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What happened to Thunderbolt 4 option/models?

jsmiddleton4
New Contributor I
732 Views

I had been waiting and waiting for the 11th Gen with one T3 port, one T4 port.  Finally came to not available, no stock, not available any more, and was left with getting an 11th Gen with 2 T3 ports.

2 T3 ports will work for me, obviously, but would have preferred one T4 if only to be able to make full use of Thunderbolt 4 hubs.  T4 more flexible in this regard.

T4 disappeared.

Anyone know what happened?

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12 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
718 Views

It never 'disappeared' as a feature. The Phantom Canyon (NUC11PH) and Beast Canyon (NUC11BT) NUCs both have Thunderbolt 4 ports. While it's true that the Panther Canyon (NUC11PA) and Tiger Canyon (NUC11TN) NUCs only have Thunderbolt 3 ports, AFAIK this has *always* been POR (I checked back through even the earliest leaked roadmaps that mention them).

Sorry,

...S

 

jsmiddleton4
New Contributor I
712 Views

On paper and tech specs on Intel’s site.  BH Photo said they the NUC 11 kits with T4 are no longer available.  E-ITX has a handful IF you want ones with the extra GLAN or USB 2 ports already and fully configured.  No kits.  

 

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
708 Views

Hhmmm, you made me look deeper. While the roadmap and TN TPS are ambiguous regarding this, I see where it lists T4 support as being present in all of the referenced SoC versions - and, in fact, I don't see any other SoC versions listed in ARK that don't have T4 support. I agree there is a mystery here.

Let me see if there is a public explanation for what you are hearing...

...S

jsmiddleton4
New Contributor I
672 Views

Easy to check for yourself, see what I’m talking about.  Search Amazon see if any T4 kits are available, Newegg, BH Photo, etc.  Only kits I can find, purchased an i5 one, are 2 T3 ports, one HDMI, one mini-display, 2.5gb LAN.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
666 Views

Well, you really had me going for a while there, but now I see what's going on. You have been asserting that Intel has taken something away - but no, no they haven't.

If the unit has a mDP port, then it is a Panther Canyon (NUC11PA) Performance NUC. PA NUCs utilize processors that have only dual-TBT3 in their SoCs. This has *always* been the case and this is detailed in the Roadmaps, TPS and associated processor specs online. In order to get TBT4+TBT3, you need a Tiger Canyon (NUC11TN) Performance (with i7-1165G7, i5-1135G7 or i3-1115G4 processors) or Pro (with i7-1185G7 or i5-1145G7 vPro-enabled processors) NUC. All of the processors used in the TN NUCs have TBT4+TBT3 in their SoCs.

So, you are (just) complaining about availability. Here's the issue: for some undisclosed reason, Intel chose to restrict the availability of the PA family NUCs to APAC. This caused a run on the TN NUCs within the other Geos. resulting in very few units being available now. What makes this more frustrating is the fact that, as a result of the TN NUC shortage, PA NUCs are suddenly showing up in the other Geos (including here in NA). It is not Intel doing this; Intel sells the NUCs into the retail channels and it is the channel distributors who control what appears where, how they are shipped, etc. Of course, this whole situation is being exacerbated by the silicon shortage, which is affecting Intel's ability to produce more units to feed into the channels.

Bottom line, unless you want to go with that third-party that has inventory (but is selling them only as expensive L10 PCs), you must either go with a PA NUC (and TBT3-only) or wait for the shortages to end.

Sorry, reality bites.

...S

jsmiddleton4
New Contributor I
662 Views

Where’d they go is the point.  Chip shortage isn’t cutting it.  There’s obviously enough T3 “chips”.  I bet companies like OWC who have gotten T4 hubs to market aren’t all that please either.  Why buy a T4 hub?

The T4 port models aren’t being outrageously over priced.  They aren’t kits is all.  Of course that makes them more expensive.  

These T4 kits were available.  Figured I could wait.  In error of course.  They went from available to boom, GONE.

T4 issues?

jsmiddleton4
New Contributor I
655 Views

Looks like they tried to make an alternative work and maybe backed off?

“These controllers are not formally USB 4 compliant, but they are USB 4 compatible. As such, Intel wants its OEM partners to communicate the benefits of Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4 'compatibility,' or "exclude mention of USB4," according to documents reviewed by Igor'sLab”

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
652 Views

Now you are just getting silly. This can be explained using simple economics.

The TN NUCs aren't there because they were over-purchased as a result of the PA NUCs not being available in these Geos. Now, in the one Geo, some PA NUC inventory existed because the demand for them was lower (due to their higher cost - which has always been there). Because of the limited inventory throughout continuing as a result of the shortages, the channel distributors are shifting the units to these other Geos.

...S

jsmiddleton4
New Contributor I
632 Views

Except its not simple supply and demand economics.  Supply and demand economics explains why Logitech quit making Harmony remotes.  Supply and demand economics has nothing to do with why NUC's with T4 ports suddenly disappeared.

The initial issue was caused because Texas Instruments ran out of the fully compliant and necessary power distribution chip to do USB4/TB4.  Apple apparently stock piled them but even Apple is having a supply issue for this particular chip.  The work around, and there was one, was a different TI chip that was compatible with USB4 but not USB4 compliant.   It looks like Intel tried to do the work around initially.  I'm gonna guess they thought better.  It would have created a mess and Intel woulda had mud on their proverbial faces.

Chip shortage explains why Intel initially tried a work around.  It does not explain what I'm guessing is a change of heart regarding said workaround.

The full explanation is behind the scenes somewhere.  An explanation we mere mortals are unlikely to discover for some time.

The only T4 thing I cared about was being able to have a T4 hub in which all the Thunderbolt ports worked.  My 8th Gen had one T3 port.  Thunderbolt hubs with T3 have 1 Thunderbolt port working on the hub.  The other ports are USB-C. 

The 11th Gen has 2 T3 ports.  That's all I needed, one more T3 port.

I wonder if the T4 hubs added to the TI chip shortage?   Same TI chip in the hubs?

jsmiddleton4
New Contributor I
625 Views

Makes one wonder if these 11th Gen with 2 T3 ports, if one could be T4 but not fully USB4. 

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