Saturday August 20, 2016

Intel: Thunderbolt Ports Will Take Off With Next-Gen PCs

Is this just wishful thinking on Intel’s part, or does the company have a point (or two)? USB-C, which should feature on boards this fall, will apparently drive the adoption of Thunderbolt. However, with the tech being proprietary and having less of a speed advantage these days, it is hard to say whether it will finally make a big splash.

First is the arrival this fall of PCs powered by Intel's "Kaby Lake" seventh-generation Core processor. Those machines will include the new USB Type-C multipurpose port. Thunderbolt piggybacks on the same physical design, so it will be easier for PC makers to support Thunderbolt. "We're expecting more than double number of designs," up from 60 Thunderbolt-equipped PCs for sale today, said Jason Ziller, the Intel marketing director who's been the public face of Thunderbolt. "The marriage of USB-C and Thunderbolt is really driving a lot of that adoption." Second is Intel's belief that Thunderbolt will soothe compatibility headaches it expects will crop up with USB-C. Today's USB is pretty predictable, but not all new PCs and devices will support new USB abilities like high-power charging and video.