Thunderbolt vs Lightpeak. Who will win?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mark28, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. mark28 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    The first PC laptop with Light Peak is coming, the new Sony Z. It's called Light Peak and not Thunderbolt.

    So if Apple will only use Thunderbolt, but PC laptops will use Lightpeak, who's going to win the battle?

    From what I understand, Light Peak has a different port and supports also USB 3.0
     
  2. omar4578 macrumors regular

    omar4578

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    #2
    Supports 3.0?!? we're ****ed...

    damn thunderbold, make an adapter to support 3.0 and for sure we win...
     
  3. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    #3
    That's weird, could've sworn they were the same thing......
     
  4. The Mad Mule macrumors regular

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    #4
    Nope, still boned. Who would want to carry around a Thunderbolt-to-USB adapter wherever they go? Apple will just say "Use the USB 2.0 port until we come out with the next model that has USB 3.0 *and* Thunderbolt."
     
  5. mark28 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    I just read that the Light Peak Sony has Optical so it could be faster. They will also ship an external GPU too.
     
  6. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

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    Then yeah, Apple did jip us with a "watered down" Light Peak. I wonder if eGPU solutions a la Thunderbolt would even be possible.
     
  7. Icy1007 macrumors 65816

    Icy1007

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    #7
    Sony's "solution" is proprietary. Only Sony PCs will have it. Just like Sony has their own version of FireWire, aka iLink. Also it's not optical if it is compatible with USB 3.0.
     
  8. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #8
    This was essentially covered in this front page article

    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/27/example-of-an-external-dock-and-gpu-over-thunderbolt-technology/

    From Sony's page:

    And further down

    So it is optical and it is compatible with USB 3.0
     
  9. mark28 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    So it can only be used by Sony, just like TB can only be used on Apple laptops.

    Seems 2011 is the victory of USB 3.0. Why would a 3rd party vendor make hardware for TB or Light Peak when they can only be used on a limited number of laptops. :confused:

    Maybe 2012 will be better when Intel comes with perhaps a universal "light peak"
     
  10. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #10
    Sony's implementation can only work on a sony. However there is nothing stopping others from using Intel's implementation, which is what apple use.
     
  11. superericla macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Thunderbolt isn't Apple only. Apple just got a head start in implementing Thunderbolt.
     
  12. mark28 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    The original Light Peak developed by Intel also used a USB interface with optical, just like Sony Z uses now. So you can say they implemented the original Light Peak from Intel.

    But it's going to be bad if everybody will come with their own version or flavor.
     
  13. bigjobby macrumors 65816

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  14. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #14
    I seem to remember the USB standards group having a right whinge about people using their connector for non-USB implementations.

    Boohoo. Looks like everyone's going to be doing it. Except Apple obviously, think proprietary!
     
  15. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #15

    That is correct, however there was reports that the USB standards group didn't want the port to be used for it. So Intel moved to the mini display port.

    Sony themsleves claim their implementation is proprietary. Intel's implementation, which is what apple use, will be the route this goes down.

    Sony just wanted to make sure their dock can not be used with other computers and to upsell with their laptops (makes sense from their point of view).
     
  16. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

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    #16
    They're the exact same thing. Lightpeak was the code name for the technology, Thunderbolt is the official name. Sony's implementation (true to their MO) uses a proprietary connector, forcing it to be incompatible with other PCs - not just Macs. This is the same company that pushed ATRAC and Minidisc over MP3 and CD-R, after all.

    As far as the optical vs copper argument goes, there's essentially two options for lightpeak: optical without power, and copper with power. Most manufacturers are adopting the copper approach, which is what Apple is using. At the very least, there are upcoming machines from both Lenovo and HP that will use the same design as Apple.

    Another point to make on the optical front: because Thunderbolt/Lightpeak externalizes the PCI Express bus, you could theoretically connect any peripheral you want to it. In the case of Sony, the optical cable itself isn't USB 3.0 compatible, but there's chips in their dock that can translate to/from USB 2.0/3.0. Either way, this is a prime example of Sony's ego getting in the way of true interoperability standards.
     
  17. mark28 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Sony is doing a few things right. For example:

    Thunderbolt = minidisplay interface
    Lightpeak = usb interface

    I actually like the Lightpeak idea more, because then you have an extra usuable USB port instead of a mini display connector ( which I never use ). So if you never use Lightpeak, you can use it as an extra USB port without having to buy some kind of conversion kit from minidisplay --> USB.

    On a MBP it won't a make a difference though, because there is no room for a 3rd USB port even if the mini display was removed on the 15" MBP.

    No powered optical is a big disadvantage anyway.
     
  18. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #18
    Note that sony aren't calling it Lightpeak. They refer to it as either "proprietary port " or "docking station/usb port"

    They said based on Lightpeak but if they were to market it under lightpeak I am sure Intel lawyer's would have something to say about it.
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #19
    Exactly. Sony only said that the port uses technology based on Intel's Light Peak technology but the actual port has an ugly name (currently it's docking station/USB port like you said).

    There is no original Light Peak. The pre-Thunderbolt connectors were prototypes, not finished products. Light Peak is/was the name of the project, Thunderbolt is the name of the actual finished interface which uses mDP connector.
     
  20. islanders macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I doubt they will paint themselves into a corner again but we will have to wait and see. Also if they do away with FireWire to make the body more like the Airs will they become more difficult for someone like me to repair and upgrade? Is target disk mode supported? To me these were the advantages of having a Mac or two.
     

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