Surface Connect

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by Cobalt Wraith, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. Cobalt Wraith

    Cobalt Wraith New Member

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    So ever since my first hands on with the Surface Pro 3 I've been waiting to see what awesome things Microsoft would do with this new port, which has finally been given a name in "Surface Connect". My curiosity was first piqued when I noticed that there were ludicrously more pins in the port than were used by the charger, and while I anticipated the first dock I am still curious exactly how much data this port can move simultaneously. The new dock for example has a pretty acceptable number of ports on it, but can it run all of them at full speed? Microsoft seems to have enough faith in the design that they also use the same port to connect the two halves of the new Surface Book. My question here if anyone has additional insight into the matter is will all this run at full speed, and if so how much potential does the port still have? Could it, for example, run an external GPU for future Surface devices or even current Surface Pros? More a curiosity than anything else, partially stemming from the Surface Book since there are two smaller similar ports between the keyboard and the clipboard halves, and I want to know how far we can push this nifty little part of the ecosystem.
     
  2. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Due to things I'm unable to discuss I will leave it at this - The connector on the SP3, SP4 and SB has DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet and USB data through it while leaving the DisplayPort and USB on the device active and available.
     
  3. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I submit a Surface Book Keyboard dGPU is an external GPU.

    I'll speculate they have PCIe lanes in that port. What can you do with PCIe? (rhetorical question).
    Intel Core i 4xxx supports PCIe 2.0
    Intel Core i 6xxx supports PCIe 3.0
    Intel core m 6yxx supports PCIe 3.0
     
  4. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    :) I will tell you that there is a high speed industry compliant data bus through the connector but I'm not at liberty to say what the technology is....again NDA
     
  5. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it might be something like a duck. :)
     
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  6. jonvwill

    jonvwill New Member

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    Not to get too carried away, the strong resulting implication is that the SP4 could also make use of an external GPU.

    Holy cow.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
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  7. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It wouldn't surprise me. It's been a staple on wish lists since SP1.
     
  8. Korlon

    Korlon Member

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    lol, so has a pen silo in the body.... still waiting :)
     
  9. z06blaze

    z06blaze New Member

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    Considering the Skylake Processors have Thunderbolt 3 capability and Thunderbolt 3 can drive 2 4K displays, along with USB 3 and Gigabit Ethernet, I'd place my bets on it being a proprietary Thunderbolt 3 port with some small changes maybe. Thunderbolt 3 does support USB 3.1, so I would assume on the Surface dock, the ports are USB 3.0 for more compatibility with existing hardware and to prevent backlash that they didn't include a USB-C port when they could have anyway plus the Surface Connect may suit it better since USB-C is still in its infancy (though it could just be a PCI-e interface which is fine too). The Xbox One Kinect just ended up being USB 3 at the end of the day, even with it's special plug, so they've done this kind of stuff before. Bandwidth and functionality points to Thunderbolt 3 with PCI-e as a secondary possibility to me.

    Who wants to do some reverse engineering and start making an external GPU enclosure to work with a Surface Connect and make everyone happy? Surface Dock probably has some answers too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  10. Cobalt Wraith

    Cobalt Wraith New Member

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    With October approaching I'm hopeful to see some nice new stuff for this. Whether the second gen book launches this year or next, my main hope is that we see an improved dock or keyboard with better GPU options that is compatible with both generations.
     
  11. ScottyS

    ScottyS Active Member

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    Since thread has been revived, what ever happened to the concept of Blades? Different "type covers" that can be attached for different purposes, such as DJ'ing, video editing, etc.
     
  12. Cobalt Wraith

    Cobalt Wraith New Member

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    I'd almost forgotten about those! I remember the concept was developed for the Surface and Surface Pro 2 line, but I don't remember seeing anything about it since then. Now would be a great time to launch some of those for the Surface family.
     

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