Introducing Thunderbolt™ 3 – The USB-C That Does It All

If you’re a business professional, content creator, gamer, or just want to simplify your 4K workspace, your world is about to get faster and simpler.

Today Intel unveiled Thunderbolt™ 3, the fastest, most versatile connection to any dock, display, or peripheral device – including billions of USB devices.

“Thunderbolt 3 is computer port nirvana – delivering two 4K displays, fast data, and quick notebook charging”, said Navin Shenoy, vice president in Client Computing Group and general manager of Mobility Client Platforms at Intel Corporation.  “It fulfills the promise of USB-C for single-cable docking and so much more.  OEMs and device developers are going to love it.”

Users have long wanted desktop-level performance from a mobile computer.  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.


Computer ports with Thunderbolt 3 provide 40Gbps Thunderbolt – double the speed of the previous generation, USB 3.1 10Gbps, and DisplayPort 1.2.  For the first time, one computer port connects to Thunderbolt devices, every display, and billions of USB devices.  In Thunderbolt mode, a single cable now provides four times the data and twice the video bandwidth of any other cable, while supplying power.  It’s unrivaled for new uses, such as 4K video, single-cable docks with charging, external graphics, and built-in 10 GbE networking. Simply put, Thunderbolt 3 delivers the best USB-C.


More Speed.  More Pixels.  More Possibilities.

What does this mean for end users?  At 40Gbps, it is the fastest connection to your computer.  You can transfer a 4K movie in less than 30 seconds.  You can connect two 4K displays with nearly 16 million more pixels than an HDTV.


Full 4K Video Experience
Connect two 4K 60 Hz displays with astonishing resolution, contrast, and color depth to see your photos, videos, applications, and text with amazing detail.

Best Single-Cable Docking
Now, one compact port provides Thunderbolt 3 data transfer, support for two 4K 60 Hz displays, and quick notebook charging up to 100W with a single cable. It’s the most advanced and versatile USB-C docking solution available.

 External Graphics
Gamers can now connect plug ‘n’ play external graphics to a notebook to enjoy the latest games at recommended or higher settings.

Thunderbolt™ Networking
Provides a peer-to-peer connection at 10 GbE speeds to quickly transfer files between computers, perform PC migrations, or set up small workgroups with shared storage.
Solutions and products built to Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 specifications will work with Thunderbolt 3 via an adapter.

Initial products with Thunderbolt 3 are expected to begin shipping before the end of this year, and ramp in 2016.

 Technology Features

  • Thunderbolt, USB, DisplayPort, and power on USB-C
  • USB-C connector and cables (small, reversible)
  • 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 – double the speed of Thunderbolt 2
  • Bi-directional, dual-protocol (PCI Express and DisplayPort)
  • 4 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3
  • 8 lanes of DisplayPort 1.2 (HBR2 and MST)
    • Supports two 4K displays (4096 x 2160 30bpp @ 60 Hz)
    • USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) – compatible with existing USB devices and cables
    • DisplayPort 1.2 – compatible with existing DisplayPort displays, devices, and cables
  • Connect DVI, HDMI, and VGA displays via adapters
  • Power (based on USB power delivery)
  • Up to 100W system charging
  • 15W to bus-powered devices
  • Thunderbolt Networking
  • 10Gb Ethernet connection between computers
  • Daisy chaining (up to six devices)
  • Lowest latency for PCI Express audio recording

How would you like to use this new technology?  What new products would you like to see featuring Thunderbolt 3?  Join the conversation with #Thunderbolt3 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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One Response to Introducing Thunderbolt™ 3 – The USB-C That Does It All

  1. I just wish that it will be used at its full potential, and if so, this can be a game changer in the way we see computers now. If I am in Intel I would made available reference design board for dock with all bells and whistles and made it available to HW/SW vendors in order to speed things up. As as you have done it with NUC. I hope that this will catch up soon (tomorrow will be good 🙂 )