Personal Tech

Intel pitches a Thunderbolt 3-for-all

Chipzilla says USB standard will be open to the world


Intel is pushing its Thunderbolt 3.0 USB port as the defacto input mode for future PCs.

Chipzilla announced on Wednesday that it will be throwing its weight behind an effort to make the next-gen port standard the biggest thing since USB. Possible applications include solid-state hard drives and 4K video cameras.

"Intel's vision for Thunderbolt was not just to make a faster computer port, but a simpler and more versatile port available to everyone. We envision a future where high-performance single-cable docks, stunning photos and 4K video, lifelike VR, and faster-than-ever storage are commonplace," wrote Intel Client Computing group VP Chris Walker.

"A world where one USB-C connector does it all – today, and for many years to come."

To help spread the gospel of Thunderbolt, Intel says it will be opening up the standard as a royalty-free, non-exclusive license. This will allow motherboard makers to solder the ports into their boards without licensing worries, and as Intel hopes, make Thunderbolt ports a permanent feature on PC builds.

Thunderbolt is already a feature on Apple machines, but as past history shows, Cupertino doesn't always set the trend for connectivity (see: FireWire). Instead, Intel is looking to employ the likes of Microsoft to help make Thunderbolt USB-3 ports a thing.

"Microsoft and Intel are working together to enable Thunderbolt 3 on Windows PCs to deliver on the 'if it fits, it works' potential of USB-C," said Microsoft Windows and Devices strategy and ecosystem general manager Roanne Sones.

"The Windows 10 Creators Update enhanced plug-and-play support for Thunderbolt 3 devices, with additional enhancements planned for future OS releases."

Intel has long pitched Thunderbolt as the plug of the future. Going back to 2015, Chipzilla floated the standard for high-speed data transfers.

With the platform now a royalty-free standard, Intel hopes peripheral makers will be more likely to build compatibility into their devices with the guarantee of support from Microsoft. ®

Send us news
44 Comments
Get our Weekly newsletter

Keep Reading

Intel calls last orders on 300-series motherboard chipsets

It's 400, or indeed the 500 series, from here on out

Intel offloads NAND business to South Korea's SK Hynix for a cool $9bn

Deal sees $7bn paid now, $2bn in 2025 when Intel hands over key IP and FAB workers

Intel is over GPUs and CPUs – it's all about 'XPUs' now that OneAPI code-abstraction tool is golden

And why not have a server-grade GPU dedicated to game-streaming to test the new abstraction tool

What's that about Apple hardware? Pfft, says Intel as it intros magical self-healing PC

No cure for self-inflicted manufacturing wounds though, sadly

Your 60-second guide to what Intel announced at CES. Or in 5 seconds: New laptop chips

CES And some desktop parts, from 14nm and eight cores to 10nm and four cores

Intel accused by distributor of breaking promises, shipping subpar enterprise-friendly Falcon 8+ drones

Tech slinger upset it can't unload $560,000 worth of flying Chipzilla gizmos

Intel wheels out new face authentication product that works a lot like Apple's FaceID

Chipzilla joins facial-recog race

New year, new rant: Linus Torvalds rails at Intel for 'killing' the ECC industry

Updated Why do most PCs not support error-correcting code? Chipzilla is to blame, says Linux don

Ransomware masterminds claim to have nabbed 53GB of data from Intel's Habana Labs

Miscreants threaten to make files, source code public within 72 hours

Intel chief pens congratulatory letter to President-elect Biden urging work on immigration and domestic manufacturing

Stuff that helps with Chipzilla's bottom line, basically

Tech Resources

The Total Economic Impact™ of Splunk for Security Operations

As your org progresses through its DevOps journey, what are the best practices that successful teams use that you should follow? Puppet and Splunk surveyed more than 3,000 participants and the findings reveal a set of core DevOps practices that are critical for success. Discover what separates successful DevOps teams from those that fail, and learn the next steps to take on your DevOps journey.

How to Get Started with Vulnerability Risk Management

So, where exactly do you start rebuilding your VRM program and strategy? Our Advisory Services team has outlined six steps and best practices to help you hit the ground running.

NVIDIA Ampere for Professional Workloads

During GTC Fall 2020, NVIDIA announced the NVIDIA RTX A6000 and the NVIDIA A40 GPUs based on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture.

Four Ways to Improve Customer Experience with a Modern Identity Service

Between the constant struggle to find enough developer cycles and the challenge of building modern experiences on legacy infrastructure, organizations are struggling to keep up.