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.)