Thunderbolt - Fundamentals 3-hour Virtual-Classroom Course
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Thunderbolt - Fundamentals 3-hour Virtual-Classroom Course
(Virtual-Classroom: 4/27/2017)

Thunderbolt - Fundamentals 3-hour Virtual-Classroom Course

Location Virtual-Classroom
Date 4/27/2017 - 4/27/2017
Duration 3 hours, 9am-12pm US Pacific Time
Instructor Jay Trodden
Price $195.00

Fundamentals of Thunderbolt 3 Architecture

This webinar provides a brief introduction to Thunderbolt 3 technology. Thunderbolt 3 is an Intel-defined hardware interface supporting very high bandwidth IO data and the ability to provide up to 100W of DC power—all using a single cable between a host computer and an attached device, dock, etc. Thunderbolt 3 employs the same small Type-C receptacles/plugs already found in USB devices ranging from cell phones and tablets up to large workstations and servers. A goal of Thunderbolt 3 coupled with Type-C is to provide a single connection that can “do it all”. Depending on the capabilities of attached devices and cables, the actual data protocol used on a particular port may be Thunderbolt 3 at 40 Gb/s or 20 Gb/s, one of the five possible USB 2.0/3.0/3.1 protocols and speeds, or one of the other Type-C alternate modes, including Display Port 1.2, HDMI, MHL (Mobile HD Link), etc. In this webinar, we are primarily concerned with Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gb/s or 20 Gb/s)—the highest performance protocol available on Type-C.

Using the same Type-C receptacles and plugs for USB 3.1 and the Type-C alternate modes (including Thunderbolt 3) adds some complexity to the scenarios a user may encounter when making device connections. This is compounded by an expanding set of active and passive USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 cables—all of which are similar in appearance, but have different protocol, speed, and power capabilities.

The goal of this webinar is to summarize the basic elements of Thunderbolt 3, with an emphasis on ports operating at 40 Gb/s and 20 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 modes and shed light on the important features (and possible areas of confusion) associated with this very high performance interface. 

Date: Thursday April 27th, 2017

Duration: 3 hours, 9am-noon US Pacific Time Zone

Location: Virtual-Classroom WebEx Online course

Who Should Attend?

Engineering managers, FAEs, marketing engineers, application engineers, board design engineers

Course Outline:

  • Thunderbolt Background
    • The problem addressed with original Thunderbolt
    • Thunderbolt 2 enhancements
  • What Thunderbolt 3 Brings
    • Three specifications to consider: Thunderbolt 3 (Intel proprietary specification), USB 3.1 Type-C, USB Power Delivery (USBPD)
    • Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt 3 Controller
    • Type-C receptacles and plugs
    • Hardware detection scheme to determine
    • Support for Power Delivery (PD) sideband messaging
    • PD message negotiated VBUS power contracts (up to 100 W)
    • PD message discovery of cable and device capabilities
    • PD message entry/exit for Type-C alternate modes (e.g. Thunderbolt 3)
  • Port Operating in Thunderbolt 3 mode (40 Gb/s or 20 Gb/s)
    • Thunderbolt 3 controller (Alpine Ridge) required on each end of the link
    • Multiplexed PCIe Gen 3 and Display Port 1.2 data
    • Very high bandwidth enables new applications: 4K (and higher resolution) video monitors, External graphics, Docking (single cable), Networking, Mass storage
    • Electronically marked Thunderbolt 3 cables required: Active cables, Passive cables
    • Daisy chain up to 6 Thunderbolt 3 devices
    • Thunderbolt 3 protocol converters available (TB3 to TB2, etc)
  • Brief Demonstrations
    • Using Arbor software to scan for Thunderbolt 3 (Alpine Ridge) controllers in the PCI Topology
    • Using a USB Power Delivery (PD) protocol analyzer to verify sideband communications between host, devices, and cables.

Recommended Prerequisites:

None, though some USB and PCIe architecture knowledge would be helpful.

Training Materials:

Downloadable PDF version of the presentation slides