One of the best things to come from this year's Computex was a rejuvenating move for Thunderbolt-equipped devices. Despite the peripheral-connectors being good, fast products for carrying and connecting data (created by Intel and Apple nonetheless), no one has ever really paid attention to the technology. It has been sparsely adopted since its launch years ago, unfortunately because there were never enough Thunderbolt-supporting devices on the market. Well get ready, Intel brought on the good news by announcing the Thunderbolt 3, which will utilize the ever-growing USB-C port.
Just to make the comparison nice and real, since its debut in 2011, Thunderbolt was known to spice up data transfer in ways that no other USBs could, shuttling info at 10Gbps, and supporting up to six peripherals at once. The third iteration of the connector, the Thunderbolt 3, looks nearly identical to a USB-C cable, and now allows data transfer rates of up to 40Gbps. Remember, we're used to just 5Gbps, and 10Gbps in current USB 3.0's, and USB 3.1's, respectively. 40Gbps is enough to drive two 4K screens at 60Hz at the same time, transfer a 4K movie in 30 seconds, and offer 100 watts of charging. One more perk and I'll be done. For anyone who has hardware suited for the previous generation, the Thunderbolt 2, Intel has also made the new Thunderbolt interface cross-compatible (Gizmodo).
There's no doubt that data transfer solution options are everywhere. It's a very popular, on-the-rise market at the moment, and that means Thunderbolt will have to work for its attention. Besides being an obviously advantageous option, if anything is going to help Thunderbolt become more popular, it will be the adoption of the USB-C port. Wired reports that the company expects “more than 30 mobile PC designs” to become Thunderbolt 3-equipped within the next year. So good move, Intel. You might have saved a product from the dead.
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