Does my Intel 11th Gen Framework support USB 4 / Thunderbolt 4?

“Supporting USB4, USB-PD, DisplayPort Alt Mode”

The pages for mainboards don’t say much, you can’t tell which generation mainboards have Thunderbolt 3 vs USB 4, etc.

Looking on my 11th Gen Intel, it looks like the statements above on framework’s website are incorrect?

1. 00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Tiger Lake-LP USB 3.2 Gen 2x1 xHCI Host Controller (rev 20)

… Unless the 11th Gen does actually have USB 4 and everything just shows up incorrectly as USB 3.2?

Ah, in classic Intel style, there are two models of the Tiger Lake-LP controller…

“Tiger Lake-LP” USB 4 / Thunderbolt 4

“Tiger Lake-LP” USB 3.2 / Thunderbolt 3

All FW laptops so far have had USB4 with TB3 backward compatibility.

Just because a device has USB4 does not mean it does not also have USB3.
Since USB4 only tunnels other things, you actually need that to actually accomplish anything. Also you want USB3 directly on the port when you are connecting non-USB4 equipment like a simple USB-Stick.

And if the Tiger Lake works anything like the Alder Lake I have, the USB4 controller basically includes its own PCIe USB3 controller on top of the generic USB3 controller that is used for all the non-USB4 ports that still use USB3 and USB2.

If you are running Linux, how about the entire lspci output, or the output of “boltctl domains”.
If running Windows then a screenshot of Device Manager in “by connection” view of the PCIe Root Complex would be helpful. Both should find your missing USB4 controller.

FWIW, the thing you’ll want to look for for Thunderbolt 4 compatibility is something like…

00:0d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Tiger Lake-LP Thunderbolt 4 USB Controller (rev 01)

(snipped from the output of lspci on my 11th generation Intel Framework Laptop)

As I’ve come to understand it, Thunderbolt 4 is USB 4 with all the optional bells and/or whistles enabled. Your 11th gen does have USB 4, but it also has a standard XHCI controller as @Ray519 mentions. :smile:

Thanks for the confirmation. I have only seen a single Tiger Lake notebook with Thunderbolt 4 and that was running Windows and using the old style Thunderbolt drivers, which makes all the components in device manager not look like they do on my 12th gen FW, but like they do with the external / dedicated TB controllers. So I was not sure, how that would look under Linux compared to mine.
But looks like it is basically identical with a separate PCIe root port for each USB4 port, the additional USB3 controller and the 2 Host Routers.

The “Thunderbolt 4 USB controller” is also just a USB3 controller, only one that sits in the CPU instead of the chipset, like the regular USB3 controller.

The actual USB4 controllers, or what shows up in Windows as “USB4 Host Routers” will be the 2 Thunderbolt 4 NHI devices. That is what is actually making the USB4 / TB3 connections.


HA. Y’all are right…

00:0d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Tiger Lake-LP Thunderbolt 4 USB Controller (rev 01)

Ok. I guess when I purchased the Framework originally I thought it was only USB 3.2 / TB 3.

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