New MacBook Pros May Not Be Compatible With Some Early Thunderbolt 3 Devices [Updated]

MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's new MacBook Pros appear to be incompatible with Thunderbolt 3 devices that use controller chips from Texas Instruments, meaning some early Thunderbolt 3 products may not work with the new machines.

The incompatibility was discovered by Plugable (via 9to5), who found that their TBT3-DP2X and TBT3-HDMI2X graphics adapters were not compatible with Apple's new MacBook Pros because they use a controller chip from Texas Instruments. As a result, Plugable will be postponing its upcoming Docking Station as it works on a compatibility solution.
Update 11/1/16: Apple has chosen to prevent Thunderbolt 3 devices using currently available controller chips from Texas Instruments from enumerating and functioning on the 2016 MacBook Pros. All current Thunderbolt 3 peripherals which use this controller chip are incompatible with the new 2016 Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks (To our knowledge, this includes all currently available Thunderbolt 3 devices including our TBT3-DP2X and TBT3-HDMI2X graphics adapters. Our Thunderbolt 3 cables do not require this chip, and therefore are compatible.)

Because of this, we've made the difficult decision to postpone our TBT3-UD1 Docking Station as we evaluate what is necessary to make this docking station MacBook-compatible. Our Flagship TBT3-UDV dock with Power Delivery/Charging is using the next generation controller chip from TI, and will be compatible with the 2016 Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks.
Because some existing or soon-to-be available Thunderbolt 3 accessories may not be compatible with the new MacBook Pro, customers who are looking to purchase docks, adapters, and other products should double check with manufacturers to ensure compatibility.

Many products on the horizon newer Thunderbolt 3 chipsets and won't be affected, and it's also possible Apple could push a firmware update to add support for accessories with the older Texas Instruments controller.

Update: Plugable has provided MacRumors with more information on which Thunderbolt 3 accessories are supported by the MacBook Pro and which are not.
The version of OS X on the new MacBook Pros (late 2016) will not work with existing Certified Thunderbolt 3 docks and adapters (released prior to November 2016). These existing devices use Intel's Thunderbolt 3 chipset (Alpine Ridge) in combination with the first generation of TI USB-C chipset (TPS65982).

Apple requires the 2nd generation TPS65983 chipset for peripherals to be compatible. Certification of solutions across different device types is still in-progress for this 2nd generation chipset. From the Plugable product line, our dual display graphics adapters for DisplayPort and HDMI (TBT3-DP2X and TBT3-HDMI2X) are affected and are disabled by OS X on the new MacBooks. So we offer these products as Windows-only Thunderbolt 3 devices until a future hardware update. Our Thunderbolt 3 cables do not require this chip, and therefore are compatible.

We've also made the difficult decision to postpone our TBT3-UD1 Docking Station to update to the TPS65983 chipset and re-certify to make this docking station MacBook-compatible. Our Flagship TBT3-UDV dock with Power Delivery/Charging was already planned to use the next generation controller chip from TI, and will be compatible with the 2016 Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks.
Article Link: New MacBook Pros May Not Be Compatible With Some Early Thunderbolt 3 Devices [Updated]
 
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KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
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Is this a case of evolving TB3 standards? A similar issue came up with USB-C since the standard hadn't been finalized in 2015 when Apple released the 12" MacBook. Some chargers that work in the 2015 model don't work for the 2016 model.
[doublepost=1478211623][/doublepost]
This thing could really use some good news.

Seems like nothing but negative articles lately.
How about the most pre-orders of a MacBook Pro ever?
 

fs454

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2007
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Is this a case of evolving TB3 standards? A similar issue came up with USB-C since the standard hadn't been finalized in 2015 when Apple released the 12" MacBook. Some chargers that work in the 2015 model don't work for the 2016 model.
[doublepost=1478211623][/doublepost]
How about the most pre-orders of a MacBook Pro ever?
Potentially, but it's different when you're talking chargers versus all currently released Thunderbolt 3 devices, of which that interface is your only port on the device.

TB3 is TB3, there should be at the very least a reduced speed connectivity or a compromise rather than a flat out incompatibility.
 

manhattanboy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2007
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In ur GF's bed, Oh no he didn't!
Cue the haters....
This has nothing to do with dongles, so let's stop that discussion right now.

Thunderbolt 3 combines PCI Express and DisplayPort protocols into a single signal in addition to power. Its extremely versatile. Just like not all wireless headphones are up to 4.2 BT specs, I'm sure not all T3 peripherals are created equal as well.

Apple is being Apple, and that means outrageously priced stuff with hard to swallow limitations. I think folks forget that this is really been Apple's MO for decades. Either buy their stuff or don't, but stop complaining about something you have no control over.
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
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how about the most pre-orders of a MacBook Pro ever?
. You're right, that is good. But, that seems like spin a little.

If Toyota released a new Turbo SW20 MR2 tomorrow in the US and only sold 10 of them for the rest of the year, Toyota could say they sold more SW20s in the past week, then they have in the previous 2 decades.

True? Yes. Good? Well, it's a start, but who knows how many they will sell in the next year.
 

tech4all

macrumors 68040
Jun 13, 2004
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Cue the haters....
So so people should be happy about this?

Okay how's this: Wahoo! My TB3 device that uses a Texas Instruments controller won't work with the new MacBook Pros! This is awesome!

So the 2016 MacBook Pros are not even compatible with Thunderbolt 3 devices that are out there?

This is turning out to be a complete disaster.
To be fair, only one's that use Texas Instruments controllers.