Author Topic: using Thunderbolt 3 card to connect multiple NVMe SSDs, 10GbE NICs, 4k displays  (Read 176 times)

pocock

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile

The Blackbird and Lite motherboard only have 2 PCIe slots and the full motherboard only supports 2 out of 5 slots if a single CPU is fitted.

Furthermore, I read that PCIe bifurcation is not supported on the Blackbird and Lite, so they can't have multiple NVMe SSDs on a single PCIe card.

Does Thunderbolt 3 provide an answer to this problem?

I searched for Thunderbolt in the forum and wiki and couldn't find anything about it.

For example, Thunderbolt 3 can connect multiple SSDs, 4k displays and 10GbE NICs, reducing the number of things that have to go in the two PCIe slots.

Here are a couple of the Thunderbolt 3 cards I found at a local supplier:

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboard-Accessories/ThunderboltEX-3/

https://www.asrock.com/mb/spec/product.asp?Model=Thunderbolt%203%20AIC%20R2.0


Some of the issues that come to mind:


- does the PCI card work at all in non-x86 boards?

- can it boot from an NVMe SSD on Thunderbolt 3?

- does the Linux kernel compiled for ppc64 support Thunderbolt 3 boards like this?

Has anybody tried this already or is anybody in a position to try one of these cards?

One downside of using Thunderbolt 3 is the security risk.  Having storage outside the main PC case is not always a good idea.  Attackers with physical access to a Thunderbolt port may also be able to use the port to scrape the contents of RAM
http://blog.frizk.net/2016/10/dma-attacking-over-usb-c-and.html

Debian Developer

MPC7500

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
    • Twitter

pocock

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
Maybe OCuLink is the alternative to Thunderbolt 3 - but there is some ambiguity about OCuLink support on the Talos II and Blackbird, can anybody clarify it?
Debian Developer

MPC7500

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +11/-0
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
The only thing I can say is that a working OCuLink adapter is listed in the RCSwiki.