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Intel's next-gen Thunderbolt rumored to hit 40Gbps transfer speeds with new connector

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 
In a purported presentation slide leaked to the Web on Monday, Intel outlines its next-generation Thunderbolt specification -- "Alpine Ridge" -- that will boast double the throughput of current Thunderbolt 2 interface, while bringing massive gains in power efficiency.


Source: VR Zone


According to the supposedly leaked slide published by Chinese tech blog VR Zone, Intel is looking to significantly boost Thunderbolt's specs and compatibility with the next-gen product, while reducing power consumption for ultraportable computers.

As seen in the image above, Alpine Ridge will feature a new design capable of handling transfer rates up to 40 gigabits per second, double that of the current "Falcon Ridge" controller. Users will be able to pipe data through DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.0 and HDMI 2.0. Also supported is generation three of the speedy PCIe bus.

On the power side, consumption will supposedly be decreased by 50 percent, while a new form factor connector brings 100 watts of charging power over a single cable. The next-generation plug is to be about 3mm thick and "facilitates increased bandwidth." Adapters will be available for backward compatibility.

The purported slide notes two connector types will be introduced in a dual port connector for daisy chaining and a single port version.

Assuming the slide is correct, Alpine Ridge will see release in 2015 alongside a new CPU dubbed "Skylake."
post #2 of 107

We don't need 40 GBps, what we need is more Thunderbolt products, more affordable Thunderbolt products and Thunderbolt should have been reversible from day one.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 107

Imagine if instead of this, Intel announced a new $5 Thunderbolt cables and dirt cheap licensing. How excited would you be then?

post #4 of 107
Right now Thunderbolt is like a drug that cures cancer but no one can afford and is generally unavailable. Part of good engineering of a spec is to make sure that it is practical. Intel has totally failed on that front.
post #5 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
 

We don't need 40 GBps, what we need is more Thunderbolt products, more affordable Thunderbolt products and Thunderbolt should have been reversible from day one.

Yet another armchair quarterback professing to be speaking for "us." Wrong. There's always room and need for more speed. It will be affordable to those who need it. And it doesn't need to be reversible like a charging cord, because, in many cases, it won't have to be connected/disconnected very often.

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post #6 of 107
1) What can 100W reasonably power?

2) Is this 20Gib/s in each direction with an aggregate of 40GiB/s or 40Gib/s in each direction with an aggregate of 40Gib/s?

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post #7 of 107
Skylake is two processor generations away. Broadwell comes first and isn't due until Q4 '14 at the earliest. So I'd be really surprised if Skylake appears before 2016.

Skylake also supports PCI-E 4.0. So it's a bit odd or disapointing that this generation of Thunderbol wouldn't want to be paired with that.
post #8 of 107
40GB? And it still won't unseat the king of PC-land: USB 3!

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post #9 of 107
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

40GB? And it still won't unseat the king of PC-land: USB 3!

You know it's not designed to, right?

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post #10 of 107
How lame is USB starting to look.
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #11 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) What can 100W reasonably power?

 

100% of all Apple laptops, given the max power brick is 85 W.

post #12 of 107
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

new connector


NO. WHY. NO.

post #13 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You know it's not designed to, right?

Yes.

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post #14 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

NO. WHY. NO.

 

No problem if it's backwards compatible, especially since it says so right there. USB 3.0 was such a disaster with its new connector design, huh?

post #15 of 107
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

USB 3.0 was such a disaster with its new connector design, huh?

 

It was. Because USB 3-B, A-micro, and B-micro aren’t backward compatible.

post #16 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

No problem if it's backwards compatible. USB 3.0 was such a disaster with its new connector design, huh?

There is a difference. USB 2.0 can plug into USB 3.0 ports so it's physically backwards compatible. This will be electronically backwards compatible, like FW400 and FW800, but the port will need an adapter to work. It's unfortunately, but not a deal breaker, especially considering what's it's used for and the length of time between the original port the when the new port will reasonably find its way to Macs. We've had display adapter changes that were much more frequent.

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post #17 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
 

We don't need 40 GBps, what we need is more Thunderbolt products, more affordable Thunderbolt products and Thunderbolt should have been reversible from day one.

If you read about the last ces and macworld about 50% of the show was people showing off new thunderbolt products.  Thunderbolt is picking up in a big way in just the last six months and will continue to do so.  It is an amazingly fast  peripheral connection bus and it is gaining a lot of ground.  Even more pc motherboard manufacturers are now starting to support it.

post #18 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

How lame is USB starting to look.

starting?

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post #19 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

Right now Thunderbolt is like a drug that cures cancer but no one can afford and is generally unavailable. Part of good engineering of a spec is to make sure that it is practical. Intel has totally failed on that front.

and you understand nothing about thunderbolt.  You do understand that the cables cost what they do because they carry all of the firmware and hardware to make it work right?  Those cables are not just wire.  There are microprocessors in both ends.  And they have come down in price. $20 per 3 meter cable at last check from $49 to $29.

post #20 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

40GB? And it still won't unseat the king of PC-land: USB 3!

I read this as being a bit of sarcasm but I think you're right, PC users will stick with USB because they don't know any better and it's good enough for them (cheap hardware throughout). As we all know, PCs are only used for non-creative things so they can exist with slower peripheral speeds.

post #21 of 107
Quote:
You do understand that the cables cost what they do because they carry all of the firmware and hardware to make it work right?  Those cables are not just wire.  There are microprocessors in both ends.

Yes of course I understand why the cables are so expensive. That is why Thunderbolt is an impractical design. I was at the IDF show when Intel first showed off Thunderbolt. Back then the plug looked like a standard USB but it carried an optical cable. There was no expensive processor on each end of the cable. Unfortunately the design was broken so they had to hack together the processors in both connectors of a copper cable. Ask yourself why those processors could not have been in the plugs instead of the cable connectors? Why doesn't USB 3 or 3.1 need processors in its cables?

post #22 of 107


Quote:
Originally posted by konquerror

100% of all Apple laptops, given the max power brick is 85 W.



And with that, the Thunderbolt display as docking station becomes even more elegant.
post #23 of 107
I'm just going to say what most everyone is likely thinking.

Screw your stupid thunderbolt connector, your stupid expensive technology that mostly no one uses, that is going to change connectors yet again and then likely be bested or "good enough"ed by USB4. Stop wasting your time developing a standard that no one wants to implement.

Better sucks if it costs too much or just isn't available.

Ahhhhhhh. Now. How's that FireWire 1600 or 3200 coming along?
post #24 of 107
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
There is a difference. USB 2.0 can plug into USB 3.0 ports so it's physically backwards compatible. This will be electronically backwards compatible, like FW400 and FW800, but the port will need an adapter to work. It's unfortunately, but not a deal breaker, especially considering what's it's used for and the length of time between the original port the when the new port will reasonably find its way to Macs. We've had display adapter changes that were much more frequent.

 

Okay, so with this new whatever, Thunderbolt will be able to carry power, video, audio, and generic data across it, correct?

 

*sigh* I guess I’m okay with it, then. Because NOW we won’t need another port change. Ever.

post #25 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) What can 100W reasonably power?
100 watts is a lot of power. Consider some of the following:
  1. a 100 watt light build is a pretty huge light bulb. The common size (back in the old days) was a 60 watt bulb.
  2. a very large number of laptop power supplies run in the 65 - 85 watt size.
  3. there is 740 watts in a horse power so this would be about 1/7 horse power.
  4. SSD's can idle in the .3 to 10 watt range, you could power a whole solid state disk array from this port.
  5. You could reasonably power a LCD display or TV off 100 watts. I suspect this is a real goal as you could run one cable to a display to support the display, USB ports for input devices and maybe even a port for a USB based CDROM drive.
  6. AMD's newest Jaguar cores run at 25 watts so if you add a memory and the few support chips required you could run an entire computer off one of these ports.
  7. a 100 watt soldering iron is one big iron! In the electronics world you would likely be using a 35 watt iron.

In any event a boring list and frankly it does make you wonder what the rational behind 100 watts is. I'm leaning towards the idea that they want to run the computers LCD display with a single cable.
Quote:

2) Is this 20Gib/s in each direction with an aggregate of 40GiB/s or 40Gib/s in each direction with an aggregate of 40Gib/s?

Wouldn't that last one be 80Bb/s aggregate?

Either way it would be a considerable step forward if they can get this ready by 2015. Of course for the Mac Pro we would need a new CPU chip set to really keep up properly. The other problem becomes how does a Mac Pro even come close to supplying 100 watts per port? Even if the power is limited to 100 watts per controller that would still be 300 watts of power. Makes you wonder is Apple will adopt the full spec.
post #26 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, so with this new whatever, Thunderbolt will be able to carry power, video, audio, and generic data across it, correct?

*sigh* I guess I’m okay with it, then. Because NOW we won’t need another port change. Ever.

Hopefully not. The FW400 port interface was a pro choice because they didn't make it future-fowward enough, but TB might the alright we're talking 4-6 years before we start seeing it in Apple products. Remember when Apple changed display connectors every couple years? This is the display connector which just happens to do a bunch of other cool stuff, isn't replacing USB, and any devices you have with the then old connector will work with an adapter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Wouldn't that last one be 80Bb/s aggregate?

Perhaps I worded that incorrectly.

TB2 is 20Gib/s in either direction but the total for both directions is still only 20Gib/s. TB1 was 10GiB in each direction but an aggregate of 20Gib/s. I'm wondering if the TB3(?) will use the same "lane reversal" as TB2 or go back to the strict paths of TB1.

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post #27 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

Yes of course I understand why the cables are so expensive.
Apparently you don't!!!
Quote:
That is why Thunderbolt is an impractical design. I was at the IDF show when Intel first showed off Thunderbolt. Back then the plug looked like a standard USB but it carried an optical cable. There was no expensive processor on each end of the cable.
The so called processor, matches the port to the cable which in effect is a transmission line. By putting the chip in the cable it allows for low cost ports that can easily support both copper and fiber optic lines.
Quote:
Unfortunately the design was broken so they had to hack together the processors in both connectors of a copper cable.
It isn't a hack it is innovation!!!😋😋 Pretty smart innovation and frankly follows techniques used in some data centers. It really is advanced technology moved into the consumer space.
Quote:
Ask yourself why those processors could not have been in the plugs instead of the cable connectors? Why doesn't USB 3 or 3.1 need processors in its cables?

Really it is simple. This approach allows the use of either optical or copper cable as the use demands. Beyond that the chip can be tailored to the specifics of the copper cable. Moving data along at the rates these chips operate at is not childs play, it takes real engineering that frankly is pretty advanced technology.
post #28 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Apparently you don't!!!
The so called processor, matches the port to the cable which in effect is a transmission line. By putting the chip in the cable it allows for low cost ports
Boy, that's really worked out well.
post #29 of 107
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post
Boy, that's really worked out well.

 

Do you have evidence to suggest it hasn’t? What’s the per unit cost for a Thunderbolt port?

post #30 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post

Boy, that's really worked out well.

Relatively speaking it is.

Check out this 2-port 16Gibps fibre channel over PCIe: http://www.amazon.com/Brocade-1860-Fabric-Adapter-transceiver/dp/B00JQM6688/

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post #31 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Do you have evidence to suggest it hasn’t?
The fact that almost all Thunderbolt devices are priced right out of the market, being so expensive that they make FireWire look cheap?

The fact that Thunderbolt's daisy-chaining feature is all but destroyed, since the most popular device controller is the cheaper one with only 1 port on it?
post #32 of 107

We have always knew Next Gen TB will get double the speed with PCI-E 4.0, but the confirmation of using Skylake basically means there wont be PCI-E 4.0 on Broadwell Xeon.

 

And what's the big deal about backward compatibility? Getting a thinner connector with faster speed and 100W power delivery is a major innovation. One that i hope will be future proof when 4K is mainstream and the pros moving to 8K.

 

The only thing i want is rather this come sooner rather then later.

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post #33 of 107
Yea all these 2160P (4K) HDTVs and content needs are driving a new wave of technologies... Still haven't heard a peep from Apple about H.265 (HEVC) support in OS X...
post #34 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

Still haven't heard a peep from Apple about H.265 (HEVC) support in OS X...

And you won't until they can offer a HW option to make the decoding (and possibly encoding) easier on your system.

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post #35 of 107
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post
The fact that almost all Thunderbolt devices are priced right out of the market

 

Sounds far more like you’re just not in the market.

 
…since the most popular device controller is the cheaper one with only 1 port on it? 

 

This needs to be disallowed under penalty of revocation of certification. People aren’t stupid, as much as some of them would have us believe. If you want daisy chaining, you’ll buy the products that actually daisy chain. It’s pretty simple to get.

post #36 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Sounds far more like you’re just not in the market.
How typical for you. All personal attacks, no actual substance.

How well have TB devices been selling lately?
Quote:
This needs to be disallowed under penalty of revocation of certification. People aren’t stupid, as much as some of them would have us believe.
Intel sells controllers that drive just 1 port. It's intended behavior. Do you think they're going to revoke their own certification?

For Thunderbolt 2, for example, Intel sells two controllers. One drives two ports and is more expensive. The other one drives one port and is (relatively, of course) cheaper. The second one is, naturally, the most popular, since it makes devices only crazy expensive instead of super-turbo-atomic-insane expensive.

Using Thunderbolt is supposed to make it impossible for you to have an external monitor. It's nuts, but that's how they designed it. There's no way to set up a star topology, either.
Quote:
If you want daisy chaining, you’ll buy the products that actually daisy chain. It’s pretty simple to get.
If you're in the market for Thunderbolt devices, and you've never come across a Thunderbolt product that looked like what you needed, but had only one port on it without any two-port equivalent, frankly, I don't believe you.
post #37 of 107
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post
How typical for you. All personal attacks, no actual substance.

 

YEP! It’s a personal attack to suggest that something isn’t designed to meet your needs.

 
Intel sells controllers that drive just 1 port.

 

Doesn’t matter unless they sell accessories that only have one port.

 
It's intended behavior.

 

Sounds like daisy chaining is the intended behavior. No, wait, sounds like using the product how it suits the user is the intended behavior. But daisy chaining should be on all external boxes.

 
Using Thunderbolt is supposed to make it impossible for you to have an external monitor.

 

YEAH. That sure explains why Apple explicitly makes a Thunderbolt Display.

post #38 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

YEP! It’s a personal attack to suggest that something isn’t designed to meet your needs.
Here's a hint: was this discussion about my personal needs, or was it about the viability of Thunderbolt as a standard? Are those the same discussion?
Quote:
Doesn’t matter unless they sell accessories that only have one port.
WTF? Intel doesn't sell Thunderbolt accessories. They do sell the chips that you put into Thunderbolt accessories. And they specifically sell one whose purpose is to let you make accessories with only one port in them. I'm not sure how much more explicit I can get than that. It used to be called "Port Ridge" but now it goes by a plain old model number, and it's a really popular (well, relative to Thunderbolt as a standard) controller.
Quote:
Sounds like daisy chaining is the intended behavior. No, wait, sounds like using the product how it suits the user is the intended behavior. But daisy chaining should be on all external boxes.
If that were intended, Intel wouldn't sell a chipset for use in external boxes that have only one port.

If I'm trying to prohibit you from doing X, selling you a chipset that's explicitly meant to allow you to do X would be pretty stupid, wouldn't it?


Quote:
YEAH. That sure explains why Apple explicitly makes a Thunderbolt Display.
Because no one would ever want to buy a display other than Apple's. No one ever would want a 4K monitor, for instance. Or would want to avoid spending hundreds on a TB dock with shitty USB 2.0 ports on it. Or would want to buy a monitor that will still be usable after TB dies.
post #39 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post

WTF? Intel doesn't sell Thunderbolt accessories. They do sell the chips that you put into Thunderbolt accessories. And they specifically sell one for putting into accessories with only one port in them. I'm not sure how much more explicit I can get than that. It used to be called "Port Ridge" but now it goes by a plain old model number, and it's a really popular (well, relative to Thunderbolt as a standard) controller.

A daisy chain will always have two ends and those ends don't need to have two ports that are connected. In fact, I don't think Macs can be in the middle of any chain. This means that one TB controller can be perfectly find for many uses, including peripherals as it can help reduce cost on certain products The chipset doesn't mean it can't have multiple chips in a product. If you find a vendor is too limiting then chose another vendor. If you need something more extensive for the daisy chaining of multiple TB devices you can choose to buy those. As always it's up to the buyer to choose what is going to suit their needs best.

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post #40 of 107
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post
Here's a hint: was this discussion about my personal needs, or was it about the viability of Thunderbolt as a standard?

 

Your personal needs. Don’t you dare even try to question that.

 
WTF? Intel doesn't sell Thunderbolt accessories. 

 

So your point is meaningless and has nothing to do with what we’re discussing.

 
Because no one would ever want to buy a display other than Apple's. 

 

Thanks for moving the goalposts. Anything else you want to pretend you didn’t initially claim?

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