Intel Integrates Thunderbolt 3 Into CPUs And Releases Specification

Intel wants to accelerate the adoption of Thunderbolt 3 by integrating the technology needed for the standard into upcoming processors. As a result, PC manufacturers do not have to add additional components. In addition, Intel releases the specification.

Apple is one of the driving forces behind Thunderbolt 3 and more and more PC manufacturers are adopting the technology in their systems, but there are still some obstacles to mass adoption. For example, manufacturers have to provide their devices with an extra controller chip, they have to pay licensing costs to Intel and they have to go through a certification process from Intel.

The chip giant is now trying to remove those bumps. By integrating Thunderbolt 3 directly onto upcoming CPUs, manufacturers can create thinner and lighter systems without having to use separate components as they do today. Consumption also decreases as a result, claims the manufacturer.

Next year, Intel will release the specification for the protocol, allowing chipmakers to develop their own Thunderbolt 3 chips without having to pay royalties to Intel. The chip giant expects that many manufacturers will develop new products and applications as a result.

Apple welcomes its Thunderbolt development partner’s move, and Microsoft is working with Intel to improve support in upcoming Windows versions. Windows 10 Creators Update is already improving plug-and-play support for Thunderbolt 3 accessories.

Intel thinks that its I/O standard will be used more for docking stations, external storage, external video cards for laptops and virtual reality applications. Intel unveiled Thunderbolt 3 in 2015. The standard works via USB-C connections and offers a maximum throughput of 40Gbit/s and support for PCI-E 3.0, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2. The standard can also deliver 100W of power.