Intel's Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C connector, which is sort of confusing.
Secondly, the same devices can have ports that are Thunderbolt compatible and some ports that aren't Thunderbolt compatible - even though they look the same. All Mac laptops have them, and Intel says about 400 PC models have them, but that still leaves many PCs out, especially cheaper ones.
Hot on the heels of last week's USB 3.2 news - where the USB-IF tried to simplify consumer choices as we go forward - there is news today on another new USB standard, USB4.
While branding hasn't been finalised just yet, USB-IF is referring to this as USB4, rather than USB 4.0 or USB 4. It's a welcome development, though it adds yet another spec name to an already-crowded field of USB specs that laptop and desktop shoppers must consider. However, it's predominantly Intel that is the major driving force behind this improvement as USB4 is based on the company's Thunderbolt protocol, which has been opened up within the group and used as a contributing technology to where we have landed with the announcement of USB4. As a result, maximum speeds for USB4 double to 40 Gbps using existing certified cables, matching the speeds offered by Thunderbolt 3. It also means the ability to output display signals for external monitors, as well as deliver power to charge small devices (phones and tablets) and large ones (laptops). Improvements could enable a "doubling of performance", the group said in a statement, while maintaining backwards-compatibility with USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Thunderbolt 3. So, all USB4 devices and ports will support Thunderbolt devices.
Paul Pogba should not be made Manchester United captain, says Bryan Robson
Pogba's form has continued to blossom under the Norwegian since replacing Mourinho at the Theatre of Dreams back in December 2018. I've watched him in training, he's an organizer. "I think Herrera and Smalling are two captains".
One of the biggest changes to the USB specification will be the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 support. Starting from 10nm Ice Lake, it will integrate support for Thunderbolt 3 at the processor level. It's likely that will continue for years to come, but perhaps with an increasing percentage of USB Type-C to USB Type-A.
Effectively, this means that 40Gbps will soon be the new universal standard for all future USB ports.
All of these port specifications will be available to manufacturers in addition to the new USB4 port. That broadening of access to the technology could see a proliferation of today's more fringe technologies, like high-resolution displays and higher-fidelity virtual reality - not to mention even faster power delivery.
Intel has made good on their promise from 2017 to release the Thunderbolt specifications to the industry so that upcoming products can offer that connection without being tied to an Intel license and the possible limitations included therein.