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Where USB C Ends and Thunderbolt 3 Begins- A New Horizon in Connectivity

With ultra-high-resolution displays entering the market every day, we are also seeing speed improvements in SSD and mechanical hard drives. New standards are hence needed to support these modern devices in laptops and devices that are always shrinking, to the point of sacrificing some connectivity.

Thunderbolt 3 pulls the industry out of that conundrum in style. Using new USB Type-C connectors, it is able to harness enhanced data speeds with a minimal footprint. Intel developed Thunderbolt back in 2011, and it is capable of double the data transfer speeds than the previous USB 3.0 standard boasted. Another major point in its favor is that Thunderbolt is diverse; it is able to carry not only serial data like previous generations but also has the unprecedented capability to carry video data to displays like HDMI.

While the idea behind Thunderbolt has been the same since 2011, it has already seen 3 major iterations, and the new Thunderbolt 3 standard integrates USB C to provide a truly universal port with all these capabilities and more. Unfortunately, this leaves plenty of room for ambiguity. Even for the most tech-savvy consumers, the differences between Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C can be difficult to wrap their head around, which is why it is important to draw the line of distinction between the two technologies and understanding where we stand with respect to peripherals, cables, and ports in 2018.

What is USB-C?

There are numerous USB versions and types. USB types mean the design and shape of the port and cable. USB versions mean cable compatibility and capabilities. We know that the versions and types have evolved over a period of time. USB types would be including USB Type-A, Type-B, and the latest Type-C. The USB versions would be including USB 1.1, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, and the latest USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2. These USB-C ports are being utilized by practically all gadgets and devices that are known to support USB 3.1. USB-C is known for providing superb charging skills. The power output facilitates the charging of relatively larger devices including your smartphones daily. Thus, it helps in getting rid of the messy charging wires.


USB-C Thunderbolt Hub has all the capabilities associated with those of the USB-C; however, we know that the USB-C does not really boast of all the features or capabilities of a Thunderbolt 3. The latest Thunderbolt 3 flaunts the same design just like the USB-C port but it offers much greater performance in terms of video display and speed. Its speed is amazing allowing faster access to much more data as compared to USB-C. Thunderbolt 3 would be working at 40 Gbps while the USB-C would be working at just 10 Gbps. Moreover, Thunderbolt 3 would be presenting video content on one 5K display or two 4K displays while USB-C could present just one 4K display.

Thunderbolt is the cutting-edge technology for linking external devices directly to your PC, and Thunderbolt 3 is fast replacing Firewire (1394) which was until now the standard connection meant for all the audio recording interfaces and also, the pro video devices. Co-designed by Intel and Apple, Thunderbolt has been designed for daisy-chaining as many as 6 devices. Moreover, Thunderbolt 3 could be providing them with 10-100 Watts of power.


Displays seem to be available these days in huge resolutions. Solid state drives and hard drives are improving consistently in terms of capacity and speed. Laptops have become lighter and softer to the extent that they are actually sacrificing connectivity. Modern cables and ports cannot keep up with the pace of technological advancement. However, Thunderbolt 3 has completely changed everything. It utilizes the USB Type-C and has the capacity to transfer data fastest ever via tiny ports which maximize portability.

If you wish to learn more about USB C and Thunderbolt 3 then contact our team at Nimblechapps and we will guide you through the entire process. We access our emails 24X7. So, email us here – [email protected]

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Guest author: Trudy is a Business Tech Analyst. He is very responsible towards his job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.