1 2 Previous Next 27 Replies Latest reply on Sep 19, 2017 7:55 AM by dk2463

    Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions

    John_E.

      Why do different Thunderbolt 3 systems have different firmware versions available? Is this due to different (unstated) Thunderbolt 3 hardware, or just different vendors not providing the latest drivers?

       

      For example, the Thunderbolt 3 of the Intel NUC6i7KYK only offers firmware NVM 18:

      Thunderbolt™ 3 Firmware Update Tool

      Version: 18 (Latest) Date: 7/15/2016

      -- Download Thunderbolt™ 3 Firmware Update Tool

       

      Whereas the Dell XPS 15 9560 Thunderbolt 3 offers firmware NVM 21:

      Intel(R) Thunderbolt 3 Firmware Update

      This package provides the firmware update for Intel Thunderbolt 3 and is supported on Latitude, Precision, and XPS Notebook systems running ...

      View details

      File Name: Intel_TBT3_FW_UPDATE_NVM21_0THFT_A00_3.21.00.008.exe

      Importance: Optional

      Description: Windows/DOS (537.33 KB)

      Release Date: 17 Jan 2017

      Version: 3.21.00.008 ,A00

      Last Updated: 17 Jan 2017

      Download

      -- Support for XPS 15 9560 | Dell US

       

       

      What is the difference, and why is there a difference?

       

      Should there be a NVM 21 update for the NUC6i7KYK? If not, why not? Is so, how come it isn't/wouldn't be available?

        • 1. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Intel® drivers and OEM drivers are not the same, our drivers are generic that were developed to with Intel® NUC's and you can find custom drivers directly from your computer manufacturer to work specifically with your computer model.

          I do not have official information about why Intel and Dell are offering different versions. This is all about marketing purposes.
           

          Allan.

          • 2. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
            John_E.

            Can you offer any clarification on what makes Intel drivers and OEM drivers "not the same"? What sort of things need to be "customized" by manufacturers?

             

            When I use HWiNFO64 to try to look at the hardware, the hardware looks like some variant of Alpine Ridge chipsets (e.g. DSL6340/DSL6540). Likewise, the hardware IDs for the Dell XPS 15 9550 and the Intel NUC6i7KYK look identical:

            Thunderbolt-comparison_HWiNFO64.jpg

            Yet, despite this seemingly similar hardware, the Intel NUC6i7KYK has NVM 18 available:

            Thunderbolt™ 3 Firmware Update Tool

            Version: 18 (Latest) Date: 7/15/2016

            -- Download Thunderbolt™ 3 Firmware Update Tool

             

            Whereas the Dell XPS 15 9550 has only NVM 16 offered:

            Intel(R) Thunderbolt(TM) 3 Firmware Update

            This package provides the firmware update for Intel Thunderbolt 3 and is supported on Latitude, Precision, and XPS Notebook systems running ...

            View details

            File Name: Intel_TBT3_FW_UPDATE_NVM16_A04_2.16.01.003.exe

            Importance: Urgent

            Description: Windows/DOS (532.33 KB)

            Release Date: 29 Jul 2016

            Version: 2.16.01.003 ,A04

            Last Updated: 10 Aug 2016

            This file will automatically self-install after downloading. Restart required

            Download

            From <http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/product/xps-15-9550-laptop/drivers>

             

            These differences go beyond mere marketing as NVM 18 is required for compatibility for some Thunderbolt 3 devices, like the Apple TB3-TB2 converter.

             

            It's fine to say "you can find custom drivers directly from your computer manufacturer to work specifically with your computer model", but the fact is that even top tier manufacturers are NOT providing updated firmware, like Dell not providing NVM 18!

             

            Are there release notes available for NVM 18, so that consumers can recognize just how long ago it was released and how much a computer manufactures is derelict in providing updates? I can find release notes for Thunderbolt software version 16.2.55.275 here:
            https://downloadmirror.intel.com/26052/eng/Release%20Notes.txt

            which also says that it's compatible with a number of hardware controllers:

            Supported Thunderbolt Controllers
            =================================
            DSL4510/4410  Series - "Redwood Ridge"
            DSL5520/5320  Series - "Falcon Ridge"
            DSL5110       Series - "Thunderbolt LP"
            DSL6540/6340  Series - "Alpine Ridge"    (Tested with NVM rev 21)
            JHL6540/6340  Series - "Alpine Ridge"    (Tested with NVM rev 9)
            JHL6240       Series - "Alpine Ridge LP" (Tested with NVM rev 4)

            So, I can at least see that DSL6540/6340 equipment should have support for at least Thunderbolt software version 16.2.55.275, which btw, Asus also doesn't provide to its customers, instead only providing version 15.3.39.250:

            Driver & Tools

                • Please select OS
                  Windows 10 64bit

            Version 15.3.39.250

            Description

            Intel Thunderbolt Driver V15.3.39.250 for Windows 7 32bit & 64bit / 8.1 64bit / 10 64bit.(WHQL)

            File Size

            54.28 MBytesupdate 2016/05/16

            Download from

            Global

            From <https://www.asus.com/us/support/Download/1/47/0/34/QyJX0cfU5U7dJ7e9/45/>

            -- which isn't even compatible with the current version of Windows 10 (per the release notes above, W10 1607, Anniversary Update RS1 support was added with version 16.2.52.250).

             

            So, really even computer manufactures like Dell and Asus are NOT providing "custom drivers directly from your computer manufacturer to work specifically with your computer model". Stuck as I am with Dell not providing NVM 18, I can't use contemporary TB3 equipment. Likewise, if I were stuck with Asus' provided Thunderbolt software, I wouldn't have any TB3 support under Windows 10 (much less have NVM 18 compatibility). (Luckily for me, the 16.2.55.275 software from the NUC6i7KYK worked fine for my Asus ThunderboltEX 3, so I'm at least not dead in the water there.)

             

            So really, there needs to be a better solution here, because the hardware just doesn't work as advertised without proper firmware/software support -- and computer manufacturers are NOT living up to supporting the hardware.

            Even if there isn't some official supported solution, there needs to be some sort of unofficial Do-It-Yourself solution.

             

            Btw, the page concerning Thunderbolt updates:
            https://thunderbolttechnology.net/updates

            Thunderbolt™ Updates | Thunderbolt Technology Community

            which does nothing but point to dead-ends of vendors not actually providing support with updated software is also not useful.

             

            This is a problem that makes Thunderbolt 3 technology not workable and brings down the whole technology. It needs to be addressed and fixed, not just the buck passed.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              Most of the time you will find driver release notes or ReadMe files where you can see driver changes and modification features. If you need to know what specific changes are available on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) drivers, you need to refer to your computer manufacturer. 
              The latest version offered by Intel would be 16.2.55.275

              Allan.

              • 4. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                John_E.

                Allan, thanks for the info.

                 

                Here's the directory contents of NVM driver packages I can find provided by system manufacturers online; it doesn't look like any include release notes for the NVM firmware. Is it available elsewhere?

                 

                 

                 

                Dell XPS 15 9550 (NVM 16 -- Intel_TBT3_FW_UPDATE_NVM16_A04_2.16.01.003)

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM           225,280 0x06D6.bin

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM           225,280 0x06D9.bin

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM           225,280 0x06DA.bin

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM           225,280 0x06DF.bin

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM           225,280 0x06E0.bin

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM           225,280 0x06E4.bin

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM           225,280 0x06E5.bin

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM           225,280 0x0702.bin

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM           225,280 0x0704.bin

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM           225,280 0x071B.bin

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM            40,960 FwUpdateApi.dll

                06/29/2016  11:48 AM            32,768 FwUpdateCmd.exe

                 

                Intel NUC6i7KYK ( NVM 18)

                07/11/2016  01:38 PM            44,032 FwUpdateAPI.dll

                07/11/2016  01:39 PM           480,008 FwUpdateTool.exe

                05/17/2016  11:02 AM           307,200 KYK_TBT_FW_0018.bin

                07/11/2016  01:34 PM             1,518 license.txt

                10/28/2016  10:56 AM           557,093 Thunderbolt-Firmware-Update-Guide.pdf

                 

                 

                Dell XPS 15 9560 (NVM 21 -- Intel_TBT3_FW_UPDATE_NVM21_0THFT_A00_3.21.00.008)

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM           229,376 0x075B.bin

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM           229,376 0x075B_gfx.bin

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM           229,376 0x075B_nosecure.bin

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM           229,376 0x07BE.bin

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM           229,376 0x07BE_gfx.bin

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM           229,376 0x07BE_nosecure.bin

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM           229,376 0x07BF.bin

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM           229,376 0x07BF_gfx.bin

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM           229,376 0x07BF_nosecure.bin

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM            48,128 FwUpdateApi.dll

                10/20/2016  11:34 PM            45,568 FwUpdateCmd.exe

                 

                Asus ThunderboltEX 2

                03/23/2016  08:19 AM    <DIR>          THUNDERBOLTEX2 Add-in-card

                07/14/2015  02:36 AM            86,016 ASUS_AIC_FR2C_28_SEC1_sign.bin

                03/23/2016  07:53 AM            24,576 FwUpdateAPI.dll

                03/23/2016  07:53 AM            44,544 FwUpdateAPI.pdb

                03/23/2016  07:53 AM            24,576 TbtFwUpdate.exe

                03/11/2016  12:53 AM               275 TbtFwUpdate.exe.config

                03/23/2016  07:53 AM            34,304 TbtFwUpdate.pdb

                03/23/2016  07:38 AM            23,168 TbtFwUpdate.vshost.exe

                03/11/2016  12:53 AM               275 TbtFwUpdate.vshost.exe.config

                03/11/2016  12:53 AM             2,862 TbtFwUpdate.vshost.exe.manifest

                03/23/2016  08:00 AM    <DIR>          GPIOWrite

                03/23/2016  05:24 PM            14,976 690b33e1-0462-4e84-9bea-c7552b45432a.sys

                02/15/2011  05:09 AM           517,632 GLkIo.dll

                03/23/2016  08:00 AM            15,872 GPIOWrite.exe

                 

                Asus ThunderboltEX 2 DUAL

                03/11/2016  05:38 AM    <DIR>          THUDERBOLTEX2 Dual Add-in-card

                03/23/2016  08:19 AM    <DIR>          TbtFwUpdate

                02/29/2016  06:44 AM            86,016 ASUS_AIC_FR4C_28_SEC1_sign.bin

                03/23/2016  07:53 AM            24,576 FwUpdateAPI.dll

                03/23/2016  07:53 AM            44,544 FwUpdateAPI.pdb

                03/23/2016  07:53 AM            24,576 TbtFwUpdate.exe

                03/11/2016  12:53 AM               275 TbtFwUpdate.exe.config

                03/23/2016  07:53 AM            34,304 TbtFwUpdate.pdb

                03/23/2016  07:38 AM            23,168 TbtFwUpdate.vshost.exe

                03/11/2016  12:53 AM               275 TbtFwUpdate.vshost.exe.config

                03/11/2016  12:53 AM             2,862 TbtFwUpdate.vshost.exe.manifest

                03/23/2016  08:00 AM    <DIR>          GPIOWrite

                03/23/2016  02:52 PM            14,976 690b33e1-0462-4e84-9bea-c7552b45432a.sys

                02/15/2011  05:09 AM           517,632 GLkIo.dll

                03/23/2016  08:00 AM            15,872 GPIOWrite.exe

                 

                • 5. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                  Intel Corporation
                  This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                  Hi,

                  I was able to find driver release notes for version 16.2.55.275.
                  https://downloadmirror.intel.com/26052/eng/Release%20Notes.txt

                  I do not have information about Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) since Intel does not have control of their releases.

                  Allan.

                  • 6. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                    Intel Corporation
                    This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                    Hi John_E,

                    Were you able to check with the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for driver documentation?

                    Allan.

                    • 7. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                      John_E.

                      Intel Corporation wrote:

                      I do not have information about Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) since Intel does not have control of their releases.

                       

                      First of all, the original post asks why does the Intel NUC6i7KYK only have Thunderbolt NVM 18, when the Dell XPS 15 9560 has NVM 21. I assume that in the case of the NUC, Intel is the OEM and thus is in control of Thunderbolt software/firmware releases. So why doesn't NVM 21 exist for the NUC6i7KYK? Does it have a different chipset as the XPS 15 9560? Is NVM 21 only for certain chipsets? Is NVM 18 the latest for the chipset in NUC6i7KYK? If not, how long ago was NVM 21 released and what is the delay for getting an NVM 21 update for the NUC6i7KYK? What are the difference between NVM 18 and 21, and what will such an upgrade bring?

                       

                      These are the sort of questions that beg to be answered, and which the consumer is completely in the dark about, since no information seems to be provided about Thunderbolt 3 except for fluff non-technical marketing slogans like "one port does it all".

                       

                      But at any rate, if you do not have this information, who does? Who can I contact? To whom can this be escalated to? Who at Intel interfaces with OEMs and monitors whether or not they meet support obligations? (Or, even better, why don't you escalate it to another area within Intel who does have control over these sort of things?)

                       

                      Pointing me to system manufacturers is a dead-end! Just saying you don't have something is a dead-end.

                       

                      As I have posted none of the available Thunderbolt firmware posted online has any sort of tecnical information included with them.

                       

                      I have written to my equipment vendors about NVM upgrades and gotten no results -- neither from Dell or from Asus. Both of these vendor's products which I own are stuck with NVM 16. As such, I cannot use equipment that requires minimum NVM 18 with either my Asus ThunderboltEX 3 or my Dell XPS 15 9550.

                       

                      I done more than my homework here, and come up with nothing.

                       

                      And, because I can't get any information about what NVM should be available for what Thunderbolt chipset (or even how to identify what Thunderbolt chipset I have in my devices), I am unable to tell if my system vendors are failing to provide an update which should be available, or if I am trying to ask them for something which doesn't exist. I don't know if there should be an NVM 18 for the Asus ThunderboltEX 3 or the Dell XPS 15 9550, just like I don't know if there should be an NVM 21 for the NUC6i7KYK (like there is for the Dell XPS 15 9560).

                       

                      It'd be great if there were some actual real, technical information about these Thunderbolt 3 issuses, because (in the case of NVM 18) device functionality actually depends upon it.

                       

                      So, again, if you do not have this information, who does? Who can I contact? To whom can this be escalated to? If OEMs are supposed to do this, but they aren't, who at Intel interfaces with OEMs and monitors whether or not they meet support obligations? Who can I contact?

                       

                      Thanks for any info,

                      John

                      • 8. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                        allan_intel

                        1- Differences are usually available in the release notes or update documentation. At Intel, you have the driver release notes or the ReadMe file

                         

                        2. At Dell or Asus, the documentation is provided on their site (download area), please bear in mind that Intel does not control the way the inform about driver releases.

                        I see version update 21 at Dell's and the list of Fixes and Enhancements says: Not applicable. I would assume version 21 integrates all their computer models supporting Thunderbolt port.

                         

                        The latest firmware update version supported for your Intel® NUC is 18. No other version should be supported unless is required.

                         

                        See picture attached for information about version 21

                         

                        TB.PNG

                        Allan.

                        • 9. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                          John_E.

                          ...Differences are usually available in the release notes or update documentation. At Intel, you have the driver release notes or the ReadMe file

                           

                          Actually, that Thunderbolt 3 NVM firmware ReadMe file is just a 'click-here, click-there' install guide. It has no real technical information. In contrast, the Thunderbolt 3 software driver release notes for version 16.2.55.275 -- https://downloadmirror.intel.com/26052/eng/Release%20Notes.txt -- are real release notes, that include details such as:

                           

                          Supported Thunderbolt Controllers
                          =================================
                             DSL4510/4410  Series - "Redwood Ridge"  
                             DSL5520/5320  Series - "Falcon Ridge"   
                             DSL5110       Series - "Thunderbolt LP" 
                             DSL6540/6340  Series - "Alpine Ridge"    (Tested with NVM rev 21)
                             JHL6540/6340  Series - "Alpine Ridge"    (Tested with NVM rev 9)
                             JHL6240       Series - "Alpine Ridge LP" (Tested with NVM rev 4)

                           

                          Changes:
                          ========
                          Version 16.2.55.275
                             - Added support for NonAdmin mode through installer switch.
                               Run setup.msi NONADMIN=1 when installing the Thunderbolt SW package in order to allow user
                               without administrator privileges to approve devices.
                             - Changes in MUP to support white space in executable name. Also removed SubVendorId attribute.
                             - Change in Installer to set AutoConnect mode by default for Thunderbolt Networking connections.
                             - Fix for QoS misleading popup, including fixed bandwidth calculation and relaxed conditions.
                             - Fix for WMI registration issue leading to display empty UI (and eventually PCIe enumeration
                               drop in SL1).

                          Version 16.2.52.250
                             - Added support for Windows* 10 Anniversary Update (RS1) 64-bit.
                             - Added QoS Bandwidth computation and user notification
                             - Added QoS Multi-function PCIe device handling
                             - System Tray application reports NVM minor version in the Details form
                             - Updated SDK API, Samples and SDK documentation to support the NVM minor version reporting
                             - Added conditional application starter to improve boot time when no device connected
                             - Added support for TI TPS65983 PD Controller in SW, SDK API and samples
                             - Networking driver is unloaded on cable disconnect instead of reporting link down
                             - General improvements and bug fixes (see "Fixed Issues" section below for more details)

                          Version 16.1.45.275
                             - Hotfix: Application GUI does not pop up on device hotplug after initial package installation
                             - HVCI compliance per Microsoft Device Guard recommendations

                          Version 16.1.45.250
                             - Added support for Alpine Ridge LP and Alpine Ridge C-step (including FW Update SDK)
                             - Added Firmware Update progress indication in FW Update SDK and samples
                             - Added SDK sample to update Firmware on device only
                             - Added support for devices made of multiple controllers
                             - Added support for external GPU user notifications
                             - Added RSS support to Thunderbolt Networking to improve performance capabilities
                             - General improvements and bug fixes

                           

                          which lets me know, e.g., that to be compatible with some newer Thunderbolt 3 devices (made of multiple controllers), I need at least version 16.1.45.250. Likewise, it tells me that if I am running Windows 10 Anniversary Update and later, I need at least version 16.2.52.250.

                           

                          Both of which informs me that Asus, who are still offering only Thunderbolt 3 software driver version 15.3.39.250, for their ThunderboltEX 3 are pretty derelict in releasing updated Thunderbolt software:

                          Driver & Tools

                            • Please select OSWindows 10 64bit

                          Version 15.3.39.250

                          Description

                          Intel Thunderbolt Driver V15.3.39.250 for Windows 7 32bit & 64bit / 8.1 64bit / 10 64bit.(WHQL)

                          File Size

                          54.28 MBytesupdate 2016/05/16

                          Download from

                          Global

                          From <https://www.asus.com/us/support/Download/1/47/0/34/QyJX0cfU5U7dJ7e9/45/>

                           

                          If would be similarly helpful to know how derelict Asus is in not providing any updates to the Thunderbolt 3 NVM firmware -- since the ThunderboltEX 3 shipped with NVM 16, and like their stagnant Thunderbolt 3 driver version offering, has no offered updates for Thunderbolt 3 NVM firmware.

                           

                          ... At Dell... the documentation is provided on their site (download area),... I see version update 21 at Dell's and the list of Fixes and Enhancements says: Not applicable. I would assume version 21 integrates all their computer models supporting Thunderbolt port.

                           

                          Actually, scrolling down that page a bit shows that the NVM 21 offered is not for the XPS 15 9550 (which is less than 1 year old), but only for the XPS 15 9560, etc.:

                          Compatible Systems

                          Precision 5520

                          XPS 13 9360

                          XPS 15 9560

                           

                          From <http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=0THFT>

                           

                          ... which returns to the original question of this thread "Why do different Thunderbolt 3 systems have different firmware versions available? Is this due to different (unstated) Thunderbolt 3 hardware, or just different vendors not providing the latest drivers?"

                           

                          Why does the Dell XPS 15 9560 have NVM 21, but the Dell XPS 15 9550 (again less than 1 year old) have only NVM 16?

                          Is there a different chip in the 9560 vs the 9560? (If so, how can I find out what chip is in my 9550?)

                          Has Intel not released NVM 18 or NVM 21 for the chip in the 9550?

                          Or, has Intel released NVM 18 and NVM 21 firmware for the chip in the 9550, and Dell is just derelict in releasing this update for their systems which are less than 1 year old?

                          If the 9550 and 9560 use the same Thunderbolt 3 chips, what excuse could Dell have for releasing NVM 21 for the 9560 back in January 2017, but still have no update for the 9550 over 2 months later?

                           

                          The latest firmware update version supported for your Intel® NUC is 18. No other version should be supported unless is required.

                           

                          What is "supported" doesn't answer the question of what is available and why or why not, nor does what is "required" answer the question (like actual release notes would) of what changes exist in NVM 16, to NVM 18, to NVM 21.

                           

                          As an illustration, Asus isn't "supporting" Thunderbolt 3 driver software past version 15.3.39.250, and they could legitimately say it isn't "required" (I guess with some equipment under some operating systems). But looking at the release notes, I can see that Thunderbolt 3 driver software of at least version 16 is required for compatibility with some devices and the latest Windows 10 releases. As such, I can determined that the Asus support of their Thunderbolt 3 hardware is lacking.

                           

                          From informal sources, I know to some degree what I am missing by Dell and Asus not providing updates from NVM 16 to NVM 18:

                           

                          1) NVM 18 is required for compatibility with some devices such as the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter -- e.g.:

                                    XPS 15 9550, Thunderbolt NVM firmware issue with Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

                          2) NVM 18 seems to be the difference in whether the Thunderbolt software app states "External GPUs supported".

                           

                          TB3_NVM_16_vs_18.jpg

                           

                           

                          But, it'd be great to know what is going to work, and what won't before buying some Thunderbolt 3 gear, assuming it's all compatible, and then getting hit with disappointment when things don't work (especially if only because an OEM isn't updating the firmware for their hardware.) It'd also be great to get real information from the source, rather than have to scour complaint boards for a crucial technical tip.

                           

                          A Dell customer support message board here offers this statement (from back in Nov 2016):

                          The 9550 and 9350 are still stuck on firmware that is 2 major releases behind (NVM16).

                          The newly released XPS 13 9360 has the latest firmware (NVM18).

                          All three machines have the exact same Thunderbolt 3 Controller (1575).

                          From <http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/t/19996652>

                           

                          Is it true that the Thunderbolt hardware for different systems is indeed "the exact same Thunderbolt 3 Controller (1575)"? If so, how long has Dell had the update from Intel to turn around to customers, yet have not done so for some of their systems? Five months or more? Above you say, "I would assume version 21 integrates all their computer models supporting Thunderbolt port" but unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case. Systems, even relatively new ones, are neglected, unless perhaps they genuinely have different hardware.

                           

                          Likewise, what is the difference between NVM 18 and NVM 21 that Intel would or would not yet released it for the NUC6i7KYK (but Dell has released it for the XPS 15 9560, XPS 13 9360, and Precision 5520)? What should be the turn around time in an OEM providing updates? Alternatively, if there are no fixes or enhancements between NVM 18 and NVM 21, why is there even an NVM 21?

                           

                          Thanks for any info,

                          John

                          • 10. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                            Intel Corporation
                            This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                            @John_E.

                            I have read your post today and I realized that this type of questions are related to your computer manufacturer, not Intel. This has been clarified on my previous interactions.
                             You are referring to OEM models such Dell, Asus. You are trying to get answers that only your computer maker is able to address.
                            Your computer manufacturer may have altered the features, incorporated customizations, or made other changes to your driver. This type of custom driver is handled by the maker. In this case, I recommend contacting them for further assistance.

                            Allan.

                            • 11. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                              John_E.

                              Actually, the questions are related to the complete absence of information/transparency concerning Thunderbolt 3 NVM firmware.

                               

                              This lack of NVM firmware transparency is exhibited in Intel OEM equipment, as well as 3rd party OEM equptment, e.g.:

                              Intel NUC6i7KYK

                              Why does this system have only NVM 18, when other systems have NVM 21?

                              Asus ThunderboltEX 3

                              Why does this system have only NVM 16, when other systems have NVM 18 and NVM 21?

                              Dell XPS 15 9550

                              Why does this system have only NVM 16, when other systems have NVM 18 and NVM 21?

                               

                              If you'd like to evade the question for the last two, fine, but that still leaves the first question about actual Intel OEM equipment -- i.e., why does the Intel NUC6i7KYK have only NVM 18, when other systems have NVM 21? What's the difference between NVM 18 and NVM 21?

                               

                              However, the same NVM firmware related questions apply to all?

                              1) How does one tell what Thunderbolt 3 hardware/chipset is in one's system?

                              2) How does one find out what the latest firmware is released by Intel to OEMs for that hardware/chipset?

                              3) How does one find out when these versions of NVM firmware were released by Intel to OEMs?

                              4) What are the release note changes for each version of NVM firmware?

                               

                              Without knowing the details of a NVM firmware release (i.e. version number, when released, features/changes, and what chips it potentially applies to), it makes it more difficult to interface with OEMs to get support assistance (as it would be much more effective to ask, e.g., "Intel released NVM x for the DSL6540/6340  Series on x date; I need that firmware to support feature x; when will you release it for your product based up that chipset?")

                               

                              It also is crucial information so that a consumer with a Thunderbolt 3 system (with a given level of manufacture support) doesn't buy any Thunderbolt devices which requires a higher level of firmware support than they might have from their OEM vendor. Case in point, I have already bought some Thunderbolt 3 equipment (Apple TB3-TB2 adapter) which requires NVM 18 and which doesn't work on the systems I have with only NVM 16. No Thunderbolt 3 available promotional or technical material warned me of this sort of incompatibility. I'd like to likewise make sure I also don't buy any devices requiring NVM 21, if I only have NVM 18 (if I must pivot back to the NUC6i7KYK to get an answer.)

                              • 12. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                                Intel Corporation
                                This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                                @John_E. I am currently reviewing this issue. This thread will be updated as news become available.

                                Allan.

                                • 13. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                                  rguevara

                                  Hi John_E.

                                   

                                  Lots of tough questions and pretty good points, let me try to answer some and I will do some research on #4, please see below:

                                   

                                  1) How does one tell what Thunderbolt 3 hardware/chipset is in one's system?

                                  I can only speak for Intel products, in the case of the NUC6i7KYK the thunderbolt chip is an Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller. This information is not usually displayed in this manner but only as: Thunderbolt 3 controller, see here for instance: https://ark.intel.com/products/89187/Intel-NUC-Kit-NUC6i7KYK

                                   

                                  2) How does one find out what the latest firmware is released by Intel to OEMs for that hardware/chipset?

                                  This is really hard to answer because it varies by product, by division and it depends also on the OEM to roll up the firmware/driver, this is general for all components and I know, this is not an answer but the only way to know is by checking with the OEM for recent drivers/firmware releases.

                                   

                                  3) How does one find out when these versions of NVM firmware were released by Intel to OEMs?

                                  Same as the one before,

                                   

                                  4) What are the release note changes for each version of NVM firmware?

                                  Let me do some more research and I will get back to you.

                                   

                                  Thanks,

                                  Ronny G

                                  • 14. Re: Thunderbolt 3 firmware versions
                                    John_E.

                                    John_E. wrote:

                                    Without knowing the details of a NVM firmware release (i.e. version number, when released, features/changes, and what chips it potentially applies to), it makes it more difficult to interface with OEMs to get support assistance (as it would be much more effective to ask, e.g., "Intel released NVM x for the DSL6540/6340 Series on x date; I need that firmware to support feature x; when will you release it for your product based up that chipset?")

                                     

                                    The results of my latest attempt to get a NVM 18 update for the XPS 15 9550 from Dell:

                                    Thank you for contacting Dell! I will be your primary point of contact until your service request is resolved to your complete satisfaction. Above I have included your service request information. If you need anything at all please contact me directly by replying to this email.

                                     

                                    I did some research and found no update in regards to the firmware update for the Thunderbolt.

                                     

                                    I did find an Intel update utility on the Intel site that might resolve this issue. Here is the link for the utility:

                                    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26141/Thunderbolt-3-Firmware-Update-Tool

                                     

                                    Please let me know if this update resolves your issue with Thunderbolt.

                                     

                                    Thank you for choosing Dell!

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