Example of an External Dock and GPU Over Thunderbolt Technology

external
Sony just announced a new ultra-thin 13.1" notebook that integrates Thunderbolt in a unique way. Sony is offering a "Power Media Dock" which is an expansion module that connects to the laptop via an optical cable.

Featuring high-speed I/O data transfer based on the architecture codenamed ‘Light Peak’, Power Media Dock boosts graphics performance while adding numerous extra connectivity options. It includes an optical drive for even greater business productivity and satisfying HD entertainment. The module comes supplied with a stylish design-matched stand.

The notebook itself only contains an Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU, while the external dock contains an AMD Radeon HD 6650M with 1GB of Video RAM. This allows the computer to gain extra graphics capabilities when connected to the dock. The dock can drive up to 3 additional displays beyond the notebook's own screen. As noted by ThisisMyNext, Sony's solution seems to be proprietary and based around a USB 3.0 connector as previously reported.

The possibility of such an external GPU has been discussed many times on our forums, and Sonnet previously announced an external PCIe 2.0 expansion chassis that would allow customers to add PCI expansion cards over Thunderbolt. It has been pointed out however that Thunderbolt's available bandwidth is much lower than required by high end video cards, so this will only help in certain scenarios. Still, this shows some possibilities for expansion docking products for the MacBook Air or Mac mini after they get upgraded to Thunderbolt.

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Top Rated Comments

arn Avatar
170 months ago
Funny... I got tweeted this article before it was up on the webpage... Refreshed it a few times.

Why the hell are they using a USB connector? Are they trying to cause problems?

You'd think Sony would have learned its lesson by now with all these proprietary formats and connectors.

arn
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dreamworks21 Avatar
170 months ago
In related news, hackers around the globe announced they're eagerly awaiting everything Sony will release.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LarryC Avatar
170 months ago
This is great. Hopefully, apple will do something similar with the air.

You'd think Sony would have learned its lesson by now with all these proprietary formats and connectors.

arn
Are they any worse about that than apple is? I'm not trying to be a smarta$$, I'm really asking. The same has been said about apple.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
170 months ago
Are they any worse about that than apple is? I'm not trying to be a smarta$$, I'm really asking. The same has been said about apple.

I think Apple has learned its lesson for the most part. I mean compared to early Apple? Apple is doing great using relatively standard connectors for most things.

And you can't even compare it to Sony. Sony who designs a new memory stick format for every device (I'm only exaggerating a little).

arn
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chip NoVaMac Avatar
170 months ago
If Apple were to do the same it would answer the needs of some of us. Would love a MBA that is simple for on the go... and more powerful when at home...
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hotcocoa Avatar
170 months ago
I'm really curious what Apple has planned for the next version of the Cinema Display.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)