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AMD shows off Lightning Bolt interface at CES

Taking a leaf from Intels naming handbook, AMD has shown off a new interface that is able to transfer power, display and USB 3.0 connectivity through a single cable.

Intels combi-cable system, Thunderbolt, previous combined PCIExpress and display port technology into a single cable, though AMD’s new Lightning Bolt seems to eclipse that somewhat. Anandtech has it that laptops using the newly unveiled AMD Trinity chip – the high end APU replacement for LLanno A8 – will use a mini-displayport connector for use as a Lightning Bolt port.

The setup will work with a single cable coming from the Trinity notebook, connecting it to a Lightning Bolt dock. From there users connect an AC adapter to the mains, as well as any USB 3.0 devices and an external monitor if you so wish.

While interfaces like this are certainly space saving and make it easier for manufacturers to make smaller devices the cost can sometimes be driven up. Fortunately Lightning bolt purportedly costs only $1, so shouldn’t impact the uptake of the new port.

However, there are some limitations to power and data rates; understandably so since you’re sending data, visuals and power down the same cable. No word on how limiting these will be at the moment, but AMD did say that the data rates would be faster than USB 2.0, but not full speed USB 3.0.