Intel's new tech makes a one-cable world a reality

One connector to rule them all

Intel has confirmed that it will be using the USB Type-C connector for the Thunderbolt 3, its next generation data communication standard, a move that brings both technologies closer.

The move comes after Apple introduced the first mainstream device to run USB Type-C, the 12-inch MacBook, which controversially only has one port.

Intel says that the new connection will deliver up to 40Gbps, twice the speed of the current Thunderbolt and four times the maximum theoretical speed of USB 3.1 (and DisplayPort 1.2).

USB Type-C will allow users to run two 4K displays concurrently at 60Hz while providing up to 100W in power and 15W per device over distances of up to 60m (when using active optical cables that are expected to launch in 2016).

PCI of the tiger

Thunderbolt over USB-C will also support more protocols including PCIexpress - and you will still be able to daisy-chain up to six devices.

The new technology paves the way for a single-cable docking with charging as well as Thunderbolt-based networking and external graphics cards.

Products, based on the Alpine Ridge controller, are likely to be available later this year just in time for the launch of Skylake, Intel's next generation architecture.

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Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré (Twitter, Google+) has been musing and writing about technology since 1997. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, developing an uncanny attraction for anything silicon, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro.