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Linux Thunderbolt Support Can Work On Arm Systems

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  • Linux Thunderbolt Support Can Work On Arm Systems

    Phoronix: Linux Thunderbolt Support Can Work On Arm Systems

    While there aren't yet any Arm SoCs we are aware of at least offering Thunderbolt connectivity, that will eventually change with at least USB4 being based on Thunderbolt. But in any case Thunderbolt software support can work on Arm today if using a Thunderbolt add-in PCIe card...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...nderbolt-Works

  • #2
    It's not that it "can work"...
    It was more: Remove stupid arch restriction in Kconfig to what _should_ be platform independent PCIe something-something.
    That restriction should probably never have been there in the first place.

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    • #3
      Start USB4 in AMD Cezanne in 3, 2, 1...

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      • #4
        Once you can get a Linux kernel to boot on it, it probably means Thunderbolt will work on the next Mac coming out using the next A series APU.

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        • #5
          I'm gonna try my Thunderbolt Add-on card on a MIPS board with this patch.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by edwaleni View Post
            Once you can get a Linux kernel to boot on it, it probably means Thunderbolt will work on the next Mac coming out using the next A series APU.
            Yeah, just like we can do on iphones.... no wait.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MichaelChou View Post
              I'm gonna try my Thunderbolt Add-on card on a MIPS board with this patch.
              What card is that? Afaik thunderbolt cards have a special header that must be connected to the motherboard too.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
                What card is that? Afaik thunderbolt cards have a special header that must be connected to the motherboard too.
                Was about to ask the same thing. That special header is partly for a hardware lock (dongle / DRM stuff) that stops the card working on non-Intel platforms.

                If anyone else gets a Thunderbolt card working on a non-Intel box, I'm all ears!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by madscientist159 View Post
                  Was about to ask the same thing. That special header is partly for a hardware lock (dongle / DRM stuff) that stops the card working on non-Intel platforms.

                  If anyone else gets a Thunderbolt card working on a non-Intel box, I'm all ears!
                  The newer Gigabyte thunderbolt card https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard...IDGE-rev-10#kf and this Asrock card https://www.asrock.com.tw/mb/spec/pr...el=Thunderbolt 3 AIC R2.0 work on AMD x570 boards too, but it still requires the TBT header. Afaik they are not keyed to a specific brand so you can use it on boards of another manufacturer as long as the pinout is the same. WHich for Gigabyte and Asrock is.

                  in the manual they call the pins "Ground, Platform Sequence Control, Platform Sequence Control, Plug Event, Power" but that does not help much as the two Platform Sequence Control are digital communication and can do whatever.
                  Last edited by starshipeleven; 05-18-2020, 05:13 AM.

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                  • #10
                    The Raspberry Pi 4 has an internal PCIe bus. It would be great if the Raspberry Pi Foundation released a variant with the PCIe bus somehow exposed, either through an M.2 connector on the board or an external Thunderbolt port. It's nice to know that the kernel will be ready for this. Perhaps it was even someone at the Raspberry Pi Foundation who requested Thunderbolt support to be enabled for ARM architectures in the Linux kernel, since they are currently working on such a board?

                    One can only hope. Having access to a PCI Express bus would open up so many possibilities for small and affordable ARM SoCs. Discrete GPUs, RAM upgrades, you name it.

                    It might even make a Raspberry Pi suitable and feasible as the core of a daily driver desktop PC. Perhaps some other manufacturer or startup could even crowdfund the development of a mini-ATX board with multiple PCIe slots (and perhaps even conventional PCI slots through a bridge), as well as USB 3.0, better sound, SODIMM slots for RAM expansion, possibly integrated graphics, etc, which you could simply plug a Raspberry Pi 4 with a Thunderbolt port into and presto, a fully decked-out ARM desktop machine. Not to mention one which you could easily upgrade by swapping out the Pi board with a possible Raspberry Pi 5 or some other compatible SBC in the future.
                    Last edited by SteamPunker; 05-18-2020, 09:47 AM.

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