To USB or Not to USB


Thunderbolt vs. USB 3.0 at IDF 2011

At IDF 2011, we saw a lot of new Thunderbolt peripherals. Mostly storage, but a few docking stations. I will post my pictures of those tomorrow.

It appears that Thunderbolt will remain a chip solution and the Innovator that created Thunderbolt will bring out cheaper chips according to Ars Technica.  Also, PC makers like ASUS and Acer may bring out Ultrabooks supporting Thunderbolt. I should point out that Ultrabooks are equivalent to MacBook Air and are more expensive than standard laptops by 50-70% or more.

This also looks to me like Thunderbolt will not be made available for SoC integration.

This means product makers can’t build their own IP (and IP providers like Synopsys can’t build it either) to bring costs down. 

This means Thunderbolt PCs and Peripherals will have an additional ~$25 (my marketing estimate) added to their selling price. This doesn’t mean a lot to people buying 30 inch Apple Cinema displays, but people buying portable hard drives tend to try to keep their purchases in the range of $100.

I truly believe that USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt complement each other. I’m going back to an blog entry I wrote in February “Thunderbolt vs. USB 3.0

Jason Ziller leads the strategic planning and marketing behind Thunderbolt.  He also launched USB 2.0 about 13 years ago.  Ziller talked to PC Magazine.

“Ziller, who was once chairman of the USB Implementor’s Forum, said that USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt were "complementary". "We don’t see this replacing USB," he said. ‘We see it as complementary to USB… Intel will fully support and work with that technology." See the article here.

(Apologies to Jason, there’s a typo in his last name in the original article in February)

Go back and look at that article on “Thunderbolt vs. USB 3.0”  and read “How about some facts about why Thunderbolt will not pass up USB 3.0?” for all the reasons why USB 3.0 will succeed now.

Thunderbolt will succeed in the near term for high end applications by users that can absorb the cost for storage devices. In the long term, docking stations and docking stations in monitors will drive mass adoption. (Pictures of current devices tomorrow).

As Windows 8 launches with USB 3.0 and the chipset makers launch with chipset support, we can be assured USB 3.0 will succeed with over 1 billion devices to be shipped in the next 2 years.

Thunderbolt and the Self Serving Marketing Guy

Yes, this is self serving, but I’m PMM of the USB 3.0 digital cores so what did you expect?

It doesn’t make me less right.

I like to be right once each month. We are already halfway through the month. So this could be it for me.

I’m now including lots of Hyperlinks back to my articles to:

  1. Increase my hits, so click away,
  2. Show some diligence, back up my wild claims
  3. Make it easier for you to find your way back to my articles, and the original sources on the internet without repeating everything over and over and over.  Let’s face it, no one wants to hear the sound of my voice that much.

I’m really regretting looking at those entries since I’ve finding lots of typos.

Thanks to those people that send me personal e-mails on my Kindle Review Blog Entry and Donuts.

This week: Pictures of ThunderBolt, Booting from a USB Drive with Windows To Go, and new USB Standards

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