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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 107
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member

    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.

  • Reply 2 of 107

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

  • Reply 3 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.
  • Reply 4 of 107
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    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.

  • Reply 5 of 107
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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?
  • Reply 6 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.
  • Reply 7 of 107
    40GB? And it still won't unseat the king of PC-land: USB 3!
  • Reply 8 of 107
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    40GB? And it still won't unseat the king of PC-land: USB 3!

    You know it's not designed to, right?
  • Reply 9 of 107
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    How lame is USB starting to look.
  • Reply 10 of 107
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    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.

  • Reply 11 of 107
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    new connector



    NO. WHY. NO.

  • Reply 12 of 107
    solipsismx wrote: »
    You know it's not designed to, right?

    Yes.
  • Reply 13 of 107
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    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?

  • Reply 14 of 107
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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.

  • Reply 15 of 107
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    konqerror wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 107
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member
    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.

  • Reply 17 of 107
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post



    How lame is USB starting to look.

    starting?

  • Reply 18 of 107
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member
    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.

  • Reply 19 of 107
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,100member
    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.

  • Reply 20 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?

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