During the recent Computex show that took place in Taiwan, representatives of Intel Israel presented their newest creation – the Thunderbolt 3 all-in-one technology that provides incredible speeds of data transfer. Thunderbolt always carried the reputation of a top standard when it comes to speed, but because of its use of connectors which utilize the Mini DisplayPort technology, it did not gain much in the way of adoption. But now, with the information that the Thunderbolt 3 will be compatible with the more widespread USB-C port, the same approach will most likely gain influence. In fact, the Intel representatives believe it could be a seed for a true connectivity revolution.
When a Thunderbolt 3 connector is attached into its native Thunderbolt port, utilizing a USB-C connector, the users can develop speeds of transfer all the way to 40Gbps. This is a lot more than the USB 2.0 technology that maxes out at around 480Mbps or the Thunderbolt 2 system and its 20Gbps capacity. At the same time, using a USB-C peripheral device and plugging it into a Thunderbolt 3 port will provide a stable connection, but develop lower speeds of transfer.
The first physical products to include the Thunderbolt 3 will appear on the market later in 2015. According to the leader of the Israeli team, Shahaf Kieselstein, this could lead to faster peripheral devices for everyone. He underlines that before now, the cooperation between Thunderbolt and other products was only seen from products from the Apple Company and other high-end computer workstations. Now, they believe that the USB Thunderbolt 3 cooperation will encourage others, especially OEMs, to use their technology and not only from monitors but other peripheral devices as well.
Kieselstein, who is also the VP of Intel’s group for client computing and the general manager of their division for client connectivity, stressed out that with this encompassing platform, the company was not completely disregarding the Thunderbolt technology.
Instead, he said that he sees this as an organic evolutionary process of the same platform. The Thunderbolt technology came out in the year 2011 and received additional upgrades in 2013. Generally speaking, the process of technological development usually includes a big upgrade process every two years, which means that Thunderbolt was also ready for another upgrade in 2015.
According to him, the company took this opportunity to enhance their service, but not just for the huge numbers of contemporary Thunderbolt users. Thanks to the new USB Thunderbolt 3 cooperation abilities, they will also improve the connectivity option for the many users of the USB standard. Using this technology, Kieselstein believes, manufacturers and users will now be able to utilize any standard for creating peripheral connections without the fear of devices and peripherals not being compatible.
Kieselstein also said that the makers of peripheral devices and workstations will probably want to adopt those technologies which offer the fastest possible connectivity solution because the customers will desire the same things. Now, by making Thunderbolt 3 compatible with USB ports, the same decision for the manufacturers will be much easier.
Intel is expecting that more than 100 million devices and computers which support their new standard will appear on the market before the end of 2015. The same amount of devices most likely goes over the current computers that already have the USB-C technology – these include the Macbooks of the latest generations and Chromebook Pixel by Google, all of which were released before the Thunderbolt 3 was presented to the public.
But, the same devices will still be able to work using the Thunderbolt support kits that the manufacturers will release in the future, but only at speeds that their connections can maintain and support.
Kieselstein underlined that this is the precise point of the USB Thunderbolt 3 cooperation upgrade. This means that the technology can support all devices and computers at their native speeds, where this is available. But, for the new computers, according to Kieselstein, the ability to connect at 40Gbps to a peripheral device can be a true game-changer.
Images Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thunderbolt.svg