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AMD releases DockPort promotional video

by Mark Tyson on 11 February 2014, 17:13

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacam5

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AMD has published a new video presentation showing off the capabilities and utility of the DockPort connection standard. The DockPort standard was drafted by both AMD and Texas Instruments and was first shown as a concept under the name of Lightning Bolt at CES 2012. At the recent CES 2014 DockPort was adopted as an official royalty free DisplayPort standard extension by VESA.

Display, data and power – in one connector

The emerging DockPort standard enables high-speed USB 3.0 data over existing DisplayPort connectors. A DockPort cable will also provide power transmission, enough to power and charge a laptop, for example. This combination provides a lot of functionality in one cable/ connector; "With just one inexpensive connector, users can now access power, a mouse, keyboard, external optical and hard disk drives, printers, gaming controller, and up to four external monitors. That’s a lot of capability from a single, standardized connector," explained Steve Belt, AMD’s corporate vice president of strategic alliances

The video shows AMD's Discovery Tablet reference design making use of the DockPort for many of its important functions. The port is used to power/charge the tablet and this same port on the tablet is used by the keyboard dock to connect to it and transform it into a 2-in-1 design. This emphasises the docking qualities of the port – as the docked tablet automatically reads the camera roll from a memory card inserted into the keyboard unit.

The AMD video also shows the ability of DockPort to daisy-chain and connect several component blocks to expand the computer including; a power brick, speakers, a HDMI out port, network sharing, multiple displays, a pair of USB ports and an SSD drive.

Wes Ray, systems and applications manager for Consumer and Computing Interfaces at TI said about the new standard; “As an open standard, DockPort will be readily available for designers to implement and more quickly deliver the convenience of a single connection in devices such as tablets, notebooks, docking stations and dongles.”

A cheap Thunderbolt?

One of the VESA directors, Craig Wiley, Sr. Director of Marketing for Parade Technologies, said that the DockPort connector, while backwardly compatible with DisplayPort devices, offers functionality similar to Thunderbolt connectors. "We expect the DockPort feature will appear in main-stream products since its performance is tailored for standard connectors and passive cables," said Wiley. The lack of royalty payments required for controllers and use of passive cables should make DockPort cheaper and more accessible than Thunderbolt and help adoption of the standard after it is finalised in H2 this year.



HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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Uh oh. A new standard. Reminds me of this:

https://xkcd.com/927/



“Fortunately, the charging one has been solved now that we've all standardized on mini-USB. Or is it micro-USB? ****.”
I actually prefer this over thunderbolt… thundebolt parts are still very expensive and don't even work properly with windows yet.

This would be a really good add on a for a monitor for a laptop where the monitor has all the peripherals plugged in (most are usb these days) along with a built in ‘laptop psu’ and then you just plug this one cable that both sends the image to the screen and charges the laptop. Most of us do similar already with usb hubs built into screens, this just removes 2 cables and a power brick…
OMG, Such a bad idea. So you'll have cheap peripherals that will look as if they have thunderbolt connections (Which is a standard port on literally millions of machines) but they won't work if you plug them into said thunderbolt ports, because they'll actually just be USB 3.0 devices. Of course they'll also need a standard USB 3.0 socket as well so they can be used on devices without a DockPort.

And then you'll have devices with Lightning Bolt / Dockport connection which won't accept thunderbolt devices or a lighting cable?

Brilliant. Way to go AMD. Intel / Apple come up with a really powerful PCIe / Displayport connection (Thunderbolt) but it's not cheap enough so you copy the idea but replace super fast PCIe with USB 3.0.

So how may devices are out with DockPort? Pardon, I didn't hear you… why did you cough into your hand? Okay, I know it's early days so how many are scheduled to come out????? Hey Mr AMD man, why you walk out of room? How many companies do you have on board?…. I'm talking to myself here.

It's doomed I say. Doomed.
Cabling is now sold under a similar premise to printer cartridges.
Jenny_Y8S
OMG, Such a bad idea. So you'll have cheap peripherals that will look as if they have thunderbolt connections (Which is a standard port on literally millions of machines) but they won't work if you plug them into said thunderbolt ports, because they'll actually just be USB 3.0 devices. Of course they'll also need a standard USB 3.0 socket as well so they can be used on devices without a DockPort.

And then you'll have devices with Lightning Bolt / Dockport connection which won't accept thunderbolt devices or a lighting cable?

Brilliant. Way to go AMD. Intel / Apple come up with a really powerful PCIe / Displayport connection (Thunderbolt) but it's not cheap enough so you copy the idea but replace super fast PCIe with USB 3.0.

So how may devices are out with DockPort? Pardon, I didn't hear you… why did you cough into your hand? Okay, I know it's early days so how many are scheduled to come out????? Hey Mr AMD man, why you walk out of room? How many companies do you have on board?…. I'm talking to myself here.

It's doomed I say. Doomed.

Cheap peripherals will continue to have a USB socket. That is kind of the point.

I don't understand your point on confusing connectors, perhaps Intel should not have abused a standard connector when they had no intention of submitting what they were doing as a VESA standard. AMD did, so this isn't connector abuse, it is the standard connector: http://anandtech.com/show/7649/dockport-adopted-as-official-extension-to-displayport-standard

I think Charlie did a good analysis of this: http://semiaccurate.com/2013/08/05/ti-comes-out-with-dockport-silicon/