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Thread: Thunderbolt 3 add in cards

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    Default Thunderbolt 3 add in cards

    Does anyone have any idea why there isn't a "universal Thunderbolt 3 add in card" that allows me to add Thunderbolt 3 support to any PC?

    There's an ASUS card for certain ASUS mobos. There's a Gigabyte card for Gigabyte mobos. There's an ASROCK card for ASROCK boards.

    Why is this?

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    It's down to Intel's licensing and how they've staggered their "royalty free" release of the Thunderbolt spec. We're still probably another year or two out from TB being on an add-on card as they have already delayed the documentation for implementing TB till 2H19.

    Right now all those vendor specific AICs for TB are cross-compatible as long as the motherboard has the available PCI-e slot and a Thunderbolt header as the code to activate the AIC is in the BIOS. Likewise, the drivers do a crosscheck to make sure you have an appropriate board.

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    So, like the licensing it through the implementation via the chipset on the motherboard?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyGURU View Post
    So, like the licensing it through the implementation via the chipset on the motherboard?
    The royalty free release is supposed to allow anyone who signs the NDA to make a thunderbolt controller that's chipset agnostic but from everything I've heard and been told, Intel hasn't even published the documentation for compliance with the standard yet. So no one can even begin their designs yet even.

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    There's also the issue of Intel pushing Thunderbolt into USB 4.0 which would further complicate things and require companies to redesign chips

    https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/04/wi...will-converge/
    https://www.neowin.net/news/usb-40-t...ansfer-speeds/

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/us...e-c,38736.html
    https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/04/...bolt-3-40gbps/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Gerow View Post
    Does anyone have any idea why there isn't a "universal Thunderbolt 3 add in card" that allows me to add Thunderbolt 3 support to any PC?
    There's an ASUS card for certain ASUS mobos. There's a Gigabyte card for Gigabyte mobos. There's an ASROCK card for ASROCK boards.
    Why is this?
    Nope, there isn't a way yet as its still mostly proprietary.
    It seems to need BIOS Support as well, wich is a big problem.

    Anyway, here some more Infos from L1Techs:

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