Intel Looks to Broaden Thunderbolt 3 Adoption by Integrating Into Future CPUs, Eliminating Royalties

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 24, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Intel today announced that it plans to drive large-scale mainstream adoption of Thunderbolt by releasing the protocol's specification to the industry next year under a nonexclusive, royalty-free license.


    The move should help expand the Thunderbolt ecosystem by making the protocol more affordable for technology companies and accessory makers alike. Intel expects third-party Thunderbolt-compatible chip development to accelerate a wide range of new devices and user experiences.

    Intel also revealed plans to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into its future CPUs, but it didn't provide a timeline as to when. The all-in-one design will take up less space on a Mac or PC's logic board, and reduce power consumption by eliminating the need for a standalone Thunderbolt controller.
    Intel said Thunderbolt 3 built into the processor could pave the way for thinner and lighter devices, although the current Thunderbolt 3 controller used in Apple's latest MacBook Pro has a package size of 10.7mm×10.7mm, so any logic board space saved would likely be negligible.

    The greater benefit will likely come from Thunderbolt 3's increased power efficiency, paving the way for longer battery life.

    Thunderbolt 3 carries power, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA over a single port that shares the USB-C connector design, creating one standard for connecting most accessories and peripherals. Apple's latest MacBook Pro has two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports depending on the model.

    Thunderbolt 3 can transfer data at speeds up to 40Gbps, allowing for a full 4K movie to be transferred in less than 30 seconds. The interface is suitable for 4K virtual reality experiences on PCs, high-end gaming, and single-cable peripherals such as external displays, docks, and storage drives.

    Article Link: Intel Looks to Broaden Thunderbolt 3 Adoption by Integrating Into Future CPUs, Eliminating Royalties
  2. c0ppo macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2013
    So AMD with TB3 then? Intel and Free licensing ?
    What's next? MBP 15 for less then 1500$?
  3. Return Zero macrumors 6502a

    Return Zero

    Oct 2, 2013
    Sounds like great news. 40Gbps is just insane speed; I can't wait for this to become a ubiquitous standard.
  4. JilzVT macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Didn't realize this was Intel's call - always assumed it was Apple who owned the rights.
  5. beppedessi macrumors newbie


    Sep 9, 2013
    Impruneta (FI), Italy
  6. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Why? Intel invented it.

    But this is a really good thing.
  7. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    Will this eliminate the confusion of not knowing whether a USB-C port is 3.0, 3.1 gen 1, or 3.1 gen 2?
  8. DanielDD macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2013
    This news just confirms that Apple was right in ditching all other ports. In 2/3 years, anyone who bought an expensive computer with old ports will regret it
  9. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    This is some damn good news. Ubiquity helps standards proliferate. Royalty free licensing will definitely help with the ubiquity.
  10. Jetfire macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    It's always been Intel's That was made clear when Thunderbolt was first introduced.
  11. JeffyTheQuik macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2014
    Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
    Nice! I'm starting to save for my next iMac now...

    $200/month will have me ready to pick it up in early 2019.
  12. FasterQuieter macrumors 6502


    Feb 21, 2008
    I wonder how many thunderbolt capable Macs I'll have gone though before there is a sensibly priced thunderbolt peripheral. I am up to 3 so far and have yet to use the port. I had actually given up on it.
  13. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2010
    Having it built in will save on space, cost, and efficiency. This is great news.
  14. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Actually it adds to the confusion, as now you'll have to find out if the USB-C port also supports Thunderbolt 3. :)

    Most of the lower to mid range devices will keep using USB 3 or 3.1 for connectivity, and not Thunderbolt.
  15. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    That's exactly what I was thinking. This may pave the way for AMD to adopt it, which would be nice.
  16. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Regret it how? Person buys brand new computer today, May 24th. A standard config with USB, HDMI, Display Port, SD Reader. Come 2020, the computer still works. So what's to regret? I bet you can find forum members with computers that are 2, 3, heck 5-7 years old (or older) running perfectly fine. I know my 2011 MBA is still humming along. It's pretty hard to regret something that doesn't exist yet, and it definitely isn't a confirmation that Apple was correct about anything. In fact, didn't Apple recently acknowledge some of their decisions weren't exactly spot on?
  17. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Very glad to hear this. Superior tech is pointless if no one wants to pay the extra price to use it. (I'm looking at you, FireWire!)
  18. macrumors 65816

    Nov 10, 2006
    I wonder if they are going to take any steps to streamline the certification process? If I'm not mistaken certification to allow a device to claim Thunderbolt 3 compatibility and use the Thunderbolt logo takes time and money so making the protocol nonexclusive, royalty-free in itself won't necessarily mean a flood of low-cost Thunderbolt 3 devices.
  19. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Just keep the damn port the same for a long time, make everything backwards compatible, and it will eventually catch on. If Thunderbolt 4 has a different port than Thunderbolt 3, it's over.

    I like the USB-C port so far, I've used it on the MacBook and now my new MacBook Pro. I still think the Lightning connector is the best physical connection on any consumer peripheral, but this USB-C is pretty decent. Way better than USB-A, FireWire 400/800, or Mini-A or Micro-B. At least it's reversible!
  20. Delgibbons macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2016
    Maybe thunderbolt will actually get some use now :D
  21. koyoot macrumors 603


    Jun 5, 2012
    Actually nothing stops AMD, or rather AMD partners, that are building MoBos with AMD chipsets, to buy the Alpine Ridge controller, and add it to the MoBo. The things is that Alpine Ridge Controllers costs 22$ alone, and it makes the cost of MoBo go up by at least 50$.

    Opening up the spec of protocol makes everything much, much easier. Interesting actually. It right now makes 100% possible(pay attention to the word ;)), that we might see AMD based Mac in future, if Thunderbolt protocol is opened up. Possible, does not mean confirmed.
  22. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Hopefully, with the removal of the licensing fee lower to mid range devices will have it included since it would necessarily add to the build cost. The cynic in me says that OEM's will initially keep it on their upper tier devices as differentiation.
  23. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    That's just great! :rolleyes:
  24. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    In 2-3 years anyone with last year's MBP for professional use will likely be looking for a new one. I never keep a laptop over 3 years. By then there is usually something worth upgrading to and the 3 year old model getting tired. This is even more true now that Macs are sealed and RAM and internal storage can't be upgraded.

    Right now not having even 1 USB3 port or an HDMI out port is annoying. If I had saved $ by Apple eliminating these ports it would be easier. But Apple jacked up the price, not lowered it. If Apple had jacked up the price but included an adapters to make up for the lost ports I might judge the computer less harsh but Apple not only did not include even a USB adapter, the adapters it sold were so crazy priced it had to put them on "sale" to not completly scare people off.

    I hope Intel does eliminate the royalty fee and take the shackles off so there is one port to rule them all and all the peripheral makers adopt it too. I'll be back in dongle-free happy land. But until then, yes, I'm a bit jealous of people with older MBPs with their full array of ports. I don't hate my TB MBP, I just don't love it. Hindsight, yes, I wish I delayed upgrading but my previous MBP was getting up there and slow and hard to say what Apple's laptop upgrade schedule is anymore so I took the leap.
  25. hishnash macrumors newbie


    May 24, 2017
    would be epic to see a Zen based CPU in a mac. They are really much better for creatives, with a focus on high core count over high Ghz (after all apple never let you overclock so what is the point of an overclockable intel cpu)

    It could bring down the price of the top end iMac with Ryzen chips being much cheaper for the same performance + you get then benefit of ECC memory :) without going for the mad range Xeon prices.

    Also for a mac pro at the moment the new AMD epic looks much better suited than intel's offering (we don't know about prices yet through)

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