So laptops with thunderbolt 3 are pretty common, docks are common, every other kind of USB seems to be able to be used with a hub. I know thunderbolt 3 can be daisy chained, theoretically eliminating the need for a hub. That's not the point, the point is that I have never seen a simple hub that allows you to plug in a thunderbolt 3 laptop with 1 cable and expand it to connect multiple thunderbolt 3 devices directly to 1 hub through several USB C ports. Why is that? I get the sense that the answer is something along the lines of "Because Thunderbolt 3 is much more complex than USB and can hardly be called USB" or "It has something to do with network topology because the way it connects multiple devices makes it a network" or maybe even something to do with CPU PCIe lanes. Unfortunately I can't find a straightforward but in depth and technical answer anywhere.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Please capitalise brand names properly for clarity. See Write to the best of your ability on the site's help pages. \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Apr 1, 2021 at 19:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Daisy-chain and star topolgy tend to be mutually exclusive. \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Apr 1, 2021 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suspect the reason is that Intel only makes a limited number of Thunderbolt controllers and none are good fit for a hub. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2021 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just wanna point out that daisy chain topology isn’t always mandatory. I2C is a bus topology but Sparkfun Qwiic connect is a daisy chain connection I2C based system. USB is a bit different cause its point to point but that still doesn’t explain why you couldn’t multiplex the connection or why it’s possible to daisy chain it \$\endgroup\$ May 7, 2021 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


We use "HP Thunderbolt Dock 230W G2" in our company and as far as I know there is a Thunderbolt-Port. So I think it's possible?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does that dock actually multiplex a thunderbolt peripheral and one or more thunderbolt ports? \$\endgroup\$
    – nanofarad
    May 5, 2021 at 16:14

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