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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  • Yojimbo - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    Uh huh, all that lead from electronics solder is killing people left and right. They used to drink water from pipes made of it. They cooked things in it and put it in earthenware. Later they disposed of used batteries in landfills and had it in paints. That's when it caused problems. Now they try to make correlations at such sensitive levels that there are more hidden variables than they can possibly control.

    It's dangerous. Someone can grab control of the money and the message and make the uncertain seem certain. We've seen it with fat in diet and countless other things. If the powerful had a reason to want people to believe vaccines cause autism then we would be sure vaccines cause autism by now.
  • Samus - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    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.

    So the problem has historically been the sociopaths in charge of regulating hazardous materials and environmental policy don't seem to give a shit about children, just themselves.
  • Intervenator - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    No, lead is a serious health risk for people of all ages. Lead impacts more than just the brain (of which it is neurotoxic). Indeed, the brain and body stops significant growth and actually begins to deteriorate during your 20s, but that does not mean the rate at which it deteriorates remains constant regardless of external factors. Lead will simply accelerate the rate of deterioration in many of your bodies systems.
  • Morawka - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    i find it hard to believe your brain is past it's peak at your late 20's.. Einstein made all of his major discoveries at the age of 35. Some of the most creative people in this world do great work in their 30's and 40's.
  • bobj3832 - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    That isn't true. He continued to make discoveries but I'll let you read it.

    In 1905, Einstein was awarded a PhD by the University of Zürich. The same year, his annus mirabilis (miracle year), he published four groundbreaking papers, which were to bring him to the notice of the academic world, at the age of 26.
  • Intervenator - Saturday, August 5, 2017 - link

    See fluid vs crystal intelligence. Fluid intelligence is ones ability to learn in new ways (learning to think in abstract ways to eventually reinvent physics), and peaks in your 20s. Crystal intelligence is ones ability to build upon information already in place through learning methods that have already been acquired (mirroring (not reinventing) the abstract thinking processes that previously worked and applying them to further understand physics), this peaks well into your 60s. Some people may do their greatest work into their 40s, but this is not due to some profound structural change in the brain. This could be due to many factors. For example, lets say Bob's brain had the proper facilities to think abstract (or to whatever metric will lead to his success), it is just that he does not have the maturity, skills, knowledge, experience to feed into his brains unique facilities.
  • Yojimbo - Sunday, August 6, 2017 - link

    The mind does begin to deteriorate in terms of performance. Memory gets weaker, thoughts happen more slowly. Experience/knowledge still builds though. If you are familiar with baseball or soccer, think about the career of a ball player. It is very much the same situation. As far as when top physicists and mathematicians make their most ingenious discoveries, I believe it is generally well before they reach 40 and that most major discoveries happen when the discoverers are in their 20s. That is why the fact that the Fields Medal is meant to recognize the work of young mathematicians (under 40) is mostly superfluous for recognizing the major contributions in mathematics

    As far as Einstein, reading through his Wikipedia article, I found evidence contradicting your assertion. Einstein did not make all his major discoveries at 35. Einstein published his general theory of relativity in 1915, the year he turned 36, but he began formulating it eight years earlier in 1907, when he was 27 or 28. Special relativity was published in 1905, the year he turned 26, and of course he had similarly started it earlier. 1905 is what seems to be called Einstein's "miracle year", because he published 4 groundbreaking papers that year.
  • ddriver - Monday, August 7, 2017 - link

    Einsten was a plagiarist and a chess piece in the political games of scientism. Regardless of what claims the media makes, his work never resulted in the invention of anything practical. General relativity was done in a few months by a guy who wasn't even a physicist, the prominent mathematician David Hilbert, who cracked it in zero time while Einstein did zero progress in like a decade. The reason Hilbert did not push to get recognition is it wasn't really worth the trouble, he already had enough recognition he could have actually lost had he pushed to interfere with the political agenda of scientism.

    Basically both had agreed to exchange letters of progress, as both were working on the same problem. When Hilbert cracked it, he sent a letter to Einstein and published a brief. Einstein never really shared any progress with Hilbert, and published a pimped up version of Hilbert's brief some time after that, and he got all the credit, because he was the celebrity made up idol that was to be used to lead a change in the public's understanding of certain important aspects of reality. And sadly, not a chance for the better, but a chance for a more convincing worse.
  • ddriver - Monday, August 7, 2017 - link

    Also, and actually on topic, what's with those prices? I mean the controller costs the measly 8 bucks, which is actually not that little for what it is, but then again, the price premium of TB devices compared to USB counterparts is often in excess of a 100$.
  • melgross - Monday, August 7, 2017 - link

    Oh, for crying out loud, there’s always one nut in a crowd.

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