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.

Top Rated Comments

arn Avatar
132 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
132 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
132 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$$, I'm really asking. The same has been said about apple.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
132 months ago
Are they any worse about that than apple is? I'm not trying to be a smarta$$, 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
132 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
132 months ago
I'm really curious what Apple has planned for the next version of the Cinema Display.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
iPad Pro Feature Magenta

Mac Otakara: iPad Air 5 to Feature iPad Pro-Like Design, No Design Changes Coming to iPad Mini 6 or iPad 9

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:06 am PDT by
The next-generation iPad Air will feature a design that's similar to the third-generation iPad Pro, according to Japanese site Mac Otakara. Citing a Chinese supplier, the site says that the fifth-generation iPad Air will continue to feature a 10.9-inch display and a Touch ID button on the side, but it will gain a dual-lens camera system with Wide and Ultra Wide cameras. A LiDAR Scanner is ...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...