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AMD comes up with Lightning Bolt

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Low cost Thunderbolt alternative

Since there were a lot of products at CES that had something to do with Intel's Thunderbolt it is no wonder that AMD decided to shed some light on its Lightning Bolt alternative concept.

Basically, the AMD Lightning Bolt is a sort of cheap Thunderbolt alternative that delivers USB 3.0, DisplayPort and Power over a single cable with mini-DisplayPort connectors. The cable looks like a standard mini-DP cable but with a slight change in two of the pins. The entire concept, which was by the way demonstrated live at CES according to Anand, has been designed to be simple and affordable.

AMD designed a so called mux on the notebook side that combines power, Displayport and USB 3.0 into a single output that plugs into Lightning Bolt dock. According to AMD, the implementation of the mux is easy and should cost a single dollar. There are still couple of unknowns, like the actual bandwidth of the USB 3.0 over Lightning Bolt or the amount of power available, but AMD did claim it will be faster than USB 2.0 but not at full speed.

According to, Lightning Bolt won't be ready for Trinity launch sometime in the middle of the year, but it could appear on the market by the end of the year.

You can find more info here.

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Last modified on 13 January 2012
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