The next generation of the Thunderbolt 3 spec was announced this week, and it ditches the legacy Mini DisplayPort connector for the new, smaller and reversible USB-C standard, with support for 40 Gbps transfer speeds over high-end cables.
Thunderbolt 3 brings super fast speeds far above USB
Thunderbolt 3 will basically be a superset of USB 3.1, which runs at 10 Gbps. With a standard USB-C cable, Thunderbolt 3 will support double the speed, at 20 Gbps.
Anyone who buys an “active copper” USB-C cable will be able to transfer files at 40 Gbps using Thunderbolt 3. Optical cables that support the new standard will offer the same speed over even longer distances when they launch next year.
As Thunderbolt 3 supports the USB-C standard and USB 3.1, the cable will also support DisplayPort 1.2, PCI Express, and a power supply to recharge notebooks up to 100 watts.
That also means that with a single cable, Thunderbolt 3 will support dual 4K monitors in addition to 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
Computers that support Thunderbolt 3 will likely hit the streets later this year, and it’s likely that it will also require Intel’s next-gen Skylake processors, which are expected in the autumn.
Apple and Google were the first companies to adopt the new USB-C connector. In Apple’s case, it was on the new 12-inch MacBook, which has a single USB-C port to charge and connect accessories. USB-C is reversible, much like the company’s Lightning connector, but the new open standard will be adopted by most new PCs and won’t be limited to Apple hardware.
With Thunderbolt 3, USB-C ports may find their way onto the MacBook Pro line soon, but because the standard won’t arrive until later this year and with new hardware, the current USB-C machine that Apple offers, the 12-inch MacBook, won’t support Thunderbolt 3 for some time.
SOURCE: Ars Technica.