In an effort to push Thunderbolt 3’s adoption and to make it available to anyone who wants it at a reasonable cost, Intel has decided to Intel has decided to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into its CPUs, and then make the Thunderbolt protocol specification available to third-party chipmakers royalty-free, next year, Wired reports. Thunderbolt 3 comes equipped with transfer speeds of 40Gbps, can fully power devices, and can also connect to 4K peripherals.
“We think the first thing is going to drive broader adoption and deployment of Thunderbolt 3 in PCs,” says Jason Ziller, Intel’s lead for Thunderbolt development. “The second will drive also broader adoption in the ecosystem, with a lot of different peripherals and other devices.”
The broader availability also aligns with an increased need for high-rate transfers and versatility. Much of the workload previously handled by USB ports has been offloaded to the cloud. But in a world of 4K drone videos and PC-driven virtual reality experiences, 40Gbps Thunderbolt’s speed offers an essential time-saver.
“So having a single port that really does everything that you need is our vision for Thunderbolt 3”, said Ziller. He continued that Intel is working with the industry to lower the cost of Thunderbolt 3 cables and the devices.
Apple ditched its MagSafe charging standard in favor of USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 last fall with the latest MacBook Pro update, allowing users to power their laptops, connect to a Thunderbolt Display and transfer data all through the same port.
While making Thunderbolt 3 easier to incorporate may help drive adoption, but lowering the cost would as well. Currently, the cheapest Thunderbolt 3 cable in the Apple Store costs US $29.95.