Intel Unveils Thunderbolt 3 with Support for USB-C Connector, 40Gbps Speeds

300x200xThunderbolt_Update_3_quarter_preview_transparent-300x200.png.pagespeed.ic.FzUnN9E4SCIntel officially announced at Computex 2015 today the latest generation of Thunderbolt standard, which will use the USB Type-C connector and support data rates of up to 40Gbps.

Instead of using the Mini DisplayPort connector, Thunderbolt 3 will use the new smaller, reversible USB-C standard and support USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2 and PCI Express 3.0. Thunderbolt 3 also supplies an optional 100W of power for charging devices, in accordance with the USB Power Delivery spec, or up to 15W without USB Power Delivery.

Thunderbolt 3 will support two 4K 60 Hz displays and features built-in 10GbE networking.

“Thunderbolt was developed to simultaneously support the fastest data and most video bandwidth available on a single cable, while also supplying power. Then recently the USB group introduced the USB-C connector, which is small, reversible, fast, supplies power, and allows other I/O in addition to USB to run on it, maximizing its potential. So in the biggest advancement since its inception, Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at 40Gbps, fulfilling its promise, creating one compact port that does it all,” Intel stated in a news release.

Intel says that products with Thunderbolt 3 are expected to start shipping before the end of this year, and ramp in 2016

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  • Here’s hoping we see TB3 on a new 12-inch MacBook next Monday, March 21, 2016.

    Of course, Apple might keep Monday’s announcements limited to iOS and announce Mac OS X stuff and MacBooks in June at the developer conference.

  • That’s an amazing speed! The real question is will there be external drives with Thunderbolt 3 that approach those speeds on transfers? I’m with MacRat. I’ve seen many external Thunderbolt 1 drives that transfer at speeds actaully less than the USB 3.0 maximum rate. Will OWC make these?

    • Keep in mind that platter drives are much slower than USB 3 or Thunderbolt interfaces.

      You’ll notice the speed difference when both ends of the transfer are SSD.

      • I have a Akiti Thunderbolt 1, 128 SSD and a new Lacie Thunderbolt 2, 1 TB non-SSD. Transferring the same image to identical early 2015 MacBook Air the Akiti is twice as fast. I do like the Lacie as it has 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports and a USB 3 when needed.