bondi blue was what I could find. I didn't mind the color, but the scanning speed was slow. Still, even though slow, it was a lot easier than SCSI. I also got a USB hard drive, in that translucent white and bondi blue.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 02:38 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by AidenShaw View Post
This conveniently ignores the fact that millions of PCs already had USB ports when the Imac shipped, and the fact that Windows 98 with native USB support shipped within weeks of the Imac.

The wave of USB devices would have happened with or without Apple.

Apple's main contribution was to have manufacturers create hideous designs in toxic-colored translucent plastic.
Exactly. I had a PC with USB connectors in 1997 on an Asus TX97 motherboard. Windows 95 OSR2 came out mid '97 with USB support as well.

The iMac came out in January 1999 if I recall.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 02:38 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trudy View Post
Way different than SCSI for two basic reasons:

1. Digital video out is native to the protocol via DisplayPort

2. It's an extension of PCIe to outside your computer.

#2 makes it extremely flexible. Anything you could put in a card, you can now plug in.

It's much cleaner than the old-time docking system where you had cards in the docking station and a monster 200+ pin port in the laptop that carried the individual signals for everything: PCI, VGA, USB, sound, Ethernet, etc. The port hardware itself was thicker than a MacBook Air.

Thunderbolt carries native DisplayPort and PCIe, and basically wraps that whole docking thing up into one cable.

Since it's PCIe, you could even make a SCSI connector for it, basically a PCI SCSI card's electronics in a box with a Thunderbolt connector on one end and a SCSI connector on the other. Or build that connector logic into an existing hot-pluggable SCSI storage array. Ultra high-speed storage is only a tiny plug away.

Thanks but I knew all that. I was referring to the daisy-chaining concept.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 02:52 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Rudy69 View Post
How come the official spec is for 1 display + 6 devices and the macbook pros and iMacs (maybe mac mini too?) can do 6 devices + 2 displays?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henriok View Post
It's probably because it's dual channel. 6+1 per channel. The second channel is probably all DisplayPort.
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Originally Posted by deconstruct60 View Post
No, it is 6 TB devices total on all the chains (implicitly the primary host comptuer makes the 7th). You can have a DP dangling on the end.

TB is an aggregator. You're not gonig to have lots of aggregators on a chain. One, they tend to be more expensive so not going to buy many. Two, if are expensive high bandwidth devices you'll run out of bandwidth.
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How is the 2 channel version going to work? No bi directional or no displayport?
All Thunderbolt ports and cables can carry 2 x 10 Gbps bidirectional channels. Each direction in each channel can carry data and/or display. There are two versions of the host controller, one that supports connections for 1 port (2 channels) and another that supports connections for 2 ports (4 channels).

Intel has been consistent with saying that the maximum number of devices than can be connected in a chain is 7. This makes sense if you think about it, the controller on the host PC being ID 0, and the attached devices IDs 1-7 (all very base 2). In addition to Thunderbolt devices, you are also allowed to attach native DisplayPort 1.1a displays, but they have to be the last device in the chain, because there is no way to attach another device to them to extend the chain. This would allow for one attached DP 1.1a display device where the host PC has one TB port, and two DP 1.1a display devices where the PC has two TB ports. Additionally, with the imminent arrival of the Apple Thunderbolt Display, you will be able to daisy chain up to two displays off of a single port.

This is where things become a bit sketchy with the available info, though. Intel's initial literature clearly states you can add "up to a total of 7 devices, 1 or 2 of which can be high-resolution DisplayPort v1.1a displays (depending on the controller configuration in the host PC)" This would seem to imply that regardless of the number of TB ports available on the host PC, each TB controller can only address 7 devices in total. What is not so clear from this statement is whether the limitation on attaching native DP 1.1a devices arises from the physical number of ports on the host PC, or instead from the number of DisplayPort connections the host PC can provide to the TB controller. In reality, it could potentially be limited by both. This also fails to address whether you could successfully connect 4 displays by using at least 2 ATDs to a host PC with a single 2 port Thunderbolt controller.

To further confuse things, this most recent slide states: "Daisy chain topologies - 6 Thunderbolt devices and 1 native DisplayPort display." If I had to guess, I'd reckon that this was merely provided as an example of a daisy chain that would work on any Thunderbolt enabled PC. I still believe that you could have 7 Thunderbolt devices (if you could find and afford them) connected in one chain without a DP display in the mix.

It would appear that there is not a lot of distinction at this point between the silicon used by host PCs and that being used by devices. (i.e. the chips are the same, man.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderbird View Post
So will the Thunderbird chip be native with Ivy Bridge?
No. Quoted from Anandtech: "While USB 3.0 will finally be integrated into the chipset, Thunderbolt will not. Intel clarified that the interface will be featured on some 2012 platforms but it wouldn't be on all and it won't be integrated into the chipset."

Quote:
Originally Posted by longofest View Post
Agree 100%. This opens the possibility of a user accidentally using a Mini DisplayPort cable instead of a Thunderbolt cable to try to connect a hard drive or whatever. Sure, there are markings on the cable, but markings often wear off. It's always best to change the physical connection (unless you are able to use the exact same physical wires, like from USB 1.1 to USB 2.0).
I pondered this as well, but then I came to the realization that the number of people who actually have a mini-DP male to mini-DP male cable kicking around in a draw somewhere represent such a small minority that this will probably never be a significant problem. I'm guessing Apple came to the same conclusion.

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Originally Posted by dernhelm View Post
If the only reason to produce fiber-optic cables is to get 10 meter lengths, with no speed increase, but a huge cost increase, I don't see the point. How many people are there out there really that are saying, "you know, I'd pay almost anything to have this thunderbolt enabled hard disk 10 meters away from me!".

Maybe there's demand I just don't see.

Up the speeds to 10x their current value, and you'll see lots of interested buyers, however. IMHO They should wait until the fiber-optic cables can get faster.
For people who would pay all outdoors for a Thunderbolt to 10 GbE or Fibre Channel adapter, or A/V pros with obscene budgets, there could be a good reason to put some distance between you and your Thunderbolt attached device. (I'm thinking research labs, data centers, movie sets, recording studios...) TB is not really about HDDs so much as it is about fringe applications.

Thunderbolt is currently limited by the back end, not the cable, and I don't think Intel wants to be too vocal about this point right now. (i.e. come out and say that the real bottleneck is DMI 2.0, the general lack of sufficient PCIe 2.0 lanes with current mainstream chipsets, or any shortcomings of their integrated HD graphics.)
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 03:02 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by dernhelm View Post
If the only reason to produce fiber-optic cables is to get 10 meter lengths, with no speed increase, but a huge cost increase, I don't see the point. How many people are there out there really that are saying, "you know, I'd pay almost anything to have this thunderbolt enabled hard disk 10 meters away from me!".
In " FW vs ...... (USB , etc. )" debates that would pop up there are often repeated examples of bands putting devices on stage and then doing long lenght runs back to a computer offstage. I suppose a MBA 11" could be hidden on stage and could use multiple computers but that's one if don't little the stage with laptops.

Some studios will put A/V capture equipment farther away from computers/laptops. Similar reasons don't want them in the "scene" ( either giving off ambient noise, fans, or just being trampled on, expensive to fix. )

Everyday users? No. Everyday users probalby couldn't afford it anyway since it will be expensive. Nor it particularly storage ( unless it is a much louder than the computer box. ) either.








Quote:
IMHO They should wait until the fiber-optic cables can get faster.
The optical cables are likely already faster. They can carry the light pulses switched on and off faster. It is more the matter of the TB controller being able to pump mode data over the short distance to the cables transceiver. Additionally, the transceiver in the cable has to get affordable for higher speeds. The fiber itself is likely ready.

Right now the TB controllers aren't as low as most vendors would like. So keeping the speed the same and making them less expensive is what folks want. Once it has a large market then can afford to tell folks their controllers are obsolete and need to buy new ones along with brand new $50 cables. That's likely not going to happen for at least 2 years.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 03:03 PM   #48
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[QUOTE=cult hero;13353048]USB has got to be the worst design for a connector ever as far as the shape. There's no easy way to see which way the thing should be inserted. I don't even care if it's Apple's standard that's adopted so long as it's a standard where I can simply look and see which way the cable should be inserted.QUOTE]

The USB connector has a visible metal shield wrapped around the contacts for protection and electromagnetic shielding. The seam on that shield is on the bottom. Once you see the shield, you simply position it's seam on the bottom and plug it in.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 03:04 PM   #49
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This is a terrible way to evaluate whether a new interface is worth adding to your system. If no one has Thunderbolt ports, why would companies start making a bunch of peripherals?

USB had the exact same problem, in fact. It was crawling until Apple ditched all its legacy ports and only stuck USB on the first iMac. People moaned about how crazy they were because of how hard it was to find simple mice and keyboards that used the new interface, but suddenly all kinds of companies were trying to fulfill that need.

The PC world would still be using PS/2 if Apple hadn't so hugely expanded the market.

In the case of Thunderbolt I don't see how people can even begin to complain. It's not even an extra port! I assume that even if Thunderbolt fails a ton of people will still make use of external displays through their mini DisplayPort.
I completely agree with you and maybe I am just frustrated to have this great port for no apparent personal use (got an display and don't need a raid drive). If Apple would have at least offered an adaptor at the same time THAN I can understand it. But putting it in there, offering ONE periphery device themselves only months later and otherwise hyper-expensive hardware doesn't cut it. At least provide adaptors FROM THE START so that the port is usable. Currently I lost a port.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 03:13 PM   #50
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I seriously wonder how many Mac users are currently benefitting from thunderbold? 1%? There is only a handful of devices out there and its not really growing very fast. Yes, there is a dock here and a disk there but compared to USB (which is granted around longer)...
Can you imagine being the very first person to be sold a fax machine? Every new technology has a tough startup period where it's use is restricted and limited because its use isn't widespread. Liscense costs will determine how successful it becomes.

Beta-Max was superior to VHS, HD-DVD was superior to Blu-Ray, Firewire was superior to USB. The better products didn't make it because all their liscensing fees were higher per unit than the winner. Let's see what intel does with thunderbolt to see if it wins over USB3 or any other technology.
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