Intel Seeks to Develop Standardized Thunderbolt Docking System for 2012 Ultrabooks
The folks over at VR-Zone
are reporting that Intel is quietly working on developing a standard docking format for their upcoming Ultrabook platform. The new docking system is said to incorporate a Thunderbolt connector as well as what appears to be proprietary connector along with it. The proprietary port is speculated to be used as power as well as direct access for the Ethernet controller, which is currently required to support technologies such as Intel vPro and Microsoft’s Connected Standby.
Apple’s solution to the whole ordeal is much simpler. Their Thunderbolt Cinema Display offers a single cable which splits into a Thunderbolt cable and a Magsafe power cable. The Thunderbolt cable here carries USB 3.0, FireWire 800, Ethernet, and Video from your laptop to the monitor. Intel’s proposal doesn’t have a separate non-Thunderbolt docking connector, which means it likely won’t be directly supported on the MacBook. Any major adoption of the Thunderbolt technology though will only help industry acceptance and the proliferation of more accessories.
Intel in the meantime continues to aggressively push forward the concept of an Ultrabook which bears close resemblance to Apple’s MacBook Air. This makes sense as the MacBook Air has experienced quite a bit of success since it's introduction and recently the Air accounted for 28%
of the company's notebook units in the U.S, up from 8% in June. It is continually that Ultrabooks are expected to be the hottest product at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show 2012 (CES 2012), which takes place in January. Implementation of technology such as this would help the industry move forward into using the technology much sooner.