Today at Computex 2015 in Taipei, Intel announced that Thunderbolt 3 would use the USB Type-C connector. More speed, more pixels, more power and the ability to run every monitor and drive off one connector. We're excited.
Remember when Apple recently unveiled the MacBook with just a USB-C connector? The response was similar to when Steve Jobs announced the new iMac wouldn't have a floppy disk drive. Now we know why.
“Thunderbolt™ 3 is computer port nirvana – delivering two 4K displays, fast data, and quick notebook charging”, said Navin Shenoy, vice president in Client Computing Group and general manager of Mobility Client Platforms at Intel Corporation. “It fulfils the promise of USB-C for single-cable docking and so much more. OEMs and device developers are going to love it.”
We cannot argue with the speed as Thunderbolt 3 will now support up to 40Gbps. Before we go on to plunder Intel's press release further, a few thoughts from us.
First of all WWDC is just around the corner. Now that Thunderbolt 3 has been announced, could the new ports make an appearance on an updated Mac Pro? Could we see new 4 or 5K displays from Apple with USB-C connections?
Also as much as we love the fact that the new connector will work either way up (How come in films they never get a USB stick up the wrong way when they have 3 seconds to upload a computer virus?) it will mean a whole new range of adaptors and hubs will have to be purchased. Let us hope Apple make bi-directional converters this time.
Finally, how great will it be walking up to a desk and with one plug, getting connected to 4K monitors, broadcast output, local storage, and a SAN. Let's hope all peripherals have pass though ports! (The line from Intel about external graphic cards got us thinking too..)
OK, back to the press stuff..
Users have long wanted desktop-level performance from a mobile computer. Thunderbolt was developed to simultaneously support the fastest data and most video bandwidth available on a single cable, while also supplying power. Then recently the USB group introduced the USB-C connector, which is small, reversible, fast, supplies power, and allows other I/O in addition to USB to run on it, maximizing its potential.
So in the biggest advancement since its inception, Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at 40Gbps, fulfilling its promise, creating one compact port that does it all.
Computer ports with Thunderbolt 3 provide 40Gbps Thunderbolt – double the speed of the previous generation, USB 3.1 10Gbps, and DisplayPort 1.2.
For the first time, one computer port connects to Thunderbolt devices, every display, and billions of USB devices.
In Thunderbolt mode, a single cable now provides four times the data and twice the video bandwidth of any other cable, while supplying power.
It’s unrivaled for new uses, such as 4K video, single-cable docks with charging, external graphics, and built-in 10 GbE networking. Simply put, Thunderbolt 3 delivers the best USB-C.
More Speed. More Pixels. More Possibilities.
What does this mean for end users? At 40Gbps, it is the fastest connection to your computer. You can transfer a 4K movie in less than 30 seconds. You can connect two 4K displays with nearly 16 million more pixels than an HDTV.
Full 4K Video Experience
Connect two 4K 60 Hz displays with astonishing resolution, contrast, and color depth to see your photos, videos, applications, and text with amazing detail.
Best Single-Cable Docking
Now, one compact port provides Thunderbolt 3 data transfer, support for two 4K 60 Hz displays, and quick notebook charging up to 100W with a single cable. It’s the most advanced and versatile USB-C docking solution available.
Gamers can now connect plug ‘n’ play external graphics to a notebook to enjoy the latest games at recommended or higher settings.
Provides a peer-to-peer connection at 10 GbE speeds to quickly transfer files between computers, perform PC migrations, or set up small workgroups with shared storage.
Solutions and products built to Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 specifications will work with Thunderbolt 3 via an adapter.
Initial products with Thunderbolt 3 are expected to begin shipping before the end of this year, and ramp in 2016.
Thunderbolt™, USB, DisplayPort, and power on USB-C
USB-C connector and cables (small, reversible)
40 Gbps Thunderbolt™ 3 – double the speed of Thunderbolt 2
Bi-directional, dual-protocol (PCI Express and DisplayPort)
4 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3
8 lanes of DisplayPort 1.2 (HBR2 and MST)
Supports two 4K displays (4096 x 2160 30bpp @ 60 Hz)
USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) – compatible with existing USB devices and cables
DisplayPort 1.2 – compatible with existing DisplayPort displays, devices, and cables
Connect DVI, HDMI, and VGA displays via adapters
Power (based on USB power delivery)
Up to 100W system charging
15W to bus-powered devices
10Gb Ethernet connection between computers
Daisy chaining (up to six devices)
Lowest latency for PCI Express audio recording