HP dismisses Intel's Thunderbolt in favor of USB 3.0

By on May 18, 2011, 6:00 AM

Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest PC manufacturer, is not impressed with Intel's Thunderbolt interconnect. The company has declared that it will not use it in new desktop PCs, and will instead stick with USB 3.0 because of wider support, at least for the foreseeable future.

"We did look at [Thunderbolt]. We're still looking into it. Haven't found a value proposition yet," Xavier Lauwaert, worldwide marketing manager for desktops at HP, told PC World. "On the PC side, everybody seems to be content with the expansion of USB 3.0. Do we need to go into more fancy solutions? Not convinced yet."

Earlier this week, HP announced three new series of desktop PCs: the Pavilion Elite h8, the Pavilion p7, and the Pavilion Slimline s5. The first one can be configured to include two USB 3.0 ports.

Thunderbolt is Intel's high-speed interconnect that can transfer data between host computers and external devices such as displays and storage devices at speeds of up to 10Gbps. The technology has been viewed as an alternative to USB 3.0, although many devices based on the interconnect are not yet available and Intel insists the two are complementary. Intel developed Thunderbolt with Apple, which is offering the interface in its new iMacs, but Sony has also said it is backing the technology.

Intel's latest 32nm Sandy Bridge processors only support USB 2.0, but Ivy Bridge, which will be manufactured using a 22nm process, will come with USB 3.0. There has been speculation that Intel delayed supporting USB 3.0 in order to push Thunderbolt. Last month, however, Intel began urging developers to target both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.

Intel plans to open up Thunderbolt development this quarter, and is also working with partners to develop products with the goal of building an ecosystem around the interconnect. It's still unclear whether Thunderbolt will catch on, but given how much pull Intel has in the industry, we doubt it will fail.




User Comments: 19

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Guest said:

The fact that Intel developed Thunderbolt with Apple makes Thunderbolt more repulsive, since Apple is the most repulsive company out there, makes you puke.

Guest said:

"Intel's latest 32nm Sandy Bridge processors only support USB 2.0"

Did you guys even attempt to do any fact checking? There are plenty of Sandy Bridge based laptops and motherboards out that have USB 3.0. Just look at this Intel reference P67 board.

http://www.intel.com/products/desktop/motherboards/db-DP67BG
DP67BG-overview.htm

"with SuperSpeed USB 3.0"

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

I'll admit that HP did something smart by going with USB 3.0

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Good!

slamscaper slamscaper said:

Guest said:

"Intel's latest 32nm Sandy Bridge processors only support USB 2.0"

Did you guys even attempt to do any fact checking? There are plenty of Sandy Bridge based laptops and motherboards out that have USB 3.0. Just look at this Intel reference P67 board.

[link]

"with SuperSpeed USB 3.0"

They're talking about native USB 3.0 support via the core logic chipset. P67\H67 doesn't natively support USB 3.0, so motherboards based on these chipsets must use an external controller (usually developed by NEC) to provide USB 3.0 support.

Heck, there are X58 motherboards with USB 3.0 ports (once again, provided via an external controller). However, like P67\H67, X58 does not natively support USB 3.0.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Well yeah HP is globally known for innovation and setting the pace for the future of technology...

And as slamscaper said I also don't believe Intel currently supports USB 3.0 natively, from what I've read they intend to add support this year.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

And as slamscaper said I also don't believe Intel currently supports USB 3.0 natively, from what I've read they intend to add support this year.

That is correct; same with AMD though they may actually adopt it natively before Intel but we have to see if this is true in their Bulldozer release.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

People don't want to have to deal with yet another format war. USB won. Thunderbolt is going to have to be so amazing that people are going to want to abandon USB in its favor.

"PC" manufacturers don't have the luxury of its customers lapping up everything that is served them, your average computer user is just going to want to make sure that everything they have plugs into the new computer.

Guest said:

I really hate the current situation with USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt all floating around at the same time, we were finally getting away from having a dozen different ports and now we're slipping back into those days. It would help if Intel and AMD just replaced the USB 2.0 logic with 3.0 ones entirely, rather than insisting on having both in their chipsets, I don't see why having both is necessary when USB 3.0 is backward compatible.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

I really hate the current situation with USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt all floating around at the same time, we were finally getting away from having a dozen different ports and now we're slipping back into those days. It would help if Intel and AMD just replaced the USB 2.0 logic with 3.0 ones entirely, rather than insisting on having both in their chipsets, I don't see why having both is necessary when USB 3.0 is backward compatible.

What is it with Guests on this story? Read the comments above!

They don't have both in their chipsets, its the motherboard manufacturers adding a USB3.0 compatible chip onto the boards.

AMD and Intel do NOT support USB3.0 on their chipsets yet.

Guest said:

I read those and did think maybe I should have made myself clearer, but though it was pretty obvious what I was talking about... I'm aware of the current chipsets lack of USB 3.0 support and the fact they use third party controllers, I mean the upcoming ones, e.g. Panther Point, which is apparently going to have 14 USB 2.0 ports and 4 USB 3.0 ones, why not just make them all USB 3.0 since we can still use USB 2.0 devices with USB 3.0 ports? I have to admit I don't follow AMD's chipsets as much, but I assume it's a similar deal.

Guest said:

Speed of USB 3.0 is enough to connect any device...

and 6 USB ports (for example 3 x 3.0 + 3 x 2.0) are enough too...

Who needs more ???

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

Speed of USB 3.0 is enough to connect any device...

and 6 USB ports (for example 3 x 3.0 + 3 x 2.0) are enough too...

Who needs more ???

No it's not enough. Unfortunately your idea that you're usage is the representation of everyone is incorrect.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Well yeah HP is globally known for innovation and setting the pace for the future of technology...

The undoubted "oracle" of the tech world for sure. I for one wait with baited breath for every HP pronouncement.

It's forward thinking tech and the amazing outsourced-to-Kyrgyzstan support that keep me coming back to Hewlett-Packard

Mamoon69 said:

""Intel delayed supporting USB 3.0 in order to push Thunderbolt"" ???

Intel is delaying support for it's Matrix RAID SATA-3 controller which -once supported- would remove a bottleneck from high-speed SSD drives like OCZ Vertex 3. Or, may be Intel have other plans for Matrix RAID SATA-3 ???

Cota Cota said:

USB 3.0 - 5 Gbit/s /8/1024/1024 = 596 MBs (however it cant reach all that speed, ~440MB/s is common)

Thunderbolt - 10 Gbit/s /8/1024/1024 = 1192 MBs (Apple says it reaches 746 MB/s read 864 MB/s Write)

The OCZ-VERTEX3 MI wich is the fastest SSD in the market (yes rite now) manages a top peak speed of 501 MB/s meaning that USB 3.0 is in fact VERY capable of keeping the best transfer device we have, so why do we need TB? or are you gona buy 2 or 3 OCZ-VERTEX3 MI, RAID them and and put it external?

One thing is to push technology forward but another thing is to push all technology forward so it can keep up all together, HP is rite since theres no actual need of TB atm.

Guest said:

The motherboards may support it, but NONE of Intel's chipsets do. I think that was the point.

Guest said:

You guys aren't quiet getting it...

Thunderbolt can encapsulate all of your USB 1.x/2.0/3.0, eSATA, and video traffic. It has two independent buses making it four times faster than USB 3.0 (this doesn't even take into account that USB 3.0 cannot produce throughputs near it's 5Gb theoretical maximum).

Thunderbolt should be thought of as a external PCIe expansion that can also carry video.

...it doesn't surprise me that HP passed...

Guest said:

This is good news, now where are the USB 3.0 graphic tablets, printers and Webcams we have been awaiting to arrive in the US marketplace?

JR

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