Thunderbolt Technology

                                                                    What is Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt (previously called Light Peak) is a new peripheral-connection technology, developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, that combines data, video, audio, and power in a single connection. Based on the PCI Express and DisplayPort architectures, Thunderbolt allows for high-speed connection of peripherals such as hard drives, RAID arrays, video-capture solutions, and network interfaces, and it can transmit high-definition video using the DisplayPort protocol. Each Thunderbolt port also provides up to 10 Watts of power to connected peripherals.










Thunderbolt Revisions

RevisionYear ReleasedSuper Set OfTop SpeedPort Type
Thunderbolt 12011Mini DisplayPort10GbpsMini Displayport
Thunderbolt 22013Thunderbolt20GbpsMini Displayport
Thunderbolt 32015Thunderbolt 2(adapter required,)DisplayPort,PCIe 3rd Gen,USB 3.140Gbps(short or active cable) 20Gbps(long,passive cable)USB-C

How Thunderbolt 3 is Different From its Predecessors

  • The Mini DisplayPort connection type has been ditched in favor of a USB-C connection type.
  • All Thunderbolt 3 cables will work as USB-C cables.
  • All USB-C cables will work as Thunderbolt 3 cables as long as they are good quality cables.
  • Thunderbolt 3 has a top data transfer speed of 40Gbps as long as the cable is 0.5m (1.6 ft.) or shorter.
  • For 1m (3.2 ft.) or longer cables, Thunderbolt 3 supports passive (cheaper) ones that have a top speed of 20Gbps, and active cables (more expensive) that retain the 40Gbps speed.
  • Thunderbolt 3 is backward-compatible with earlier versions of Thunderbolt, but due to the new port type, adapters are required to use legacy Thunderbolt devices.
  • Any USB-C device (like a Google Pixel) plugged into a Thunderbolt 3 port will function normally.
  • Since Thunderbolt 3 devices use discrete Thunderbolt chips to function, they will not function if plugged into a USB-C port.
  • All versions of Thunderbolt allow for daisy-chaining up to six devices together to a host and in addition to data, can also carry Hi-Def video and audio signals.



Thunderbolt™ 3 Technology Overview Brief

The USB-C That Does It All

Thunderbolt™ 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C, creating one compact port that does it all—delivering the fastest, most versatile connection to any dock, display, or data device. For the first time, one computer port connects to Thunderbolt devices, every display, and billions of USB devices. A single cable now provides more data and video bandwidth than any other cable, while also 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.





What is The Difference Between Mini Displayport and Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2

Technically, the plug is the same and the only difference is that the Thunderbolt connector can carry – in addition to the classic Mini DisplayPort – a Thunderbolt signal, which is a signal PCI-Express (4 lines). Specifically, a Mini DisplayPort adapter runs on a Thunderbolt plug.








What is The Difference Between USB C and Thunderbolt 3

Thunderbolt 3 defines a superset of capabilities that runs on USB-C connectors and cables. In brief, Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C. Here are the superset of features that Thunderbolt 3 provides: At 40 Gbps, Thunderbolt 3 is the fastest connection available. By comparison, native USB 3.1 operates at 10 Gbps.








What is The Thunderbolt Port Used for

Thunderbolt is an interconnect technology developed by Intel in cooperation with Apple. Thunderbolt combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into a single connection, allowing for a combination of up to six peripherals, like storage devices and monitors, to be daisy-chained together.










What is Thunderbolt 3 Technology

See what makes Thunderbolt 3 technology the most advanced USB-C available, with lightning speed in one thin, reversible compact port.

Thunderbolt technology is a revolutionary I/O technology that supports high-resolution displays and high-performance data devices through a single, compact port.


Thunderbolt is based on PCI Express, PCI Express is the high-speed architecture that’s used to connect many of the components in your Mac, such as the processor, graphics card, and hard drive. It offers a direct connection to the PCI Express bus, which is part of the reason it can offer such impressive performance.


There are many new Thunderbolt technology products in the market today. Thunderbolt 3 technology is 8x faster than USB 3.0 and provides 4x more video bandwidth than HDMI 1.41 helping you work and play more efficiently.  It also enables a simple, single cable connection to displays, docks and storage, while charging the system.


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