Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,975
19,821



Intel today at Computex 2015 unveiled Thunderbolt 3 with a USB Type-C connector, instead of Mini DisplayPort, and support for USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2 and PCI Express 3.0, as outlined by Ars Technica. The new spec's Thunderbolt transport layer provides up to 40Gbps throughput, double the max bandwidth of Thunderbolt 2, alongside an optional 100 watts of power for charging devices in accordance with the USB Power Delivery spec, or 15 watts of power without USB PD.
"Thunderbolt 3 is backed by Intel's new Alpine Ridge controller. USB 3.1 support is provided by integrating a USB 3.1 host controller into Alpine Ridge. There will be two flavours of the controller, one that uses four PCIe 3.0 lanes to drive two Thunderbolt ports, and another version that only uses two PCIe lanes connected to a single Thunderbolt port."
Thunderbolt-3-Intel-800x450.jpg

Thunderbolt 3 is capable of driving up to two 4K external displays at 60Hz or a single 5K display at 60Hz running off a single cable. Dell and other manufacturers currently use a dual-cable solution for most 4K and 5K external displays, since the current DisplayPort/Thunderbolt spec does not provide enough bandwidth to drive the high-resolution monitors. Thunderbolt 3 also supports more protocols than any other I/O controller, making it compatible with virtually any dock, device or display.

Intel expects initial products with Thunderbolt 3 to start shipping before the end of this year, and ramp up in 2016. Thunderbolt 3 is rumored to launch alongside Intel's next-generation Skylake chips, succeeding the Broadwell line, later this year, and the new spec could theoretically be included in Skylake-based Macs that could possibly be released in late 2015. Refreshed Macs would likely gain USB-C ports integrated with Thunderbolt 3 as an all-in-one solution.

Article Link: Intel Announces Thunderbolt 3 With USB-C, Single-Cable Support for Dual 4K Displays at 60Hz
 

CausticPuppy

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2012
1,483
18
As long as peripherals stay at ridiculous prices thunderbolt has no chance

Now that it shares the plug with USB, you can use a less expensive USB-3 peripheral, unless you specifically need the speed of Thunderbolt.

Cables will be cheaper as well.

Now suddenly the Macbook makes more sense. Not because the Macbook supports thunderbolt 3 (it doesn't) but it shows why Apple shifted to a single port type, and now I would expect the next Macbook Pro models to feature only USB-C ports for charging, thunderbolt 3, and everything else.
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,109
76
Solon, OH
First of all, moving Thunderbolt to USB was inevitable with the advent of USB type C and USB 3.1's alternate stream support. Secondly, why? Thunderbolt sure is cool, but seems destined for niche uses. Finally, I wonder if this means we'll see 8K displays in the not-so-distant future; Intel's Skylake platform and Thunderbolt 3 should be more than enough to drive such things.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,163
1,139
Montreal, Canada
Great.

The concept of USB-C as as single cable has always been attractive but the tech just wasn't there for power users (e.g. not enough bandwidth to use a high-res display, or transfer files while using a display).

Now this really feels like a no-compromise unified cable. Use it with an accessory, with a display, for power, whatever. We'll have a couple of those on the next rMBP redesign and be free to plug any device in any port (i.e. either plug the power supply on the left side or right side of your laptop).
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,395
Glad I didn't move for a new 15" MPB. Hopefully Apple will release a "late 2015" model w/ this. So I guess this is the true beginning of the end for displayport? Maybe Apple will push out a new Cinema Display now. The current one is so long in the tooth it's not even a viable option at its current price IMHO.
 

keifer.street

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2013
135
182
Neat. 40Gb/sec (5GB/sec). All through a USB-C cable.

We can offically transfer data faster with external I/O cables than we can physically write it to any known hard drive.

Even the new PCI-E 3.0 bus SSD drives can't write data that fast.

This will be great for high end cameras, monitors and any thing that 'streams' data, but it will have limited benefit for speeds when transferring 'persistent' data as the HD bus speed/write speed is now the bottleneck.
 

smiddlehurst

macrumors 65816
Jun 5, 2007
1,228
30
As long as peripherals stay at ridiculous prices thunderbolt has no chance
Except that Thunderbolt is never really going to be a 'for the masses' product. USB 3 (and now 3.1) offers enough bandwidth via a nice cheap passive cable to fill pretty much every mass market need on a peripheral. Thunderbolt is there for those users who need a lot more speed or need to make use of the daisy chain functionality and don't mind (or, at least, don't have a better option than) paying for the privilege.

Talking of which there's another bit of this announcement MR missed out - the introduction of a passive cable. Doesn't allow access to the full 40Gbps, just 20Gbps, but it'll help bring the cost down a bit and that's still quick enough for all current TB devices.
 

BuCkDoG

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2013
642
260
Ok so after seeing this announcement, I am now officially waiting for next years rMBP. It will come with Skylakes upgraded CPU's and upgraded iGPUs plus it should come with hopefully a much better dGPU with maybe 14 nm which would be the newest architecture change in almost 3 years. :)
 

dannys1

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2007
3,297
5,884
UK
I can't wait for this - the stuff we'll be able to do with Raid Arrays and SSD's with Thunderbolt 3 is frighteningly exciting.

For those moaning about price - well the more consumer facing USB-3.1 is for you, Thunderbolt is for professionally, I myself couldn't operate my entire business without it now and I use it for data transfer, networking and disk storage on a daily basis.
 

dannys1

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2007
3,297
5,884
UK
Ok so after seeing this announcement, I am now officially waiting for next years rMBP. It will come with Skylakes upgraded CPU's and upgraded iGPUs plus it should come with hopefully a much better dGPU with maybe 14 nm which would be the newest architecture change in almost 3 years. :)

Or just buy this years and sell it when next years comes out - its going to cost you all of about $15 a month in depreciation and you get a years use!
 

EnesM

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2015
447
246
Surprised 5K with one cable wasn't mentioned.

TB3 and HDMI 2.0 are both on the way and worth waiting for.

It was mentioned, read again. What was NOT mentioned was HDMI 2.0a, which is worrying. Intel's Alpine Ridge controller was supposed to support it. But on that graph I see all technologies except HDMI :((

Does that mean HDMI won't run through USB-C port?
 
  • Like
Reactions: mrxak
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.