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Old Apr 12, 2012, 09:54 AM   #1
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Intel Reportedly Shipping New Thunderbolt Controllers Ahead of April 23 Ivy Bridge Introduction




VR-Zone reports that Intel has begun shipping its second-generation Thunderbolt controller chip, known as "Cactus Ridge". As previously discussed, Cactus Ridge will arrive in both four-channel (DSL3510) and two-channel (DSL3310) versions, offering Apple a pair of options for including the new chips in its forthcoming products.
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Another aspect that makes the DSL3510 interesting is that it supports multiple internal DisplayPort inputs. What this means is that it could in theory interface with a discrete graphics card as well as the integrated graphics from an Intel CPU. This is likely to be the chip used by Apple in its desktop systems, whereas the more power efficient DSL3310 will end up in notebook products.



The arrival of the new Thunderbolt chips lines up nicely with Intel's Ivy Bridge processors to set the stage for updates to a number Apple's Mac lines. Previous reports have indicated that the first batch of quad-core desktop and mobile Ivy Bridge chips appropriate for Macs should be arriving on April 29, with an announcement coming in the week prior to that date.

Digitimes now claims that the announcement will take place on April 23, with a number of PC manufacturers lined up and ready to launch systems using the new processors. The report points to PC vendors being ready to release new ultrabooks beginning in May, but previous reports had claimed that the lower-voltage chips likely to make their way into the more compact machines won't be launching until early June.

Article Link: Intel Reportedly Shipping New Thunderbolt Controllers Ahead of April 23 Ivy Bridge Introduction
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:00 AM   #2
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New Mac's incoming
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:02 AM   #3
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New Mac's incoming
Does it mean that they are coming sooner? Can't wait for the new 13"
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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Bohica!!!

I'm thrilled, BTW
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:04 AM   #5
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This seems to solve the question I've had concerning a Mac Pro with a discrete GPU on a expansion card. I guess a new Mac Pro will be able to pipe the graphics back to the motherboard through the TB controller and out the back.. That way you won't need a TB controller on the graphics board itself, or an integrated GPU on the mobo just to guarantee that the Mac Pro have graphics enabled TB even if you change the graphics card.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:06 AM   #6
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Maybe Intel is ready to ship slightly ahead of schedule. Hard to tell whether this means slightly earlier Macs though. They may be looking to align these new desktops and laptops with the release of Mountain Lion, which is announced for "summer". Especially if the timeframe between their earliest ship dates for these computers and the new OS version ends up being just around one month or so. Makes more of a bang if they can announce a new OS X along with new Macs.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:08 AM   #7
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Maybe Intel is ready to ship slightly ahead of schedule. Hard to tell whether this means slightly earlier Macs though. They may be looking to align these new desktops and laptops with the release of Mountain Lion, which is announced for "summer". Especially if the timeframe between their earliest ship dates for these computers and the new OS version ends up being just around one month or so. Makes more of a bang if they can announce a new OS X along with new Macs.
Summer meaning Early or late summer?
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:08 AM   #8
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So if Apple announce a new iMac on the 23rd how soon can I buy one? Also will they have the full range of options available at launch or just some?
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:10 AM   #9
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:11 AM   #10
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Oh yay. Maybe I will be getting my first MacBook sooner than I anticipated.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:16 AM   #11
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the tread functionality is to add to the discussion, not to tell us when you last jerked-off to the thought of a new mac.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:17 AM   #12
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Here's what I don't get. Why isn't the Cactus Ridge 4C the ONLY chip vendors want to use so you can daisy chain everything? To me the next generation of devices have a couple of end user advantages. Easier implementation of multiple screens so you can have a data display and a media display fro the same one box you own, whether it is a laptop or a desktop. We seem to not be there yet for any handtop. Also high speed I/O is finally real and on all such devices. Hopefully we will see Thunderbolt as the new replacement for the 30 pin connector as I speculated in a recent post. That will be the physical device portion of the coming convergence of iOS and OSX.

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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:18 AM   #13
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So if Apple announce a new iMac on the 23rd how soon can I buy one? Also will they have the full range of options available at launch or just some?
Usually the same day.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:24 AM   #14
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Once affordable devices that use Thunderbolt are produced then I will care.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:25 AM   #15
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i wonder how the battery life will be
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:25 AM   #16
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Enough with the games, Intel! You've been teasing us with this sexy technology for over a year now.

I demand some cheaper cords, external GPUs, more affordable external hard drives, and developer kits delivered to third-parties so the industry as a whole can benefit from these super-awesome thunderbolt speeds!
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:36 AM   #17
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Hopefully we'll find out soon what the fate of the Mac Pro is. I think there were rumours that Apple was waiting for updated Thunderbolt before refreshing the Mac Pro workstation perhaps for the last time.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bungiefan89 View Post
Enough with the games, Intel! You've been teasing us with this sexy technology for over a year now.

I demand some cheaper cords, external GPUs, more affordable external hard drives, and developer kits delivered to third-parties so the industry as a whole can benefit from these super-awesome thunderbolt speeds!
External GPU's are a bit way ahead. Can't do that with 10mbit TB. Need around 200Mbit for that.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:40 AM   #19
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Hopefully we'll find out soon what the fate of the Mac Pro is. I think there were rumours that Apple was waiting for updated Thunderbolt before refreshing the Mac Pro workstation perhaps for the last time.
I guess the Mac Pro will follow the Mac mini's disappearance that people talked about for years.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:41 AM   #20
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I bet Mac Pro is going to be the first updated Mac they release this year.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:41 AM   #21
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:43 AM   #22
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i wonder how the battery life will be
Looks like the new ones are slightly lower power hungry than the old ones so should have a slightly longer battery life.

I'm just hoping that the use PCI-E 3.0 instead of 2.0. Should make it faster. Before anyone says "But but but but there no devices out that take advantage of it yet!" Just remember the famous quote from Field of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come."
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:44 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Henriok View Post
This seems to solve the question I've had concerning a Mac Pro with a discrete GPU on a expansion card. I guess a new Mac Pro will be able to pipe the graphics back to the motherboard through the TB controller and out the back.. That way you won't need a TB controller on the graphics board itself, or an integrated GPU on the mobo just to guarantee that the Mac Pro have graphics enabled TB even if you change the graphics card.
It does appear that way. I don't know why you got downvoted, btw, because I think part of Apple's delay in releasing a new Mac Pro may be related to this problem exactly. Unlike far too many here, I don't expect Apple to drop the Mac Pro, though lengthy update timeframes are probably going to be the norm.

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Old Apr 12, 2012, 10:53 AM   #24
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Thunderbolt has proved to be super useful so far Maybe this update will make Safari snappier?
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 11:00 AM   #25
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Here's what I don't get. Why isn't the Cactus Ridge 4C the ONLY chip vendors want to use so you can daisy chain everything?
More expensive, many devices can't daisy chain, many devices are cumbersome to daisy-chain. On the device side, you're working with extremely tight wattages most of the time - and +2W is an absolute killer. (Thats probably between 10-20% of the iPad3 total consumption)

Also on the computer side, the higher PCI-e cost puts further restrictions on other expansion capabilities which could block internal SATA controllers, wi-fi cards, bluetooth cards, additional (more potent) soundcards, extra ethernet ports, and extra USB or Firewire ports.

Assuming the machine has a discrete card, you only have 8x lanes to use for 'extras' with an Intel based motherboard (e.g. Z68 or the upcoming Z77) - and normally several of those will already be in use on a standard motherboard. In fact, the Revodrive 3 (high-speed consumer SSD) would probably not be able to operate at full speed on a typical system equipped with a 4C controller - due to insufficient lane availability. Even better SSDs like the Intel 920 would be virtually guaranteed to be choked.

The lane limit is not so much of a problem on Enthusiast/Enterprise class boards, but Thunderbolt devices themselves are kind of in the Enthusiast/Enterprise price range.

Last edited by Exhale; Apr 12, 2012 at 11:14 AM.
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