TI first to support Thunderbolt technology combining PCI express and DisplayPort

March 20, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
Texas Instruments has introduced the industry’s first portfolio of chips optimized for the Thunderbolt Technology that combines PCI express and Diplayport in a high speed, USB-like interface.

Thunderbolt supports dual 10.3Gbps transfer lanes, aggregating PCI Express and DisplayPort into a single cable to enable both data and display over a single cable. TI says it is the only supplier to provide the full ecosystem of devices, allowing customers to do more by offering the right products to speed design with Thunderbolt from cable to host
Enabling the design from the host PC through the cable to the peripheral, TI’s initial product offering includes six devices. The TPS22980 power load switch resides on both the host and device side, facilitating the delivery and receipt of power to both the active cable and the connected device. The LM3017 boost and battery disconnect and HD3SS001 FET switch work in tandem on the host to connect to the cable where the TPS22985 power load switch, DS100TB211 signal conditioning retimer with clock and data recovery (CDR) and LMZ10501 Simple Switcher nano module reside.
“Thunderbolt technology brings unprecedented I/O performance and versatility to the PC platform,” said Jason Ziller, director of marketing and planning for Thunderbolt technology at Intel. “Texas Instruments’ new devices will accelerate Thunderbolt product makers’ development and time-to-market, and help accelerate Thunderbolt ecosystem growth.”
The TPS22980 3.3V to 18V power load switch provides a single, integrated solution saves board space and simplifies system design by providing a dual voltage switch with an adjustable current limit that prevents damage to the connected device. A high-voltage discharge before low-voltage connection protects components from over-voltage exposure.
The TPS22985 manages all power delivery through a Thunderbolt technology cable, simplifying cable designs. It is optimized for use with the DS100TB211 for cable implementation, minimizing required external circuitry and saving space in the active cable form factor. The latter is a dual-lane retimer with adaptive four-stage equalization that enables thin, inexpensive 40-AWG cable and includes clock synthesis and power filtering to reduce the bill-of-materials cost and PCB layers. On-chip cable diagnostics lowers assembly time and cost.