Rumors about Intel's plans for Thunderbolt 3 pop up, 40Gbps speeds

Intel's Thunderbolt data and video port hardware technology has not really caught on as quickly as its biggest rival, USB 3.0. This week, new rumors hit the Internet about what Intel plans to put in the next version, which will likely be called, to no one's surprise, Thunderbolt 3.

The report comes from Chinese VR Zone, which claims it received leaked slides from Intel about Thunderbolt 3, which state that it has the code name Alpine Ridge. According to their story, Thunderbolt 3-based PCs and devices will have transfer speeds up to 40Gbps, up from the current limit of 20Gbps for Thunderbolt 2. USB 3.1, the latest version of the older port technology, has a speed transfer limit of 10Gbps.

The slides also show that the connector for Thunderbolt 3 ports will be smaller than the current version, which means adapters will have to be used when connecting Thunderbolt 2 and 3 devices. It will provide power charging up to 100 watts while at the same time reducing its own power consumption by 50 percent. It will also support PCIe generation-3.

Unfortunately, the article didn't offer any information on when Thunderbolt 3 will be made available in PCs. While the two previous generations have been put in Mac computers, makers of Windows-based PCs have mostly decided to support the rival USB 3.0, which has a much lower transfer speed but is fully backwards compatible with a ton of other devices that use the two previous versions of the port with no adapters needed.

Source: Chinese VR Zone via MacRumors | Image via Chinese VR Zone

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drazgoosh said,
Can someone explain to me why Thunderbolt hasn't spread much faster? I've personally never used it but I constantly hear about its amazing speed etc. I understand that USB connections are everywhere but why can't this provide some competition?

Cost.

Only Apple seems to want to use it really (Similar to Firewire), there are a couple of other companies shipping it, but it's not something standard across their product lines. And Intel have only just recently added it to the chipset (And even then sub-optimally, it takes away from the PCIe socket you'd want to use for your GFX card, etc.), before that you needed either custom work from Intel (What Apple got) or a 3rd party hardware solution.

You've also got the issue that it opens up a huge security hole, as a side effect of the speed increase (Firewire had the same issue), to mitigate it you need IOMMU, which has even less support (But is awesome, it'd let VMs have native access to hardware like GFX cards, etc.)

Edit: Oh, and USB3 is backwards compatible, so you don't need to replace your hardware to use newer (or older) components. Although it's a mess of standards that have mediocre support (UASP vs. BOT, etc.)

drazgoosh said,
I assumed that was a major factor but care to expand?

it's cost (Thunderbolt cables, for example) and i've yet to find a new laptop or desktop (excluding Macs) with thunderbolt (not saying it doesn't exist, but not a single client of mine ever bought it), but with USB 3 i'm seeing in waves. This is the new firewire.

The_Decryptor said,
Only Apple seems to want to use it really (Similar to Firewire), there are a couple of other companies shipping it, but it's not something standard across their product lines. And Intel have only just recently added it to the chipset (And even then sub-optimally, it takes away from the PCIe socket you'd want to use for your GFX card, etc.), before that you needed either custom work from Intel (What Apple got) or a 3rd party hardware solution.

You've also got the issue that it opens up a huge security hole, as a side effect of the speed increase (Firewire had the same issue), to mitigate it you need IOMMU, which has even less support (But is awesome, it'd let VMs have native access to hardware like GFX cards, etc.)

Edit: Oh, and USB3 is backwards compatible, so you don't need to replace your hardware to use newer (or older) components. Although it's a mess of standards that have mediocre support (UASP vs. BOT, etc.)

Probably because Apple helped Intel develop TB, therefore they have had first mitts to use it but also why they're pushing it in all their product.

The same could be said for Windows 8.. look at all the moaning that kicked off. People don't like change dude, though some of us love it.

I wish Thunderbolt was more widely adopted in the PC world.. I'd love a Thunderbolt 3 system.

You CAN buy motherboards that support it (primarily from both Gigabyte and ASUS, though there are other brands that offer it) as was, and still is, the case with FireWire (IEEE1394) - also, I would bet that some of the PCs in ASUS' Essentio line (which is sold in both North America and Europe by the way - Best Buy carries them, for example) also feature Thunderbolt at the higher end. However, cost is the bigger bugbear - because of the dearth of PCI Express lanes, you need more bridge chips to adopt even two Thunderbolt ports. Atop that, there is STILL demand for PCI slots (which Intel's current-generation of chipsets, such as Z77, does NOT support natively, forcing the near-equivalent of Hobson's Choice on motherboard builders).

Praetor said,
lol excluding Macs i never seen a Thunderbold 1 device yet...

acer has several laptops that have a thunderbolt port. Probably because it's smaller than HDMI

XerXis said,

acer has several laptops that have a thunderbolt port. Probably because it's smaller than HDMI

well i haven't anyone using Acer laptops since 2007 anyways so...

Third version already? I can see why this has been hard to adopt if we're already on the third reversion of the socket.

It didn't change for TB1 and 2, but is looks to be changing for TB3

The slides also show that the connector for Thunderbolt 3 ports will be smaller than the current version

I still can't believe this hasn't caught on yet considering its mini display port + more. I mean when I'm at work with my Macbook Pro, I have all my cables (usb, ethernet, etc) connected to my monitor, thunderbolt allows me to use to just one cable to connect everything. The fact that I still see so many laptops still having to connect with VGA baffles me. At least mini display port kind of caught on

wv@gt said,
I still can't believe this hasn't caught on yet considering its mini display port + more. I mean when I'm at work with my Macbook Pro, I have all my cables (usb, ethernet, etc) connected to my monitor, thunderbolt allows me to use to just one cable to connect everything. The fact that I still see so many laptops still having to connect with VGA baffles me. At least mini display port kind of caught on

My notebook (a year old) still uses VGA port (and hdmi) and it has been a life saver, all of my LCD and monitor uses it and my datashow uses it

Xilo said,
What's the point of thunderbolt when it's practically only available to Macs?

It will allow you to play your iTunes faster than the speed of sound. How cool is that?

Major_Plonquer said,

It will allow you to play your iTunes faster than the speed of sound. How cool is that?

not only that but your iPhone will recharge 100x faster and the battery will last until the Sun dies.

Wireless is popular (including on desktops) because of the de-cluttering effect; I've pointed out that i went wireless for both keyboard and mouse years ago for that very reason. However, as good as wireless is, it's not Nirvana yet - there are still two issues even with wireless - signal lag and interference (both are tied to frequency choices - which are regulated). That is why wireless - even with keyboards and mice - is not ubiquitous.

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