Intel's new 'Titan Ridge' Thunderbolt 3 controller brings support for DisplayPort 1.4
Intel has announced an update to its Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) controller. The new JHL7x40 series, codenamed 'Titan Ridge' is a successor to the 'Alpine Ridge' JHL6x40 series and comprises of three controllers. Of the three, JHL7540 and JHL7340 provide the same 40 Gbps TB3 bandwidth while adding support for the DisplayPort 1.4 specification for increased video performance.
While 7540 and 7340 controllers are targeted at computer OEMs, the JHL7440 controller is targeted at peripheral device makers. The 7440 controller enables USB-C port compatibility, which enables basic compatibility (depending on video, data, and power capabilities of the USB-C port) when a TB3 monitor or dock is connected to a USB-C port. It will offer advanced features and performance when the same device is connected to a TB3 port. Like the other two variants, 7440 also brings support for DisplayPort 1.4. Intel is looking to bring products with JHL7x40 controllers in 2018.
2018 will see a lot of monitor OEMs offer TB3 monitors featuring the 7440 controller. The controller enables users to hook up high resolution monitors to their notebooks while charging their notebooks at the same time directly from the monitor. Users can also daisy chain an additional 4K monitor or use two monitors at 2560 x 1440 resolution at 144 Hz. The 7440 controller also benefits enterprises by being compatible with existing USB-C ports and scaling according to the native capabilities of the port.
The USB-C compatibility of the 7440 controller will definitely be appreciated by a lot of users as it removes the immediate need to buy a TB3 equipped PC. Intel is also ready to drop licensing fees for TB3 and will soon integrate the TB3 controller on its CPUs. However, we are not quite sure as to when those plans would come to fruition. There is a possibility of Intel giving a few tidbits during this year's CES followed by some developments later in the year.