Intel has announced that it has contributed the specifications of its Thunderbolt protocol to the USB Promoter Group, thus allowing other chip manufacturers to build Thunderbolt-compatible accessories and device without paying royalties. With this announcement, Intel also hopes to deliver Thunderbolt 3 on all PCs and laptops.
The announcement comes in the aftermath of the release of specifications of the USB4 by the USB Promoter Group which is expected to deliver up to 40 Gbps as an upgrade over the 20 Gbps offered by the current generation USB version. While Thunderbolt 3 has been around since 2015, it was limited to only a few devices and now Intel is making the technology a standard to other chipmakers.
Speaking about their latest announcement, Intel Client Connectivity Division GM, Jason Ziller said “Releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification is a significant milestone for making today’s simplest and most versatile port available to everyone. This, in combination with the integration of Thunderbolt 3 into upcoming Intel processors is a win-win for the industry and consumers”.
The chipmaker has previously shared plans to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into future Intel CPUs and release Thunderbolt 3 specification to the industry. The announcement thus clarifies that Intel is now looking for large-scale, mainstream adoption of Thunderbolt. As of now, Thunderbolt 3 is fully supported in Windows 10, macOS and Linux and has been made available in more than 400 PC designs and other 450 certified products.
Thunderbolt 3 on future devices will be able to offer up to 100W of power, the ability to connect external graphics cards to laptops and PC, add multiple 4K displays in addition to 40 Gbps speeds on data transfer.
To complement the announcement, HP Commercial Notebook Management VP, Bill Gorden said “Realizing HP’s vision for the office of the future requires seamless connectivity, powerful performance, and total simplicity to enable people to unleash their creativity wherever their workday takes them. Thunderbolt 3 is a powerful addition to our new notebooks and docks that delivers the flexibility sought by IT departments and the experiences people love”.
Samsung Electronics PC Strategic Marketing VP, Mincheol Lee also commented saying “Samsung Electronics is responding to increasing consumer demand for Thunderbolt 3 by offering sleek and powerful notebooks and other peripheral devices. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with Intel to bring more innovative Thunderbolt 3 products to market”.
As part of the Thunderbolt movement, Intel will be working closely with Microsoft to deliver built-in Windows 10 support for Thunderbolt 3 for plug and play, platform power management, system charging and system wake features. The technology is already available on all Apple Macs and MacBooks as well. Intel will also demand mandatory Thunderbolt certification for all computers, peripheral devices and cables.