Meet the 4K-ready Thunderbolt 3: With a USB Type-C connector and Dual 4K screen capacity

by on June 5, 2015

Stephan Jukic – June 05, 2015

Thunderbolt, from Intel is definitely one of the more useful connectivity standards for PCs and other electronics. It’s powerful, fast and can process a lot of media intensive data fairly quickly. This is partly why it’s one of the more important connections for viewing ultra HD content on some devices and also why it’s so popular with Apple machine in particular.

Now, Intel has taken things still further and released the new Thunderbolt 3 standard, which is, as the name suggests, the third generation of this inter-connection cable technology.

The newest and meanest version of Thunderbolt will use a USB Type-C connector, and will offer an augmented data transfer capacity that’s so good, it can even drive two 4K ultra HD screens at the same time.

This move towards the new standards in the latest Thunderbolt will mean that the cable itself will look almost exactly like a normal USC-C cable except for the different logo, a lightning bolt in the case of Thunderbolt.

Furthermore, the new Thunderbolt 3 will be able to support the same levels of power as normal USB connections while also being capable of much larger data transfer than that available to any USB cable thanks to Intel’s on-board electronic processing technology, built into the connections and cables.

And we’re not talking about any sort of light-weight but slightly improved data transmission ability either. Like we already said, this is a cable that even in version 2 was ready for dealing with the major data loads of 4K video. Version 3 will amp this right up and be able to offer data at a rate of 40+ Gbps. This is twice as much as Thunderbolt 2’s 20 Gbps and far beyond the measly 5 Gbps of USB 3.0 or even the 3.1 Gbps of USB 3.1.

Thunderbolt 3 leaves its predecessors and USB in completely in the dust and can easily handle 4K

Thunderbolt 3 leaves its predecessors and USB in completely in the dust and can easily handle 4K

This means, as Intel has pointed out, that the new Thunderbolt’s incredible data transfer capacity will let it move a 4K movie from one device to another in as little as 30 seconds or less and will also allow one single TB 3 cable to power the UHD video on two 4K displays at the same time, both running at 60Hz. This beats even HDMI 2.0 in terms of raw data carrying power for 4K.

Additionally, the new cable will be able to move power at a rate of 100 watts, also a very useful bonus feature.

Finally, because the new Thunderbolt 3 uses a USB Type-3 connector, its attractiveness gets upped still further due to the attendant cross-compatibility with USB 3.0 connections that it offers. Furthermore, anyone with existing Thunderbolt 2 hardware will be able to upgrade to version 3 through a simple adapter that will also become available along with Thunderbolt 3.

The first of these awesome new cables are expected to come out by the end of 2015. We can assume this means the Christmas season or just before.

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