8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 17, 2017 2:22 PM by Intel Corporation

    Will there ever be universal thunderbolt 3 drivers? Computer manufacturers are lazy.

    link626

      Isn't Alpine Ridge just a controller which is the same across motherboards of all brands? So, shouldn't Thunderbolt 3 function the same everywhere?

       

      Why can't it be updated like graphics drivers can, with universal drivers?

       

      It sucks when computer manufacturers don't release updated drivers anymore, making an earlier thunderbolt 3 product obsolete.

       

      For instance, the Asus G752 laptop is only updated to NVM 13, too outdated for newer Thunderbolt peripherals. Everyone else is on version 16 or 18. Asus just abandoned updates for it.

       

      When manufacturers abandon updates to Thunderbolt, it becomes obsolete before Thunderbolt accessories come to market. There is no reason why Thunderbolt 3 updates should be abandoned like this by any notebook manufacturer.

       

      If Intel would release universal thunderbolt drivers like it does with graphics drivers, we wouldn't even have to wait for lazy computer manufacturers to catch up.

        • 1. Re: Will there ever be universal thunderbolt 3 drivers? Computer manufacturers are lazy.
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Hello link626,

           

          Sure I understand your concern and need to get the Thunderbolt* firmware updated to get the best compatibility.

           

          Intel has the Thunderbolt™ 3 Firmware Update Tool which you could test it with your system, but please note this tool was developed for the Intel® NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK so I can't assure it is going to work with your system.

           

          Please try it out and let me know how it goes

           

          Regards,
          Esteban C

          • 3. Re: Will there ever be universal thunderbolt 3 drivers? Computer manufacturers are lazy.
            link626

            no. I don't want to run the risk of bricking the computer until I know for sure the fw update tool is compatible, as the webpage only mentions compatibility with the intel NUC.

             

            In the past, there was no way of reverting a thunderbolt firmware flash, and I think I screwed up one computer that way

            • 4. Re: Will there ever be universal thunderbolt 3 drivers? Computer manufacturers are lazy.
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              Hello link626,

               

              Let me double check compatibility with other devices than the ones mentioned in the link.

               

              I will let you know

               

              Regards,
              Esteban C

              • 5. Re: Will there ever be universal thunderbolt 3 drivers? Computer manufacturers are lazy.
                Intel Corporation
                This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                Hello link626,

                 

                Due to the type of configuration you own (a laptop) the best place to check the devices that are compatible with your PC would be the manufacturer of the laptop.

                 

                This is because they integrated the computer and probably tested some TB3 products with the unit.

                 

                Hope you can get this info with them, and I am truly sorry for the delayed answer!

                 

                Regards,
                Esteban C

                • 6. Re: Will there ever be universal thunderbolt 3 drivers? Computer manufacturers are lazy.
                  John_E.

                  While it's an understandable support shortcut to pass this on to the manufacturer, the original post assertion remains:

                   

                  "It sucks when computer manufacturers don't release updated drivers anymore, making an earlier thunderbolt 3 product obsolete."

                   

                  What's more, it diminishes Intel's Thunderbolt 3 brands. These devices are purchased with some confidence based on advertising that "one port does it all" -- but it turns out, Thunderbolt 3 invites a hornet's nest of compatibility problems.

                   

                  All under the same promising Thunderbolt brand, there are:

                   

                   

                  All of these problems reflect back upon Thunderbolt 3 and Intel -- if this port with so much promise is unusable for one reason or another.

                   

                  To protect its brand, and serve its users, Intel should be:

                   

                  1. Making sure that Thunderbolt 3 is advertised -- and qualified in case of any limitations -- properly. If Thunderbolt 3 is NOT a monolithic capability, hardware that doesn't implement the full spec should be disclaimed as such.
                  2. Any vendor selling Thunderbolt 3 devices is agreeing, and living up to that agreement, of supporting that hardware -- or Intel should have driver/firmware support that takes up that slack.
                  3. At the very least, Intel should have some public info about
                    1. How to identify the exact nature/chipset/ect. of ones Thunderbolt 3 hardware
                    2. Know exactly what capabilities/limitation it has
                    3. Know what the current reference version of firmware and software support that hardware should have (to at least identify hardware vendor support obligations/negligence).
                  • 7. Re: Will there ever be universal thunderbolt 3 drivers? Computer manufacturers are lazy.
                    John_E.

                    I tried running (at least up to the confirmation screen) the Firmware update tool provided with the NUC6i7KYK (which has NVM 18 and works find with my Apple TB3-TB2 converter) on my two other TB3 devices, a Dell XPS 15 9550 and a Asus X99 Sabertooth with a ThunderboltEX 3 daughtercard, with the following results:

                     

                    Dell XPS 15 9550, with

                    Thunderbolt software15.3.39.250
                    NVM Firmware16
                    PD Firmware1.07.00

                    update tool complains:

                    "Error: 0x219 SDK_PD_MISMATCH The controller and the file differ regarding PD existence (one of them has it and one doesn't"

                     

                    Asus X99 Sabertooth with a ThunderboltEX 3, with

                    Thunderbolt software15.3.39.250
                    NVM Firmware16
                    PD Firmware1.07.00

                    Complains:
                    "No active Thunderbolt(TM) controller found in the system

                    or Thunderbolt(TM) software is not present in the system.

                    Make sure you have Thunderbolt(TM) software installed."

                     

                    after updating to the 16.2.55.275 Thunderbolt software (for the NUC6i7KYK, which seems to work with the Asus ThunderboltEX 3), it then complained:

                    "Error. Dx215 SDK PORT COUNT MISMATCH Firmware image file is not

                    compatible with controller port count"

                     

                    Also, using the NVM 21 upgrade tool that is available -- Intel(R) Thunderbolt 3 Firmware Update Driver Details | Dell US  -- for the Dell XPS 15 9560, I got the following results using the command line tool in the upgrade kit:

                     

                    Asus ThunderboltEX 3:

                    > FwUpdateCmd.exe EnumControllers

                    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1577&SUBSYS_11112222&REV_00\6&da02b5e&0&00000010_0, Rev = 16, Vendor = 8086, Model = 1578

                     

                    > FwUpdateCmd.exe ReportSysNvmVersion

                    ReportSysNvmVersion(): Entry

                    ReportSysNvmVersion(): Controller - PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1577&SUBSYS_11112222&REV_00\6&da02b5e&0&00000010_0 : NVM Version - 16

                    FwUpdateCmd.exe CAUGHT: NVM Version: 22

                    NVM Version: 22

                     

                    FwUpdateCmd.exe EnumUpdatableDevices

                    Error: 0x20C SDK_NO_DEVICES - There is no usable Thunderbolt(TM) device connected to the system or Thunderbolt(TM) software is not present

                                                  in the system. Make sure you have Thunderbolt(TM) software installed. Then connect Thunderbolt(TM) device

                                                  and retry.

                     

                    Dell XPS 15 9550:

                    >FwUpdateCmd.exe EnumControllers

                    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1575&SUBSYS_11112222&REV_00\6&23fe5788&0&000000EE_0, Rev = 16, Vendor = 8086, Model = 1576

                     

                    >FwUpdateCmd.exe ReportSysNvmVersion

                    ReportSysNvmVersion(): Entry

                    ReportSysNvmVersion(): Controller - PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1575&SUBSYS_11112222&REV_00\6&23fe5788&0&000000EE_0 : NVM Version - 16

                    FwUpdateCmd.exe CAUGHT: NVM Version: 22

                    NVM Version: 22

                     

                    >FwUpdateCmd.exe EnumUpdatableDevices

                    Error: 0x20C SDK_NO_DEVICES - There is no usable Thunderbolt(TM) device connected to the system or

                                                  Thunderbolt(TM) software is not present in the system. Make sure you

                                                  have Thunderbolt(TM) software installed. Then connect Thunderbolt(TM)

                                                  device and retry.

                     

                     

                    I am left with this disparate state of my various Thunderbolt 3 hardware (with the Apple TB3-TB2 adapter only working on the NUC6i7KYK):

                     

                    Thunderbolt-comparison_3.jpg

                    • 8. Re: Will there ever be universal thunderbolt 3 drivers? Computer manufacturers are lazy.
                      Intel Corporation
                      This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                      John_E. Please remember the drivers provided by Intel are validated to work with the Intel® NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK only.

                       

                      Other systems may find issues while using the tool since they have not been tested or have validated compatibility.

                       

                      I suggest checking with the manufacturer of the devices to find out if they can further provide drivers.

                       

                      Regards,
                      Esteban C