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Thunderbolt 3 is the third generation of the interface developed by Apple and Intel, which in its current form (e.g. on MacBook Pro 2016) is not only compatible with USB C (USB 3.1), but can also transmit image, sound, power and data at the same time. In this post I would like to show you the specifications of Thunderbolt 3, show the compatibility or downward compatibility and add further explanations. So you are fully informed about the topic.
Thunderbolt is an interface that should not only ensure fast data exchange, but also the use of numerous peripherals, the supply of electricity, the establishment of networks and so on. So it's a multi-function connector that comes very close to USB and is also compatible with USB. Thunderbolt ensures that, especially on mobile devices such as the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and similar devices from Apple, as well as on Windows laptops and PCs, only a few interfaces are required for the maximum number of possible uses.
The driving forces behind the development of Thunderbolt are Intel and Apple. Intel named Thunderbolt back in 2009 at an internal event Intel developer forum (IDF). The interface came to the public in 2011 with the Apple MacBook Pro of the previous generation. In addition to USB, Thunderbolt is also backwards compatible with the DisplayPort. The further development brought Thunderbolt 2012 onto the market in 2 and finally Thunderbolt 2015 in mid-3. This standard can simultaneously fulfill several tasks with one or more devices each: data, image, sound and energy transmission.
On the website ThunderboltTechnology.net Intel informs about the technological and development standard of the interface. In addition to an extensive FAQ Intel also offers this infographic on the site (click to enlarge):
Is Thunderbolt a sensible and desirable alternative to USB, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort and so on for all computers? Or should you rather connect each additional device to a port in case one fails? Do you already use the all-rounder connection excessively? Feel free to leave your experiences and opinions as a comment :)
After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.