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SMcCr1
Novice
2,456 Views

How to control output voltage of Thunderbolt 3 ports in NUC8i7HVK?

I understand that Thunderbolt 3 is capable of outputting up to 100W of power. I wish to power a monitor which requires 12V and 1.5A (so max 18W of power), and I would like to use a Thunderbolt 3 port on my NUC8i7HVK to do this. I assume that the monitor would draw whatever current is required, but it's important to get the voltage correct.

I would like to know how to manually set the output voltage of the Thunderbolt 3 port.

0 Kudos
11 Replies
idata
Community Manager
540 Views

Hello kombob

 

Thank you for contacting us.

 

We would like to inquire deeper in to your request.

 

Since the information is not handy, we will escalate your case in order to check if the information regarding the voltage is available.

 

This will delay our answers; however we will contact you as soon as we have news.

 

I hope to hear from you soon.

 

Best regards.

 

Diego S.

 

Ronny_G_Intel
Moderator
540 Views

Hello kombob,

The Thunderbolt port on NUC8i7HVK is 5V 3A max and does not support variable voltage, so 12V is not possible.

Regards,

Ronny G

SMcCr1
Novice
540 Views

Then why call them Thunderbolt 3 ports? They are significantly below the power specification of Thunderbolt 3.

Surely with up to 230W of power available on this machine, these ports could offer greater power and variable voltage?

MLevi
Valued Contributor I
540 Views

Hi Kombob,

The Thunderbolt 3 Specification calls for the TB3 port to deliver power (based on USB power delivery)

– Up to 100W system charging

– 15W to bus-powered devices (3V x 5A)

https://thunderbolttechnology.net/sites/default/files/Thunderbolt_3_Overview_Brief_FINAL.pdf https://thunderbolttechnology.net/sites/default/files/Thunderbolt_3_Overview_Brief_FINAL.pdf

The NUC8i7HVK is delivering the TB3 specification.

This makes sense to me too, because the UA Audio Interface is TB3 only (no power brick) and it refused to work unless I was using a 100W (system charging) rated TB3 cable.

Things cost and arm-and-leg.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
540 Views

Mike is absolutely correct. The HN/HV NUCs are fully compliant with the TBT3, USB 3.1 and USB-C specifications. USB Power Delivery is an *optional* feature that is not supported on these NUCs.

Think about what you are asking for. Why should every HN/HV NUC bear the cost of support for this optional feature when so few would make use of it? I am certainly not interested in paying more for my NUC so that you can avoid getting a power brick for your monitor.

Just saying,

...S

SMcCr1
Novice
540 Views

Right, so the TB3 ports on the Hades Canyon are consistent with TB3 specs.

In theory then, I should be able to use the TB3 port to power the 12V 1.5A monitor.

Could I use an appropriate guage USB-C to barrel connector (e.g. https://www.amazon.com/CGTime-Type-C-5-52-1mm-Extension-Macbook/dp/B072QDWKGR/ref=pd_sim_147_2?_enco... this)? I'm not sure how the output voltage is negotiated on a TB3 port, hence why I'd like to be able to set the voltage manually. When using it for "up to 100W charging power", how is the voltage determined?

What would be really cool would be a Thunderbolt-3 DC dock, with a range of DC outputs (e.g. 5V, 9V, 12V).

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
540 Views

No, you can't. That is an optional feature and is not supported.

...S

SMcCr1
Novice
540 Views

Sorry, read this after posting. So to be clear – the TB3 ports on the Hades Canyon do not support the "up to 100W power delivery" feature?

I don't know what the additional cost of implementing such a feature would be, so I can't answer whether this would be worthwhile or not. I have the need for this feature, and was led to believe from reading TB3 specs that this would be possible. I didn't read anywhere that it was an optional feature.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
540 Views

Think about it this way: To support this capability and taking into account that you need 100W for each USB-C port supported, you would need to almost double the output from the power brick.

Can you even do this in this (power brick) form factor? Are you not then in need of a power supply that has active cooling? I had a laptop once whose power supply had a fan in it. Never again...

I just spoke with the development team and verified my statements; the USB Power feature is definitely optional and is definitely not supported. The USB-C ports provide only 15W.

...S

MLevi
Valued Contributor I
540 Views

WOW

Well, then it's not a complete implementation of the Thunderbolt 3 specification.

I trust that your team know what they're talking about.

Just to be clear, the two TB3 (USB3.1) ports at the back of the NUC8i7HVKs do not provide 15W of power and only the USB 3.0 ports?

And the power rating of the brick is interesting. First off, I get that power is needed for all of the other ports and components and that to deliver TB3 specification to all those ports and components, would indeed require a mammoth brick.

Purchasing a more capable brick though and disabling the bios setting that adjusts to low power bricks starting at 230W, I'm wondering if the full TB3 spec (power) is then available to both of the 3.1 ports at the back?

I'm wondering if the hard limits of the Thunderbolt 3 specification are at play here. Even though there are 2 x TB3 ports, they share the same controller. This means that both ports also share the same two-video-feed limit.

Does this mean that when it comes to power, the full specification can only be delivered on one of the two 3.1 gen 2 ports at a time?

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
540 Views

Well, in that context, I was saying that the orange USB charging ports only supply 15W (5V@1.5A), but this is actually the maximum USB supports across the board; here are the current requirements (pun intended) for USB:

USB 2.0: 0.5 A

 

USB 3.0: 0.9 A

 

USB 3.0 with Battery Charging 1.2: 1.5 A

USB-C: 3.0 A

You can review these requirements in these articles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB# Power USB - Wikipedia and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_(Physical)# POWER USB (Physical) - Wikipedia. Intel's NUC implementations meet these requirements across the board.

As for TBT3, it *is* a complete implementation. By spec., a TBT3 port is only required to provide 550mA (9.9W). I quote from article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface)# Thunderbolt_3 Thunderbolt (interface) - Wikipedia (though my highlights): "Thunderbolt 3 has limited power delivery capabilities on copper cables and no power delivery capability on optical cables. Using USB-C on copper cables, it can incorporate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_(Physical)# Power_Delivery_(PD) USB Power Delivery, allowing the ports to source or sink up to 100 watts of power. This eliminates the need for a separate power supply from some devices." The emphasis is on the word "can", not "must".

...S

P.S. It's my former team; I am retired (as they say, "a gentleman of leisure" - hah!). I do know where they live, however.

P.S. Isn't playing devil's advocate fun?