Intel announced their newest version of Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 3 at Computex in Taipei 2015. Today, as the latest version of Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt is widely applied to Ultraportable, workstation and gaming-class laptops.
- Thunderbolt's USB Type-C connector is compact and reversible, the compatible cables won't take much space. Also, unlike most other USB connectors, USB Type-C cable no longer has a “right-way” to plug in.
- Thunderbolt 3 is capable of transmitting at a rate up to 40 Gbps, which is 4 times quicker than USB 3.1's rate of 10 Gbps. It is double speed of the previous generation (20 Gbps).
- Thunderbolt 3 can output video, audio and power at the same time, so it is a solution for connecting high-resolution external monitors or TV sets.
- Thunderbolt 3 is also capable of network transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps, Thunderbolt networking provides a peer-to-peer connection at 10 GbE speeds for super fast local transfers.
- Thunderbolt 3 can also be used for charging your device, as long as it doesn’t require more than 100 W of power
Thunderbolt 3 perhaps is the best connector ever made, but there are something you should know about it:
- Thunderbolt 3 has a top data transfer speed of 40Gbps as long as the cable is 0.5m (1.6 ft.) or shorter. For 1m (3.2 ft.) or longer cables, Thunderbolt 3 supports passive ones that have a top speed of 20Gbps, and active cables ($38) that retain the 40Gbps speed.
- Thunderbolt 3 is backward-compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2, but due to the new port type, adapters are required to use legacy Thunderbolt devices.
- Any USB-C device (like Snapnator) plugged into a Thunderbolt 3 port will function normally. Since Thunderbolt 3 devices use discrete Thunderbolt chips to function, they will not function if plugged into a USB-C port.
- Daisy Chain over Thunderbolt 3 can support up to 6 devices.