Intel partners with Microsoft for increased Thunderbolt 3 support on Windows

By: George Finley
2 minute read

Thunderbolt 3 is destined to be the USB-C connector that will enable support for high-performance single-cable docks, VR, 4K video and photos among others.

On Thunderbolt 3’s official page, you can read all there is to know about exploring Thunderbolt 3:

  • AT 40 Gb/s, IT’S THE FASTEST PORT AVAILABLE ON A COMPUTER TODAY
  • 8x faster than USB 3.0 and 4x more video bandwidth than HDMI
  • Transfer a 4K movie in less than 30 seconds
  • Back up a year’s worth of continuous MP3s in five minutes
  • Plus, connect to any display, Thunderbolt, or USB device

Intel just revealed some interesting things about the Thunderbolt 3 I/O standard to push large-scale adoption of Thunderbolt, like its plans for future integration of Thunderbolt 3 into next-gen Intel CPUs. Intel is also releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification next year.

Partnership with Microsoft and Apple

Intel is partnering with Apple, Microsoft and other companies to improve support for Thunderbolt 3 on the most popular OSs. With its latest released Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft enhanced Thunderbolt 3 device plug-and-play support. Intel is also currently working with Microsoft to enhance the forthcoming experience in future Windows updates.

Integration plans and OEMs future builds

If Thunderbolt 3 is integrated into CPUs by Intel, OEMs will be able to build thinner and lighter systems with only Thunderbolt 3 ports. Such designs would require less board space and they’ll reduce power by removing the discrete component currently needed for systems with Thunderbolt 3.

What’s even greater is that the release of the Thunderbolt protocol specification is under a royalty-free, nonexclusive license will increase the use of Thunderbolt by supporting third-party chip makers to build chips that will be compatible with it.

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