updated 04:10 pm EDT, Tue May 17, 2011
Sony ultraportable to get Thunderbolt
An upcoming Sony Vaio ultraportable notebook may implement Intel's 10Gbps Thunderbolt technology in the form of a Type-A USB jack, rather than Apple's Mini DisplayPort connector for the same interface. This is not official, but comes from a 'trusted source,' according to Engadget. The so-called Ultimate Mobile PC that hosts Thunderbolt is likely the same one seen in the past.
While a hybrid USB 3.0 connector with an optical interface and electrical connection was demonstrated by Intel, it was done in a prototype. Since then, the USB Implementers Forum mentioned that USB connectors are not designed for use in support of other technology applications or standards, including combo connectors. It is possible Sony licensed its own implementation with the USB Forum, however.
The official Thunderbolt spec was created as a collaboration between Apple and Intel and relies on Mini DisplayPort. The official connector is also capable of sending video data, making it a more attractive proposition than this proposed USB combo port.