Saturday June 04, 2016

How Intel Turned Thunderbolt From A Failure Into A Success

Is Thunderbolt finally becoming a success? As many of this year’s top-tier laptops feature Thunderbolt 3 ports, that may not be such a crazy notion.

With Thunderbolt seemingly on the ropes, Intel had one last moveآ—one that likely put the technology on a winning path at last. At last year’s Computex, to the surprise of many, the company announced a faster version of the spec called Thunderbolt 3, with speeds up to 40Gbpsآ—and it could do it over the new USB Type-C connector, instead of the funky MDP cable. Intel essentially uses the same alternate mode that DisplayPort does to pass Thunderbolt signalling over PCIe. And by integrating a USB 3.1 10Gbps controller into the Thunderbolt 3 controller, it could fully support USB 3.1 too. What Thunderbolt 1 and 2 couldn’t do, Thunderbolt 3 has finally achieved in its vision of "one cable to rule them all."