New MacBook Pros May Not Be Compatible With Some Early Thunderbolt 3 Devices [Updated]

macbook-pro-late-2016Apple's new MacBook Pros appear to be incompatible with Thunderbolt 3 devices that use controller chips from Texas Instruments, meaning some early Thunderbolt 3 products may not work with the new machines.

The incompatibility was discovered by Plugable (via 9to5), who found that their TBT3-DP2X and TBT3-HDMI2X graphics adapters were not compatible with Apple's new MacBook Pros because they use a controller chip from Texas Instruments. As a result, Plugable will be postponing its upcoming Docking Station as it works on a compatibility solution.

Update 11/1/16: Apple has chosen to prevent Thunderbolt 3 devices using currently available controller chips from Texas Instruments from enumerating and functioning on the 2016 MacBook Pros. All current Thunderbolt 3 peripherals which use this controller chip are incompatible with the new 2016 Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks (To our knowledge, this includes all currently available Thunderbolt 3 devices including our TBT3-DP2X and TBT3-HDMI2X graphics adapters. Our Thunderbolt 3 cables do not require this chip, and therefore are compatible.)

Because of this, we've made the difficult decision to postpone our TBT3-UD1 Docking Station as we evaluate what is necessary to make this docking station MacBook-compatible. Our Flagship TBT3-UDV dock with Power Delivery/Charging is using the next generation controller chip from TI, and will be compatible with the 2016 Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks.

Because some existing or soon-to-be available Thunderbolt 3 accessories may not be compatible with the new MacBook Pro, customers who are looking to purchase docks, adapters, and other products should double check with manufacturers to ensure compatibility.

Many products on the horizon newer Thunderbolt 3 chipsets and won't be affected, and it's also possible Apple could push a firmware update to add support for accessories with the older Texas Instruments controller.

Update: Plugable has provided MacRumors with more information on which Thunderbolt 3 accessories are supported by the MacBook Pro and which are not.

The version of OS X on the new MacBook Pros (late 2016) will not work with existing Certified Thunderbolt 3 docks and adapters (released prior to November 2016). These existing devices use Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 chipset (Alpine Ridge) in combination with the first generation of TI USB-C chipset (TPS65982).

Apple requires the 2nd generation TPS65983 chipset for peripherals to be compatible. Certification of solutions across different device types is still in-progress for this 2nd generation chipset. From the Plugable product line, our dual display graphics adapters for DisplayPort and HDMI (TBT3-DP2X and TBT3-HDMI2X) are affected and are disabled by OS X on the new MacBooks. So we offer these products as Windows-only Thunderbolt 3 devices until a future hardware update. Our Thunderbolt 3 cables do not require this chip, and therefore are compatible.

We’ve also made the difficult decision to postpone our TBT3-UD1 Docking Station to update to the TPS65983 chipset and re-certify to make this docking station MacBook-compatible. Our Flagship TBT3-UDV dock with Power Delivery/Charging was already planned to use the next generation controller chip from TI, and will be compatible with the 2016 Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks.

Top Rated Comments

Loismustdie1 Avatar
74 months ago
You know what? My early 2013 MacBook Pro can make it another cycle. This is ridiculous.
Score: 170 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dantastic Avatar
74 months ago
Maybe you need an extra dongle for your dongle
Score: 133 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GreyOS Avatar
74 months ago
The one port that does it almost.
Score: 94 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fs454 Avatar
74 months ago
As if we needed any more straight up kicks to the balls with this product.
Score: 86 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Juicy Box Avatar
74 months ago
This thing could really use some good news.

Seems like nothing but negative articles lately.
Score: 77 Votes (Like | Disagree)
displayblock Avatar
74 months ago
You're plugging it in wrong!
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...