Intel Takes Steps to Enable Thunderbolt 3 Everywhere, Releases Protocol

What’s New: Intel is well on its way to making the inno­va­ti­on deli­ve­r­ed with Thun­der­bolt™ 3 avail­ab­le to ever­yo­ne. Today, Intel announ­ced that it con­tri­bu­t­ed the Intel Thun­der­bolt pro­to­col spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on to the USB Pro­mo­ter Group, enab­ling other chip makers to build Thun­der­bolt com­pa­ti­ble sili­con, royal­ty-free. In addi­ti­on, the USB Pro­mo­ter Group announ­ced the pen­ding release of the USB4 spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on, based on the Thun­der­bolt pro­to­col. The con­ver­gence of the under­ly­ing Thun­der­bolt and USB pro­to­cols will increa­se com­pa­ti­bi­li­ty among USB Type-C con­nec­tor-based pro­duc­ts, sim­pli­fy­ing how peop­le con­nect their devices.

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.”
–Jason Zil­ler, gene­ral mana­ger, Cli­ent Con­nec­tivi­ty Divi­si­on at Intel

Why It Mat­ters: Pre­vious­ly, Intel sha­red plans to inte­gra­te Thun­der­bolt 3 into future Intel CPUs and to release the Thun­der­bolt pro­to­col spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on to the indus­try. As detail­ed at CES 2019, Intel’s upco­m­ing 10nm pro­ces­sor code-named “Ice Lake” will be the first to inte­gra­te Thun­der­bolt 3. Pro­ces­sor inte­gra­ti­on, com­bi­ned with today’s announ­ce­ment, is expec­ted to dri­ve lar­ge-sca­le, main­stream adop­ti­on of Thun­der­bolt.

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Intel Thun­der­bolt (Quel­le: Intel.com)

Indus­try adop­ti­on of Thun­der­bolt 3 is acce­le­ra­ting. Thun­der­bolt 3 is ful­ly sup­por­ted in Win­dows 10*, macOS* and Linux*; volu­mes of PCs with the­se ports con­ti­nue to dou­ble every year into the tens of mil­li­ons; and all the latest Macs* have Thun­der­bolt 3 ports. More than 400 PC designs have been enab­led with Thun­der­bolt 3. Peri­pheral device volu­mes also con­ti­nue to dou­ble annu­al­ly with more than 450 cer­ti­fied devices from a wide num­ber of pro­duct cate­go­ries, inclu­ding docks, dis­plays, sto­rage and exter­nal gra­phics.

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,” said Bill Gor­den, vice pre­si­dent, Com­mer­ci­al Note­book Manage­ment at HP. “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 is respon­ding to increa­sing con­su­mer demand for Thun­der­bolt 3 by offe­ring sleek and power­ful note­books and other peri­pheral devices,” said Min­cheol Lee, vice pre­si­dent, PC Stra­te­gic Mar­ke­ting at Sam­sung Elec­tro­nics. “We look for­ward to our ongo­ing col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with Intel to bring more inno­va­ti­ve Thun­der­bolt 3 pro­duc­ts to mar­ket.”

In March 2019, Intel Cor­po­ra­ti­on announ­ced that it has con­tri­bu­t­ed the Thun­der­bolt pro­to­col spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on to the USB Pro­mo­ter Group. The USB Pro­mo­ter Group also announ­ced the pen­ding release of the USB4 spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­on, based on the Thun­der­bolt pro­to­col. The con­ver­gence of the under­ly­ing Thun­der­bolt and USB pro­to­cols will increa­se com­pa­ti­bi­li­ty among USB Type-C con­nec­tor-based pro­duc­ts, sim­pli­fy­ing how peop­le con­nect their devices. (Credit: Tim Herman/Intel Cor­po­ra­ti­on)

 

How Thun­der­bolt Leads with Best-in-Class Solu­ti­ons: Thun­der­bolt deli­vers world-class per­for­mance, ease-of-use and qua­li­ty by uni­fy­ing mul­ti­ple indus­try spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons into an indus­try lea­ding set of pro­duct capa­bi­li­ties. Thun­der­bolt is sup­por­ted by an end-to-end solu­ti­on enab­ling pro­gram for com­pu­ter, peri­pheral device and cable makers to help ensu­re a con­sis­tent expe­ri­ence for all Thun­der­bolt con­nec­ted pro­duc­ts. Intel works with the indus­try to defi­ne pro­duct capa­bi­li­ties, vali­da­ti­on tes­ting and rigo­rous cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on requi­re­ments, inclu­ding:

  • Working clo­se­ly with Micro­soft* to deli­ver built-in Win­dows 10 sup­port for Thun­der­bolt 3, opti­mi­zed for plug and play, plat­form power manage­ment, sys­tem char­ging and sys­tem wake fea­tures
  • Intel CPU plat­form and peri­pheral refe­rence design vali­da­ti­on
  • Exten­si­ve end-to-end tes­ting to help ensu­re inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty across a wide ran­ge of pro­duct types and manu­fac­tu­rers
  • Man­dato­ry Thun­der­bolt cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on for all com­pu­ters, peri­pheral devices and cables
  • Cable enab­ling and cable qua­li­ty audits for Thun­der­bolt cable manu­fac­tu­rers

Intel and other indus­try lea­ders con­ti­nue to inno­va­te on Thun­der­bolt tech­no­lo­gy to deli­ver a lea­ding con­nec­tivi­ty solu­ti­on, from sili­con and cables to PCs and peri­pheral devices.

More Con­text: Thun­der­bolt and Thun­der­bolt cer­ti­fied pro­duc­ts

 

About Intel

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), a lea­der in the semi­con­duc­tor indus­try, is sha­ping the data-centric future with com­pu­ting and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons tech­no­lo­gy that is the foun­da­ti­on of the world’s inno­va­tions. The company’s engi­nee­ring exper­ti­se is hel­ping address the world’s grea­test chal­len­ges as well as hel­ping secu­re, power and con­nect bil­li­ons of devices and the infra­st­ruc­tu­re of the smart, con­nec­ted world – from the cloud to the net­work to the edge and ever­ything in bet­ween. Find more infor­ma­ti­on about Intel at newsroom.intel.com and intel.com.

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*Other names and brands may be clai­med as the pro­per­ty of others.