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Intel doubles transfer speeds for Thunderbolt 3, opts for reversible USB-C

Intel's decision will not only better unify available ports on newer hardware, but will offer identical power and data transfers than current USB-C cables. While in Thunderbolt mode, this is when Intel really steams ahead of competitors by offering a higher throughput of 40Gbps, double that what is available through Thunderbolt 2.

Thunderbolt 3 USB-C

This could cause confusion for some who may be expecting said improved transfer speeds, but are unable to due to hardware not supporting Thunderbolt 3. Intel notes that current Thunderbolt (and Thunderbolt 2) peripherals will support the new format with an adapter. It's a solid victory for those who are fighting for a unified interface between computers and other hardware.

Intel expects the first wave of Thunderbolt 3 products to ship by the end of this year.

Source: Intel

  • Who wants to bet me that Apple will somehow gimp that implementation in their products?
  • Not likely. Thunderbolt is designed in a partnership with Apple from the start. Apple had a large hand in USB-C as well, so it's likely Apple wants a unified connector. I'd bet good money that those in charge of the USB-C consortium are stunned right now.. I don't think they would have known Apple's intentions at the time. LOL This will likely drain many USB users, and if Intel can get a foothold at a lower price point threw adoption.. a big win for Intel and Apple. EDIT: I can see a Macbook Pro 15" with only 3-4 ports, all USB-C, coming down the line. Interesting.. As long as it has more than 1! lol, not sure how I'd feel about that. I actually like the idea from one respect.. Will have to see..
  • Is Apples USB3.1, (aka USBC), connector not slower than the others? They have before taken technologies and put ‘their own spin' on them.
  • LOL, a down vote.
    Remember something as mundane as optical drives that were gimped by Apple………….MacBook Air Superdrive anybody???
  • Come on, at least reply, ‘I downvoted you because……’. As to what I put you are free to dispute the claim, in fact please do. Please tell me why the Apple made superdrives don’t work with all Apple computers. Is it hardware limitation, software, or Apple REMOVING the caability the reason behind it? While you are at it you can also comment on how Apple Bluetooth implementations are gimped too? Yep, that’s what I thought.
  • Actually, I could see a MBP with ALL TB3 ports, granted they have the space (I don't know how much more hardware TB3 uses vs USB C). Similar how they went with all USB 3.0 when other manufacturers did USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. Makes it much simpler and more "Appley"
  • It makes it more complicated as the the TB3 and USB 3 cables look exactly the same but are completely different. Not to mention there are also numerous version of the USB 3 port.
  • I would argue that it's less complicated, since all the ports are the same. Have a TB3 external drive? Plug it into any port, as long as you have the TB cable. Have a USB drive? Plug it into any port.The only difference is the cable itself, not the connector. I've only seen one USB-C port
  • There is only 1 usb-c port but now there are three implementations of that port, hence the confusion. Here's a test: Take a look at this usb-c port: How you can tell what speed it is? Is is 5Gbps (gen1), 10Gbps (gen2), or 40Gbps (tbolt).
  • I didn't realize USB-C had two speeds, but as long as Gen 1 and Gen 2 (and Gen 3, etc) use the same exact cable, it doesn't really matter. In my ideal world, each port would have 2 speeds, depending on the cable and the device attached to it. Either Gen 1, 2, 3, etc, and then TB3, if that makes sense. I can see consumers being pissed that their USB-C is only getting 10, when Apple would market it as 40, if they are using the wrong cable and non TB device, but I feel that kind of person wouldn't even realize the speed difference or know what TB is.
  • I'm super confused here so thunderbolt is merging with USB-C and macs and the port is going to be varying speeds depending on the structure inside?
  • The structure will be the same. It's basically a port that functions as both usb-c and thunderbolt 3. This will only work with computers that have the Intel Skylake processor so it will probably be next spring for Apple, which more then likely means the MacBook Pro and Air will see slight redesigns for the new ports. Apple may decide to sell special cables in order for the user to take advantage of the thunderbolt 3. Sent from the iMore App
  • So it's all going to be one port and then you will need a special cable to get the thunderbolt 3 speeds? as oppose to standard USB-C speeds
  • Oh right sorry i see thunderbolt 3 and USB-C are different and thunderbolt is alot faster but they both use the same port standard. That's pretty cool but it could be very confusing
  • I'm assuming this means that if I have a TB3 port, I can also plug USB-C into it? I'd be into that.
  • In an ideal world, we would get a Mac with 3-4 ports, and they would all be interchangeable for TB, power, display, USB, etc. This looks one step closer to my dream!
  • Intel has signed the death sentence for the Thunderbolt market as all current peripherals are now obsolete. Sucks for those chumps that bought the new MacPro
  • I agree. Not so sure as I’d go so far as to say obsolete but there will be many people that will be able to get away with the lesser connection.
    Some big businesses will also see this.