ThunderBolt 3 & advanced I/F

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Thunderbolttm 3 in every Acromove product

Thunderbolttm 3 is the new standard interface for high-resolution workflows, monitoring and networking, developed by Apple and Intel and rolled out in 2017. It is based on the USB-C connector and is a super-set of the USB 3.1 Gen 2 specification. In brief, Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C. The superset of features that Thunderbolttm 3 provides include:

  • At 40 Gbps, Thunderbolttm is the fastest connection available (by comparison, native USB 3.1 operates at 10 Gbps and USB3 is 5 Gbps).
  • Thunderbolttm is bi-directional with four lanes of PCI Express Gen 3 and eight lanes of DisplayPort 1.2.
  • You can connect to any dock, device or display, including billions of USB devices.
    Protocols in TB3 include HDMI, DC power, Firewire, USB 3, Thunderbolt 2, Ethernet, and VGA.

Both ServerPacktm and Thunderpack Minitm come with a Thunderbolttm 3, as well as at least one spare USB 3.1 port.

Advanced Networking Interfaces

ServerPacktm comes standard with GbE and 10GbE RJ-45 network interfaces, and can optionally accept various fiber interface boards depending on the needs of connecting to a data center switch. ServerPacktm has a PCIe3/12Gbs architecture ready for the most demanding to compute and storage tasks.

Fast 10GbE interfaces are rapidly becoming the standard since the cost is coming down. Since organizations are now deploying even faster systems (25, 40, 56, and even 100 GbE), ServerPacktm is designed to keep pace with these up-and-coming standards.

We may include an SPF/SPF+ connector at your request but, if 10GbE SFP+ Fiber is needed to a product already ordered and manufactured without it, a good idea would be to install yourself a Mellanox 40GbE option board and use a break-out cable to get 4 x 10GbE SFP+ ports that each can be addressed individually. These can also be aggregated on a switch to get a single instance of 40GbE bandwidth. It’s more cost-effective than using multiple 10GbE boards and only requires the use of one PCIe slot.

As for the ThunderPack Minitm, we know that there are multiple high bandwidth ports have several new applications that are just beginning to emerge. For example, professional VR (Virtual Reality) recording rigs use as many as 20 high-resolution cameras recording in sync. Currently, each camera records to its own storage device. Each card must be individually retrieved from the rig and the footage is transferred using a standard card reader (usually working at USB 3.x data speeds). We are working with a couple of partners to develop a fiber interface to the VR rig to transfer all of the footage simultaneously to portable storage in real time.


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