SANTA CLARA, CALIF.—Intel has unveiled its USB-C interface, Thunderbolt 3, calling it the “fastest, most versatile connection to any dock, display, or peripheral devices.”
The USB-C connector is small, reversible, fast, supplies power and allows other I/Os in addition to USB. Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at 40 Gbps, double the speed of the previous generation, USB 3.1 10 Gbps, and DisplayPort 1.2. In Thunderbolt mode, a single cable can provide four times the data and twice the video bandwidth, while supplying power. It was developed for new uses, such as 4K video,
At 40 Gbps, Intel said, a 4K movie can transfer in less than 30 seconds. Two 4K, 60 Hz displays with nearly 16 million more pixels than an HDTV can be connected via the interface, the company said. Thunderbolt 3 supports charging up to 100 watts, and provides peer-to-peer connection at 10 GbE speeds.
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.