AMD promo video pimps the DockPort standard

Many moons ago (actually just over two years), AMD took us into a back room of its CES mega-booth and showed us Lightning Bolt, a high-speed interface designed to compete with Intel’s Thunderbolt.

Today, Lightning Bolt has a new name, DockPort, and there’s a snazzy YouTube video touting its benefits. Take a look:

As Geoff reported last month, DockPort is more than just an AMD thing: it’s now a bona-fide extension to the DisplayPort spec. It allows DisplayPort cables to carry USB 3.0 connectivity and power alongside display signals, and as the video above shows, it supports Mini DisplayPort connectors.

Perhaps more importantly, both the DisplayPort standard and the DockPort extension are royalty-free. We’ve been told that DockPort should be cheaper to implement than Thunderbolt and that it will work over passive cables, which should  cost less than their Thunderbolt brethren.

Considering how slow Thunderbolt has been to penetrate the market—and how friggin’ expensive Thunderbolt cables are—I do hope we see DockPort catch on in the future. It may not carry PCI Express connectivity like Thunderbolt does, but few devices need that kind of bandwidth. I’d say power delivery is a more valuable feature for the majority of users. (Thanks to Hexus for the link.)

Comments closed
    • Star Brood
    • 6 years ago

    Do we know if this will contain the 100w power delivery spec?

    • Deanjo
    • 6 years ago

    Can you boot an installed windows from an external drive with it?

      • ferdinandh
      • 6 years ago

      It is a Displayport + USB 3.0 cable. So can Windows 8 boot from usb yet?

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        Nope, guess I’ll have to still use Thunderbolt then.

          • Krogoth
          • 6 years ago

          Booting has nothing to due with the interface. It is a limitation of Microsoft’s implementation of secure boot UEFI for Windows 8. IMO, it is more like preventing “piracy” with whole infamous Vista/7 USB drive backdoor. They don’t care about Thunderbolt since its market is too small and cost of entry makes potential piracy tricks a moot point at this time.

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    Hey, look at 1:20 in the video. Isn’t that Thief 4? Oh yeah! Can’t wait to play it on my AMD FX!

    • Takeshi7
    • 6 years ago

    It seems like a cool concept, but it also seems like AMD is 10 years too late to come up with the Apple Display Connector, which did the same thing.

    • Bensam123
    • 6 years ago

    Yup…

    • Meadows
    • 6 years ago

    That’s pretty much the worst synth-pop I’ve ever heard. Ever.

      • Grigory
      • 6 years ago

      I think you are forgetting something:

      [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNyG-xu-7SQ[/url<] (Then again, it may not be "synth-pop". I have no idea about these classifications.)

        • derFunkenstein
        • 6 years ago

        I see absolutely nothing wrong with that song.

        • DarkMikaru
        • 6 years ago

        LMAO..totally forgot about that one. How bout this… its actually kinda catchy.

        [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uwhthaUDeY[/url<] Now that we can jam to! 😉

        • Meadows
        • 6 years ago

        That would have been better, actually.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    Bandwidth is important. Display port standards are some of the best but can they support 4K@60mhz yet?

      • willmore
      • 6 years ago

      Looks like it’s going to roll out at the same time as DP 1.3 which does support that resolution and frame rate (in 3D, even). So, if they use both DP 1.3 and DockPort, yes?

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 6 years ago

        Impressive! Annoyingly 4K TV’s on the market at this moment don’t support display port 1.2 or 1.3

      • Voldenuit
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]Bandwidth is important. Display port standards are some of the best but can they support 4K@60mhz yet?[/quote<] 60 MHz? No. 60 Hz 4K? DP1.2 can do it now with MST 'tricks'. Requires compatible monitor. DP1.3 should be able to do 4K @ 120 Hz and 8K at 30 Hz. By comparison, HDMI 2.0 is limited to 4K @ 60Hz, and still has licensing fees.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 6 years ago

        sorry, typo on the mhz. thanks.

        HDMI 2 is simply not out there, lol. The monitors on the market don’t have ports that support it, lol

        • JosiahBradley
        • 6 years ago

        DP 1.2 isn’t doing the MST trick, that’s the Display itself. DP 1.2 already supports the full bandwidth needed, but the display needs a controller board capable of the high bandwidth as well.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 6 years ago

    If this leads to SoC support, Thunderbolt has a problem. It’s still not even integrated into Intel’s own southbridges!

    While that was not an issue in pre-ultrabook 2011, it is a brick wall in “post-PC” 2014+.

    Since DisplayPort and PCIe are already integrated in every laptop CPU, and laptops only require a few USB ports with shrinking silicon real estate, the writing is on the wall.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 6 years ago

    Take a look at the Youtube comments:

    “Heeey, not bad… but why the hell did they have to go for their own plug? USB 3.0 is out there, its working, and its fast!”

    “Come on….. you can do better than this. Why you always follow others technology? Let more R&D like Intel and nVidia. Make a different!”

    “This is a joke right? USB is universally in use…”

      • bthylafh
      • 6 years ago

      What possessed you to read Youtube comments and then expect them to be intelligent?

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 6 years ago

        “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

          • brucethemoose
          • 6 years ago

          Except for Yahoo! Answers.

            • NeoForever
            • 6 years ago

            Ehh.. it’s debatable.

        • UnfriendlyFire
        • 6 years ago

        It’s interesting at how many people upvoted those three comments.

    • Chrispy_
    • 6 years ago

    Royalty-free
    Uses existing connectors

    Oh yes.

      • the
      • 6 years ago

      But it does require a new cable. Apparently one pin has been repurposed.

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        ? Tell me more

        • Chrispy_
        • 6 years ago

        Meh, it’s still a passive cable so I’m happy.
        Screw you, Thunderbolt.

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        Seriously; I’m interested to learn more about this. I thought DockPort was going to be supporting all existing DP cables. Do you have a link to some more info..?

    • Voldenuit
    • 6 years ago

    The good news is that this works over standard displayport cables.

    That’s good news.

    Thank goodness we don’t have a third cable spec using the displayport/mini-DP connector. I’m frankly surprised that USB passthrough wasn’t already in the displayport spec, but oh well, better late than never.

    • Sahrin
    • 6 years ago

    It seems like this is coming out at the worst time, given the imminent release of the new reversible USB connector.

    What’s interesting is, it seems like it’s only a matter of time until USB gets the “Express” treatment like SATA did. At that point, we’ll have to see how long Intel holds back the new nHCI to protect their Thunderbolt sales.

    • anotherengineer
    • 6 years ago

    Waiting for AMD to pimp some new awesome CPU architecture…………………

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………[breathe]……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    • maxxcool
    • 6 years ago

    Now with MANTLE and 8.2 kittens!

    • NeoForever
    • 6 years ago

    Finally! AMD hired a marketing team!
    They could’ve used better music though.

      • crabjokeman
      • 6 years ago

      They’re too busy rebranding RadeonHD 8000 chips to pick good music.

      • ronch
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]They could've used better music though.[/quote<] It's sexy and exciting. AMD's marketers love it!

    • Flatland_Spider
    • 6 years ago

    How is Thunderbolt and DockPort even remotely the same thing?

    One is an external PCIe connection, and the other is an extension to Displayport which does nothing to address the limitations of the current technology (USB) or improve on anything besides cable count.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      You’re right, it is a little silly. I think the big “controversy” is because one use of Thunderbolt is for hooking up monitors, and Dockport does that too so now they are “competing” or something.

      For the monitor-specific use-case, Dockport looks to be a nicer solution, but I’m not going to hookup my SAN to my system using Dockport either, so you should use the best tool for the job.

        • kfleszar
        • 6 years ago

        Dockport vs thunderbolt might play out similarly to usb vs firewire. While the latter was superior, somehow the former got much more adoption.

          • bthylafh
          • 6 years ago

          Firewire died for two reasons:

          1) Apple insisted on charging a royalty for much of its early life, hampering adoption, and
          2) It was an “active” port, requiring more complex (read: expensive) electronics to implement.

          Contrariwise, USB was royalty-free and was as cheap as possible while still being superior to serial, parallel, and PS/2 ports.

            • Bauxite
            • 6 years ago

            USB is [b<]not[/b<] always a superior bus to serial, parallel or PS2. Easy example: PS2 keyboards are superior to USB versions when doing their core keyboard functions.

            • bthylafh
            • 6 years ago

            Only if you need more than 6-key rollover, which most people don’t. There’s nothing else PS/2 does better than USB for keyboards.

            • Bauxite
            • 6 years ago

            Interrupt, when it counts PS2 can respond, USB is just screwed.

            Saved many screwed up servers when local console can still try to fix things.

            • bthylafh
            • 6 years ago

            Only if you’ve got a keyboard permanently attached to the server. PS/2 “hotplug” works sometimes, but it’s not part of the spec and isn’t reliable. I’d imagine most rackmount servers use a KVM these days, so that’s an advantage only in a minority of cases.

            • UnfriendlyFire
            • 6 years ago

            And yet MS dropped support for PS2 ports…

            • XTF
            • 6 years ago

            When / where?

            • Sahrin
            • 6 years ago

            In what way?

            • Bauxite
            • 6 years ago

            USB was cheap, easy, and good enough. It knew it was a mass market interface and didn’t pretend to be anything else.

            Firewire was Apple. Sony loved it too which is rarely a good thing.

            Thunderbolt is Intel [b<]and[/b<] Apple. QED

      • Sahrin
      • 6 years ago

      You’re confused because Intel appears to have paid you to support their ridiculously expensive proprietary solution.

      Dockport is a competitor to TB because it is capable of essentially the same feature set.

    • sweatshopking
    • 6 years ago

    this thing looks great. MUCH more useful than thunderbolt. it’s a way better implementation and setup. Well done AMD. I haven’t said that in a while.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 6 years ago

      oh, look at you. mr thumbs up. 🙂

        • brucethemoose
        • 6 years ago

        Saying positive, AMD-related things gets you bonus thumbs.

          • LostCat
          • 6 years ago

          Been a long time since there were any to say.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 6 years ago

          I can’t sit here and let you do this to SSK. I object! -1 to you, sir, and you’d better like it.

            • brucethemoose
            • 6 years ago

            [i<] *takes off glove*[/i<]

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This