Intel Reportedly Shipping New Thunderbolt Controllers Ahead of April 23 Ivy Bridge Introduction

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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
  2. PBP
    macrumors 6502


    May 13, 2011
  3. macrumors 6502

    iThink Apple

    Aug 27, 2011
    Does it mean that they are coming sooner? Can't wait for the new 13"
  4. macrumors 6502


    Aug 6, 2006
    Greenwich, CT
  5. macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2002
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    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.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2010
    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.
  7. macrumors 6502

    iThink Apple

    Aug 27, 2011
    Summer meaning Early or late summer?
  8. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    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?
  9. macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2012
  10. macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    Oh yay. Maybe I will be getting my first MacBook sooner than I anticipated.
  11. macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    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.
  12. macrumors 603


    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.

  13. macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    Usually the same day.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    Once affordable devices that use Thunderbolt are produced then I will care.
  15. macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2011
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011
    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!
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    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.
  18. macrumors 68040

    Jun 12, 2005
    External GPU's are a bit way ahead. Can't do that with 10mbit TB. Need around 200Mbit for that.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I guess the Mac Pro will follow the Mac mini's disappearance that people talked about for years.
  20. Guest

    Mar 29, 2012
    I bet Mac Pro is going to be the first updated Mac they release this year.
  21. macrumors 68000

    Mar 5, 2012
    Central California
  22. macrumors 68020


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    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."
  23. Mal
    macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    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.

  24. macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    Thunderbolt has proved to be super useful so far :rolleyes: Maybe this update will make Safari snappier?
  25. Exhale, Apr 12, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2011
    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.

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