- Apr 12, 2001
VR-Zone reports that Intel is quietly working on developing a standard docking format for their upcoming Ultrabook platform. The new docking system would incorporate a Thunderbolt connector as well as what appears to be a proprietary connector as well.
The non-Thunderbolt port would reportedly be used for power as well as direct access for the Ethernet controller which is required to support technologies such as Intel vPro and Microsoft's Connected Standby.
Apple's own solution has been much simpler. Their Thunderbolt Cinema Display offers a single cable which splits into a Thunderbolt cable and a Magsafe power cable. The Thunderbolt cable carries USB 2.0, FireWire 800, Ethernet, and Video from your laptop to the monitor.
Unfortunately, that separate non-Thunderbolt docking connector in Intel's proposal would likely prevent it from being directly supported on the Mac. Still, any major adoption of Thunderbolt technology can only help industry acceptance and the proliferation of more accessories. Belkin has already announced their own Thunderbolt docking solution which works much like Apple's display.
Intel is aggressively pushing forward the concept of the Ultrabook which bears a close resemblance to Apple's MacBook Air. Ultrabooks are expected to be the hot product at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 which takes place in January.
Article Link: Intel Working on Standardized Thunderbolt Docking System for PCs