Computex 2015: Intel announces Thunderbolt 3 which will use the USB Type C reversible connector

The Thunderbolt 3, codenamed Alpine ridge, which was announced at Computex will also support USB Type C connector


Intel’s Thunderbolt connector has now entered its third generation with twice the speeds that were seen in the second generation. The Thunderbolt 3, codenamed Alpine ridge, which was announced at Computex will also support USB Type C connector, thereby hopefully making it accessible to more users than previous generation Thunderbolt machines. It will not require any proprietary connectors so to speak.

Thunderbolt 3 offers a theoretical throughput of 40 Gbps, which is the fastest data transfer speed offered by a connected peripheral and this is twice as fast as Thunderbolt two, almost four times faster than USB 3.1 standard which maxes out at 10 Gbps.

 Computex 2015: Intel announces Thunderbolt 3 which will use the USB Type C reversible connector

Apart from providing faster data transfer rate, since the Thunderbolt 3 will be supported over a USB Type C connector, that opens up a lot of other functional opportunities as well. It will also support two 4K displays at 60Hz and a single 5K display at 60Hz.

Since the USB 3.1 controller is directly integrated on-platform, the Thunderbolt cable will also be able to charge the device. From a wall outlet it can pull in upto 100 Watts of energy, whereas it can provide 15 Watts of energy, for bus powered devices, say in cases of external hard drives.

Intel also mentioned about plug and play for external graphics card. So for instance, if you want to play a heavy game on your laptop, you can simply play it off your powerful external graphics card by using the Thunderbolt 3 cable, which will connect to the port to transfer the graphics and display to the laptop monitor.

Thunderbolt Networking also looks at peer-to-peer connectivity thereby offering a 10GbE speeds to quickly transfer files between computers, perform PC migrations, or set up small workgroups with shared storage.

The expected release date for Thunderbolt 3 sporting systems is being projected before the end of the year, with Intel’s 6th generation core processors also fully supporting it. So we should look at an early 2016 mainstream release cycle then.

Disclaimer: This correspondent was invited for Computex by Intel. Travel and accommodation expenses were borne by Intel.


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