Intel this week announced plans to discontinue its first generation Thunderbolt 3 controllers it launched in 2015, coming as a consequence of an industry transition from leaded to lead-free components. The company has had newer controllers in its fleet for quite a while, so it should not be a problem for PC makers to switch to them as they migrate to newer Intel platforms, such as Cannon Lake or Coffee Lake.

Intel on Thursday published plans to discontinue its DSL6340 and DSL6540 TB3 controllers it released in Q3 2015. Intel’s customers should place their orders on the chips by February 2, 2018, and the final shipments will be made by August 3, 2018. Replacing the DSL chips, Intel is advising its customers to instead use the JHL6340 and the JHL6540 controllers that were launched back in Q2 2016.

At first glance, there is no difference between Intel's DSL- and JHL-series Thunderbolt 3 controllers: both belong to the Alpine Ridge family and even their power consumption is the same: 1.7 - 2.2 W depending on port configuration. Intel has also confirmed that the DSL- and JHL-series TB3 controllers are similar in terms of features and functionality: 6340 supports one Thunderbolt 3 port, whereas 6540 supports two Thunderbolt 3 ports, every TB3 chip carries two DP 1.2 streams and so on.

Intel's Thunderbolt 3 Controllers Codenamed Alpine Ridge
  DSL6240 DSL6340 DSL6540 JHL6340 JHL6540
Launch Date Q2 2016 Q3 2015 Q2 2016
TDP 1.2 W 1.7 W 2.2 W 1.7 W 2.2 W
Number of Ports 1 2 1 2
DisplayPort 1.2
Package Size 10.7 × 10.7 mm
Recommended Price $6.45 $8 $8.55 $8 $8.55

Meanwhile, there is a difference between how different families of Intel's Thunderbolt 3 controllers are made. The DSL-series controllers use a lead-containing solder alloy, whereas the JHL-series use a lead-free solder alloy based on tin, silver and copper (such alloys are called SAC - Sn, Ag, Cu). The European Union restricts the use of lead (as well as many other hazardous materials) because its fumes increase risk of lung and stomach cancer, along with the other known risks of lead exposure and heavy metals in general. So, as it appears, Intel is EOLing its first-gen Thunderbolt 3 controllers as part of the broader effort to phase out the use of lead in electronics products.

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Source: Intel

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  • ddriver - Monday, August 7, 2017 - link

    What a persuasive argument you make. Such intellect...
  • rahvin - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    All heavy metals are detrimental and in high enough doses are lethal. They all have effects even at low doses, lead causes effects to the CNS (central nervous system) that aren't very well understood but the evidence indicates it makes people more violent and stupider. And in high enough doses it can cause severe mental health problems and other CNS related issues along with kidney failure and damage to your bones.

    Just because someone in the past didn't understand the risks of lead and used it frequently doesn't mean it's not a hazard. Romans used to eat off lead plates and store wine in Lead, they also had health spans that rarely went past 40.

    Heavy metals are bad for you, that is one thing the medical community is in complete agreement. Lead is a heavy metal.
  • Yojimbo - Sunday, August 6, 2017 - link

    "Heavy metals are bad for you, that is one thing the medical community is in complete agreement. Lead is a heavy metal."

    Pretty much everything is bad for you in a large enough dosage. Vitamin A will kill you. Oxygen will kill you. The heavy metals don't have any beneficial dosage, however. But that doesn't mean we have reason to believe we need to spend so much money to get it to minuscule levels. Resources are limited. When we make poor decisions with our resources we lower our quality of life and get people killed. I really doubt that there is sufficient evidence that it is a worthy endeavor to try to eliminate minute amounts of lead in everything we do. It's probably just a past-time that is popular (as in it makes those who do it popular) and obsessive.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Sunday, August 6, 2017 - link

    the word you are looking for is "passtime". Something to pass time, not something that was in the past or whatever

    not mocking, just informing :)
  • kidsafe - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    Lead-poisoning deniers... Clair Cameron Patterson is rolling in his grave.
  • mga318 - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    Go read Wikipedia.
  • Yojimbo - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    "Go read Wikipedia."


    "And people also used to die at a much younger age. Certainly thats not leads fault alone, but all sorts of factors contribute."

    We increased lead and people lived longer. Not much of an argument.

    "Actually lead is of little health risk to people over the age of 25. It is primarily linked to developing brain disorders. Your brain starts to naturally deteriorate once you are in your late 20's. Actually your whole body starts to deteriorate."

    Sure it is. Significant levels of lead. But they try to resolve further than their methods have the ability to resolve. They are like children playing with cannons. And don't think people don't get killed by it. Think of all the people who have been killed or otherwise harmed by the resulting explosion of simple carbohydrate ingestion because of the attack on fats? Not to mention the billions and billions, probably hundreds of billions or more, of dollars it has cost.

    The interesting thing is that it's a self-reinforcing cycle caused by government intervention. The government is alerted to a problem or possible problem. The government looks for a policy to adopt. It prematurely selects what seems most likely to be the case at the time, heavily swayed by irrational management of risk, because this is people's lives we are talking about here; surely we need to take an action. The government also controls the money for further research into the situation. It is politically inconvenient for the government's policies to be undermined. Somewhere along the line things go from "well, some policy is better than no policy" to "we wouldn't have a policy if it weren't settled". It becomes hard to get funding for any research that questions the government's policies, depending on the social, economic, and geo-political implications. For instance, they've recently managed to internationally get more objective marijuana research done despite the U.S. federal government listing it as a schedule 1 drug for 40 years or whatever. International treaties, however, will tend to cement the situation internationally. Policy moves harder and harder in the direction of the created bias. Eventually it can take decades for opposition research to trickle through and break the cycle. It's an uphill battle against the quantity of government-funded and "popular" research publications. Meanwhile, besides the delay to the science, there is the damage caused by the policy. And don't underestimate authoritarian creep. A government entity will in general want to increase it's power and dominion in order to try to more effectively fulfill its function. A simple example of that is a law being passed to deal with organized gangs empowered by Prohibition later being used far outside the scope it was conceived to confiscate people's electronics devices. It also happens with regulatory bodies, not just investigatory or law enforcement bodies.
  • davidedney123 - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    I think there may have been lead in the tin foil you've been using for your hat...
  • Hurr Durr - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    You love the goobermint boot stepping on your face, we get it.
  • sorten - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    "The government also controls the money for further research into the situation"
    "It becomes hard to get funding for any research that questions the government's policies"

    I have a difficult time believing this is the case. In situations where a government policy will force change upon a private sector industry the industry players typically devote more money to fighting change than the sum total of the government's research budget. Think about the money that has been spent by auto makers to fight CARB policies. Or Big Tobacco's spending on fighting the notion that smoking causes cancer. In most cases I would say that the private sector significantly outspends government sponsored research.

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