Thunderbolt™ 3

Update 11/4/16: The version of OS X on the new MacBook Pros (late 2016) will not work with existing Thunderbolt 3 docks and adapters that were certified for Windows prior to the release of the MacBook Pro. These existing devices use first generation of TI USB-C chipset (TPS65982) in combination with Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 chipset (Alpine Ridge). Apple requires the 2nd generation TPS65983 chipset for peripherals to be compatible. Certification of solutions across different device types is still in-progress for this 2nd generation chipset. From the Plugable product line, our dual display graphics adapters for DisplayPort and HDMI (TBT3-DP2X and TBT3-HDMI2X) are affected. So we offer these products as Windows-only Thunderbolt 3 devices until a future hardware update. Our Thunderbolt 3 cables do not require this chip, and therefore are compatible.

We’ve also postponed our TBT3-UD1 Docking Station to update to the TPS65983 chipset and re-certify to make this docking station MacBook-compatible. Our Flagship TBT3-UDV dock with Power Delivery/Charging was already planned to use the next generation controller chip from TI, and will be compatible with the 2016 Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks.

We’ll continue to post updates with new Thunderbolt™ 3 product and release information as it becomes available.

Thunderbolt™ 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at speeds up to 40 Gb/s, creating one compact port that does it all – delivering the fastest, most versatile connection to any dock, display, or data device. For the first time, one computer port connects to Thunderbolt devices, every display, and billions of USB devices. A single cable now provides four times the data and twice the video bandwidth of any other cable, while also supplying power.

IMPORTANT
Your PC may need updates for the Thunderbolt 3 ports to function properly.
For more information go to https://thunderbolttechnology.net/updates

Plugable’s line of Thunderbolt 3 products

Flagship Thunderbolt 3 dock for Windows and Mac (Plugable TBT3-UDV)

Expected Q1 2017

2015-01-04-Plugable-TBT3-UDV-Front2015-01-04-Plugable-TBT3-UDV-Back

Plugable’s new Thunderbolt 3 Dock will eliminate the need to constantly plug and unplug multiple devices to your notebook or tablet. The dock’s anodized aluminum enclosure and black bezel design can be positioned horizontally or vertically. Connect two uncompressed 4K 60Hz (4096 x 2160) displays (one via a DisplayPort++ port and the other via the 2nd USB-C port), up to three USB 3.0 devices, Gigabit Ethernet, and stereo audio in/out all while creating a more productive and clutter free workspace. The second Thunderbolt 3 port on the dock supports up to 5 daisy chained Thunderbolt 3 devices, up to 128 USB 3.1 (10Gb/s) devices, or the second DisplayPort display.

Supports USB Power Delivery (PD) 2.0 with support for charging compatible laptops and tablets up to 60W. Note that PD support is system dependent — only certain computers will charge via the USB-C connector.

Volume Thunderbolt 3 dock (Plugable TBT3-UD1)

Expected October 2016, Estimated street price $179 USD
Postponed indefinitely for MacBook Pro 2016 compatibility

All the same functionality as our flagship dock, with charging limited to 15W (5V 3A) to the host laptop or tablet.
Plugable TBT3-UD1
Plugable TBT3-UD1 Diagram

  1. Gigabit Ethernet (Network Connection)
  2. USB 3.0 (USB Peripherals)
  3. Audio Line In (Microphone)
  4. Audio Line Out (Headphones / Speakers)
  5. Identical to #6
  6. Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C 3.1 Gen2. Connect one port to host Computer and second port to any Thunderbolt 3 or USB device
  7. DisplayPort++ (Additional Display)
  8. Power In (12V DC / 6A)
  9. USB 3.0 (USB Peripherals)
  10. USB-C 3.1 Gen1 (USB devices only, does not support Thunderbolt devices or VESA Alternate Mode video output)

Thunderbolt 3 HDMI Dual-Display Adapter for Windows (Plugable TBT3-HDMI2X)

Launched May 2016, Windows Only, Estimated street price $99 USD
2015-01-04-Plugable-TBT3-HDMI2X

Supports two HDMI monitors up to 4K 30Hz (3840 x 2160), uncompressed and at full GPU performance.

Thunderbolt 3 DisplayPort Dual-Display Adapter for Windows (Plugable TBT3-DP2X)

Launched May 2016, Windows Only, Estimated street price $89 USD
2015-01-04-Plugable-TBT3-DP2X

Supports two DisplayPort monitors up to 4K 60Hz (4096 x 2160), uncompressed and at full GPU performance. These are “native” DisplayPort ports, so conversion to HDMI or VGA can only be done with active adapters (not less expensive DP++ passive adapters). So generally we recommend this adapter for enthusiasts who who have chosen DisplayPort native monitors with the best possible performance and resolution in mind.

Thunderbolt 3 Cables

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can a Thunderbolt 3 dock or adapter work in any system with any USB-C (USB Type C) port?
A: No. Thunderbolt 3 docks and adapters will only work with Thunderbolt 3 USB-C computers and ports. Connecting to a USB-C port without Thunderbolt 3 capability will not work. Note that computers and docks may have a mix of Thunderbolt 3 and other USB-C ports that look very similar.
Look for the Thunderbolt icon on both sides of the connection to ensure the port and device support Thunderbolt 3.

Please note that existing Thunderbolt 3 peripherals are not compatible with the MacBook Pro 2016.
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Q: Are Plugable’s Thunderbolt 3 cables compatible with the new 2016 MacBook Pro systems?
A: Yes!

Q: Are Plugable’s Thunderbolt 3 devices compatible with the new 2016 MacBook Pro systems?
A: The version of OS X on the new MacBook Pros (late 2016) will not work with existing Thunderbolt 3 docks and adapters that were certified for Windows prior to the release of the MacBook Pro. These existing devices use first generation of TI USB-C chipset (TPS65982) in combination with Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 chipset (Alpine Ridge). Apple requires the 2nd generation TPS65983 chipset for peripherals to be compatible. Certification of solutions across different device types is still in-progress for this 2nd generation chipset. From the Plugable product line, our dual display graphics adapters for DisplayPort and HDMI (TBT3-DP2X and TBT3-HDMI2X) are affected. So we offer these products as Windows-only Thunderbolt 3 devices until a future hardware update. Our Thunderbolt 3 cables do not require this chip, and therefore are compatible.

Q: Is Plugable planning on releasing any Thunderbolt 3 devices which are compatible with the 2016 MacBook Pros?
A: Yes. Our upcoming Flagship Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station with Power Delivery (TBT3-UDV) will be compatible with Macs, and we’ve postponed our TBT3-UD1 Docking Station to evaluate adding MacBook compatibility.

Q: What happens if I plug in an unsupported Thunderbolt 3 device into a 2016 MacBook?
You will not receive any warnings or errors, but the device will not function. Examination of the device enumeration tree (System Information -> Hardware -> Thunderbolt -> Thunderbolt 3 Bus -> {Your Device Name}) will simply show {Your Device Name} – Unsupported Device

Q: Will the Thunderbolt 3 dock charge my phone, tablet, or laptop with a USB-C cable?
A: Thunderbolt 3 uses the standard charging methods available with the USB-C connector. Thunderbolt 3 certification also insures a minimum bar that Thunderbolt 3 ports must signal 5V 3A of available power, and handle up to 15W draw on that port. Optionally, hosts and devices may support the more complex USB Power Delivery (PD) specification, which would allow negotiation up to 100W per port.

That’s the good news. The more complex site of the story is there is no requirement for laptops, tablets, or phones to use the USB-C port for charging. Some with USB-C ports will only charge via a DC barrel plug. Some will charge on USB-C, but only when connected to their own branded power adapters. Others may require a specific voltage during PD negotiation which don’t match any voltage offered by the power adapter, so the negotiation fails. And the PD spec is evolving from version 2 (current devices) to version 3 (devices later in 2016).

Because of these factors, charging behavior is device specific. We will be providing tables with test results with the most common laptops, tablets, and phones when used with our Thunderbolt 3 and other USB-C docks.

Q: I have a DisplayPort monitor. How can I connect it via Thunderbolt 3?
A: Any Thunderbolt 3 dock or adapter with DisplayPort or DisplayPort++ ports will connect to DisplayPort monitors directly. If the monitor has only a mini-DisplayPort (mDP) connector, a DP to mDP adapter is needed.

Q: I have a HDMI monitor. How can I connect it via Thunderbolt 3?
A: The Plugable TBT3-HDMI2X adapter will support your HDMI monitor without additional adapters. For Thunderbolt 3 docks with a DisplayPort++ port, you can use it in combination with any DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter (active or passive).

Q: I have a VGA monitor. How can I connect it via Thunderbolt 3?
A: For the Thunderbolt 3 docks with a DisplayPort++ port, you can use it in combination with any DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter (active or passive). For Thunderbolt 3 dual-display adapters, your best choice is the dual-display HDMI adapter, with two active HDMI-to-VGA adapters like our $16.95 Plugable HDMI-VGA cable.

Q: I have a DVI monitor. How can I connect it via Thunderbolt 3?
A: For Thunderbolt 3 docks with a DisplayPort++ port, you can use it in combination with any DisplayPort-to-DVI adapter (active or passive). For Thunderbolt 3 dual-display adapters, your best choice is the dual-display HDMI adapter, which can then be combined with any passive HDMI to DVI cable.

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