I was watching a video online recently where Intel's Director Of Thunderbolt Marketing Jason Ziller was being interviewed about Thunderbolt 3 and its recent strong uptake by Windows PC and Peripheral device manufacturers.
Towards the end of the interview Jason was asked whether Thunderbolt 3 Hubs would be available with 4,5 or 6 ports and his answer was rather surprising:
The Thunderbolt architecture is not inherently built that way, So it's more of a "Daisy Chain", so if you want to get a "Star" configuration you would do that in a dock and fan out to USB, Video etc.
"Daisy Chaining" being the only solution to expanding the number of TB devices on a system is quite a concern seeing as many Thunderbolt device manufacturers are only including one TB port currently, With only one port you clearly cannot "Daisy Chain" and users with system that only have one port will be forced to buy a TB dock which are usually just under $200 to get that extra port (which usually also includes USB3 and some form of Video and Ethernet ports) and also means another tethered device to add to your collection. To the extreme can you imagine having to buy multiple docks (that only have 2 TB ports) to get enough connectivity for your TB devices - Pretty crazy huh !
Well, I sincerely hope that at the very least somebody makes a cheaper, tiny 2 port hub (basically a dock without the extra USB, Video, Ethernet components) but time will tell.
Although Pro Tools PC's have always had a dual port Thunderbolt option We have always been lucky to still have plenty of other alternatives such as (and still the best in my humble opinion) PCIe slots as well as USB 3, USB 3.1, eSATA, Firewire, Gigabit Ethernet, DVI, HDMI, VGA etc etc without having to try and piggy-back everything onto our TB ports, its perhaps the mobile computer user who will suffer the most from this problem in the short term.
You can see the full video here for yourself and can skip forward to the moment I highlighted at 14 minutes and 36 seconds.
Credit to Waskuul.tv for the video interview and engadget.com for the title image