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AMD Unveils ‘Lightning Bolt’ Interface to Challenge Intel’s Thunderbolt I/O

AMD Unveils ‘Lightning Bolt’ Interface to Challenge Intel’s Thunderbolt I/O

It’s taken a while, but Intel’s Thunderbolt interface is finally starting to gain some ground, with a whole host of Thunderbolt devices unveiled at CES 2012. Not to be left out, AMD showed off their own competing interface at CES, which they call ‘Lightning Bolt.’

As The Verge reports, AMD’s Lightning Bolt combines USB 3.0 and DisplayPort 1.2, and is designed to deliver data, power, and uncompressed video using a single connection. According to AMD, the Lightning Bolt interface can drive up to four monitors simultaneously. Unfortunately, resolution drops with each display you add, so it can really only power two 1080p displays in addition to the built-in display on your laptop.

The name is certainly anything but subtle, but is Lightning Bolt really the competitor to Thunderbolt that AMD wants it to be? It certainly has less available bandwidth than Thunderbolt,  and can only power low-voltage devices, and the fact that it uses the same Mini DisplayPort connector may only continue to confuse customers about which products will and won’t work with their machines.

Lightning Bolt is still in the very early stages, and the company didn’t allow any photographs to be taken of their demo. There are no details on when this might become available, or how a final version might be different than their prototype.

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