AMD downplays Intel's Thunderbolt due to low bandwidth

By on March 3, 2011, 10:23 AM
AMD is not impressed with Intel's Thunderbolt since its bandwidth can be easily outstripped using a combination of existing standards. As a result, the company believes that the technology will become another proprietary standard and may not be widely adopted.

"Existing standards offer remarkable connectivity and together far exceed the 10Gb/s peak bandwidth of Thunderbolt. These solutions meet and exceed the bandwidth utilization of many peripherals," an AMD spokesperson told Xbit Labs. "The DisplayPort1.2 standard offers up to 17Gb/s of peak bandwidth for displays. [...] Many AMD-based platforms support USB 3.0 which offers 4.8Gb/s of peak bandwidth, AMD natively supports SATA 6Gb/s with our 8-series chipsets. [Meanwhile], the total bandwidth stated for a Thunderbolt channel is only 20% higher than one PCI Express 3.0 lane and about 52% higher than a single USB 3.0 port. Employing Thunderbolt in the DisplayPort connector implementation decreases the bandwidth available for DisplayPort reducing the bandwidth available for various multi-display configurations. Consumers generally benefit by having standard, high-speed ports available on their mobile devices. Proprietary ports, or the requirement of a dongle to employ those industry-standard ports may be an obstacle to consumers having the full computing experience at home or on the road."

Currently there is an overall lack of devices that can take advantage of Thunderbolt, though Intel is working hard to change this. Does AMD have a point, or is it just worried?


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