Computex 2015: Intel Unveils Thunderbolt 3; Embraces USB-C


Whether you're a professional photographer, video editor, gamer, or someone who just wants to simplify their setup, Intel© has just made your life a little bit easier. At Computex 2015, Intel announced the arrival of Thunderbolt 3.

With the ability to reach up to 40 Gb/s, Thunderbolt 3 doubles the speed of the previous generation, USB 3.1, and DisplayPort 1.2. With Thunderbolt 3, a single cable now provides four times the data and twice the video bandwidth of any other cable, while also supplying power. This allows for a variety of uses, such as connecting to two 4K 60 Hz displays, single-cable docks with charging, external graphics, and built-in 10 GbE networking. You can still daisy-chain up to six devices with Thunderbolt 3.

While the increase in speed is welcomed, Thunderbolt 3 also provides another interesting change, the connector. While mini DisplayPort wasn't totally obscure, it was still pretty rare to find a Windows computer with one, particularly on laptops. Fortunately, Intel finally decided to unify Thunderbolt and USB into a single, reversible connector, the USB-C. This means that the USB-C connector will now support Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2, and power.

If you're worried that your computer or accessories using Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 specifications will be left in the dust, Intel states that they will work with Thunderbolt 3 via an adapter. However, if you're looking to upgrade, Intel predicts initial products with Thunderbolt 3 are expected to begin shipping before the end of the year and pick up the tempo in 2016.