The Thunderbolt and USB ecosystems have been rapidly updating over the last few years. 2022 will see the announcement of the USB4 v2 standard and details of next-generation Thunderbolt with total bi-directional speeds up to 160 Gbps (80 Gbps TX/RX on symmetrical links and 120 Gbps TX/40 Gbps RX on asymmetrical links). host’s point of view). Product introductions are typically 18-24 months behind the standard announcement, and we are currently in the midst of introducing the second wave of Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 products.
At CES 2023, Plugable will unveil its first Thunderbolt 4 dock, the TBT4-UDZ. One of the key updates of Thunderbolt 4 was the bridging of features common in the USB world. As a result, the first generation of products focused on providing users with newly introduced hub functionality. Plugable launched his acclaimed TBT4-HUB3C in September 2021 to cover that aspect. Announced today, the TBT4-UDZ is the flagship dock featuring the Intel Goshen Ridge controller. It offers 16 additional ports and host charging up to 100W. There are 4 additional display outputs (2x HDMI 2.0 + 2x Display Port 1.4), but the actual number of displays it can drive depends on the capabilities of the host.
The 2.5 Gbps NBASE-T port is a welcome addition to the Thunderbolt dock’s feature set. This is what we see in most of the newly launched Thunderbolt 4 docks from various vendors. His downstream Thunderbolt port is conspicuously absent, despite the presence of a number of useful ports. The dock can be plugged into one of the TBT4-HUB3C’s Thunderbolt 4 ports, but combining both hub and dock functionality into one device could be interesting from a technical point of view.
Plugable plans to start shipping the TBT4-UDZ on January 17th. $299 Already working on Amazon.
The USBC-11IN1E is Plugable’s flagship USB-C hub, the follow-up to the USBC-7IN1E, introduced in 2020 and updated with new internals and I/O for 2021. Additional ports are added to the price. The 11-port version is priced at $79compared to $40 for the 7-port version.
The hub must have the host’s USB-C port support MST with DP Alt Mode output and both HDMI ports enabled. Without MST, using DP Alt mode mirrors the display output. The hub retains the USB-C power input (you can connect your notebook’s original charger for pass-through charging).
Plugable also adds 1 m (3.3 ft) Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 passive cables to its product portfolio. The new cable supports 40 Gbps speeds and 240 W charging (Extended power range). The Thunderbolt certified TBT4-240W-1M is priced at $29.25the price of the USB-IF certified USB4-240W-1M is $25.95The difference in price is likely due simply to the difference in certification costs. A USB-IF certified cable may work just as well in a Thunderbolt 4 setup.