5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 1, 2017 11:00 AM by NeoBeum

    Q/A: Thunderbolt Device and Controller Compatibility between All Generations and USB Type C Interface and beyond

    NeoBeum

      Hello,

       

      I've had several bad experiences with retail outlets not having sufficient knowledge with Thunderbolt or have them supplying the correct information to consumers, so I wanted to ask the people who created the technology, as I'm interested in going back to hardware development (I'm currently studying and have gone back and forth with hardware and software).

       

      The First Generation Thunderbolt was almost exclusively found on Apple products, and as a non-Apple user, my knowledge is limited, other than - 'it was faster than USB and firewire'.

       

      Reading the FAQ on the Thunderbolt site Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) | Thunderbolt Technology Community

      From my understanding, on a TB3.0 Device, if the device's controller has not been modified by hardware vendors, it should be able to communicate with a TB1.0 Host - Out Mini-Display Connector to TB3.0/USB C port on Device(@ TB1.0 Bandwidth).

       

      In a scenario for Docking Stations, should a Dock marked as TB3.0 be able to operate other interfaces, such as its additional USB3.1 ports and HDMI ports, if the Docking Station were connected to a host computer with only TB1.0? (With example limit of USB 3.0 Type A ports and the Mini Display TB1.0)

      Obviously the data rates are capped by the lowest TB Generation, so only additional TB3.0 ports on the station will either be working as TB1.0 or not at all.

      Is it also correct to assume, that the Docking Station, could effectively serve as an upgrade to the Host Computer, as the USB3.1 Device ports will be using the TB1.0 Bandwidth, thus giving the Host Computer USB3.1 capability via the dock, when it only had USB3.0 on board?

      Or would that also be a limiting factor on the host, where TB1.0 never had the superset to include USB3.1, so the host can only operate devices attached at USB3.0 speeds?

      (Even though it's using the TB3.0 on the attached dock to convert to TB1.0)

      I'm implying that connected USB devices via the dock are USB3.1 for this scenario.

      My understanding is that extra USB devices should operate at least at 3.0, but any extra TB3.0 peripheral devices will not operate at all.

      Or could they operate at TB1.0?

      A variant for the scenario above would be to daisy chain TB1.0 external drives on the TB3.0 Ports on the Dock. Everything should be ok, disregarding speed.

       

      Would it also be possible to create a driver for TB1.0 to be able to operate a USB3.1 Hub? Has this been considered?

       

      Any light on this scenario will be appreciated.

      Thanks in advance

        • 1. Re: Q/A: Thunderbolt Device and Controller Compatibility between All Generations and USB Type C Interface and beyond
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Hello NeoBeum,
           
          Thank you for contacting the Intel community.
           
          In a scenario for Docking Stations, should a Dock marked as TB3.0 be able to operate other interfaces, such as its additional USB3.1 ports and HDMI ports, if the Docking Station were connected to a host computer with only TB1.0?  
           
          Thunderbolt 3.0 is backwards compatible with thunderbolt 1.0 but in this case the components connected to the Docking Station will operate at 1.0, this will depend on the computer capacity.
           
          Is it also correct to assume, that the Docking Station, could effectively serve as an upgrade to the Host Computer, as the USB3.1 Device ports will be using the TB1.0 Bandwidth, thus giving the Host Computer USB3.1 capability via the dock, when it only had USB3.0 on board?
          The system will only work what the computer is capable of, in this case if the PC is TB1.0, this is what you’re going to get.
           
          My understanding is that extra USB devices should operate at least at 3.0, but any extra TB3.0 peripheral devices will not operate at all.
          Or could they operate at TB1.0?
          Again they will operate only at the speed the PC can provide.
           
          Would it also be possible to create a driver for TB1.0 to be able to operate a USB3.1 Hub? Has this been considered?
          No, this has not been considered and there’s no notification about it.
           
          Please bear in mind that if you plan to purchase or if you have an OEM system your best contact support is your OEM, since they may alter the feature and they are more familiar how all the components interact with each other.
           
           
          Regards,
           
           
          Ivan U.
           

          • 2. Re: Q/A: Thunderbolt Device and Controller Compatibility between All Generations and USB Type C Interface and beyond
            NeoBeum

            Thank you for clearing that up Ivan.

             

            I have one of the first Generation ASUS ROG notebooks that had a TB1 port, and I was just curious to see what the compatibility limitations would be with a docking station, and was going to attempt to build a USB3.1 Driver to make use of the TB port. I won't need to now that I know it's not going to work.

             

            I can get on with my other troubleshooting for the Micro SD controller for the Intel Cherry Trail on a ASUS T100. It's got issues with SanDisk's SDXC since launch of Windows 10, and I was at a retail outlet yesterday and test and confirmed that the entire SanDisk SDXC range has issues from Boot.. it was partly embarrassing, but mostly funny, purchasing and refunding all the cards in 30 minutes

            • 3. Re: Q/A: Thunderbolt Device and Controller Compatibility between All Generations and USB Type C Interface and beyond
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              I’m glad that the information was useful for you and I hope you can will be able to solve the problem with the ASUS T100.
               
              Best regards,
               
               
              Ivan U.
               

              • 4. Re: Q/A: Thunderbolt Device and Controller Compatibility between All Generations and USB Type C Interface and beyond
                jbnimble

                re: TB ports on 4th Gen CPU (i7- 4720HQ):

                 

                Not knowing much about TB ports except that currently the Intel website says that 8th gen CPU's will support the TB 3 protocol, my question relates to the 4th gen CPU's and the protocol of which TB port was supported (Tb 1, 2 or 3). I would assume just like today that different manufacturers supported TB ports, in contacting the manufacturer in question the data could not be provided as to the specifications of the TB port on a 4th gen CPU ASUS ROG G751JT-DB73 .

                 

                The tech assumed the generational gap of the TB port did not exist... my question is can Intel provide some clarification on the TB port specification for the 4th gen Intel i7- 4720HQ?

                 

                https://www.asus.com/us/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/ROG-G751JT/overview/ (product listing)

                 

                Thanks!!!

                 

                 

                • 5. Re: Q/A: Thunderbolt Device and Controller Compatibility between All Generations and USB Type C Interface and beyond
                  NeoBeum

                  I made a mistake, I think the TBT ports on the G751 are Thunderbolt 2.

                  In my mind I just classified it as 1st Gen Mini Display, compared to 3rd Gen USB Type C.

                   

                  The i7-4720HQ is the Haswell.

                   

                  There's more info available for the Haswell chips than the Crystal Well, which is why I was having trouble.

                   

                  Then there's also the factors of configurations that are disabled by ASUS.

                   

                  Then there's also the difference of something like this

                   

                  https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ROG-G751JY/specifications/

                   

                  and

                   

                  https://www.asus.com/au/Laptops/ROG-G751JY/specifications/

                   

                  I vaguely remember at one stage the AU site was vastly different to the US and International site, which is a reason why I just never bothered going on to the internet and asking for help on forums. It was just easier to generalise to say ... well I know it's Thunderbolt, so it's Gen 1 at least

                   

                  You'll notice the US models don't list the 4860HQ... which is probably why I'm the only one that's reported issues on the ROG boards.

                  The US/AU revisions must be significantly different, but there's very limited datasheets available, much like trying to find info for Crystal Well 4860HQ, plenty of Haswell info but not Crystal Well.

                   

                  Some of the other reasons why I stopped coming online:

                   

                  1) Microsoft remote techs were useless.

                   

                  2) Even if someone posted some solution, if it was another user posting half baked workarounds, then it adds extra variables if they don't have everything done correctly, like on XDA

                   

                  3) Everyone on the ROG forum is under the impression told that NVMe doesn't work / isn't supported..

                  Hoeever the Samsung 950 UBX includes the NVMe on chip.. which is probably why I've been able to use it since 2015.

                   

                  Then assumptions are made that 960s will be compatible, however it no longer uses UBX.

                   

                  So I've posted that I've had NVMe working, but it can be taken out of context both ways if people don't know.

                   

                  4) The T100 Transformerbook forums were being told the T100 didn't support hibernation, yet I (T100HAN) have it fully functional.

                   

                  (SanDisk MicroSDXC and the Intel Cherry Trail MicroSD Controller is another issue)

                   

                  5) Everyone was being told they can't get an ISO for multiple edition Windows 10, yet I am  working on a wim that has 4 editions.

                   

                  6) Asking anything on the Microsoft community site is almost useless 99% of the time, and you rejoice when you receive a reply that doesn't bear resemblance to "run sfc /scannow", the exception is unless you get a reply from Andre da Costa, but he lives mostly in the MSDN section that not many people have access to.

                   

                  7) depending on how you access the asus site, determines the redirection. its hard to know which region each model should use for reference, especially in the period where AU would use APAC and International.

                   

                  8) Unless there's confirmation of what exactly should happen from one vendor, then there's no baseline to test from which makes fault finding difficult.

                   

                  @jbnimble thanks for the reply.. I wouldn't have rechecked everything again.

                  Screenshot for TBT attached... you may want to check the US site though.

                   

                  edit: it never clicked because Ive been using it as a display out for 3rd monitor