Article Number: 000141309
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Thunderbolt (previously called Light Peak) is a hardware interface that combines data, video, audio, and power in a single connection. Thunderbolt combines PCI Express (PCIe) and DisplayPort (DP) into one serial signal, and additionally provides DC power, all in one cable.
Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 use the same connector as miniDP (DisplayPort) to connect to peripherals, while Thunderbolt 3 uses a USB-C connector (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Thunderbolt v/s Thunderbolt 3
|Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 (using a miniDP connector)|
|Thunderbolt 3 (using a USB-C connector)|
Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt technology to USB-C at speeds up to 40 Gbps, creating one compact port that does it all – delivering the fastest, most versatile connection to any dock, display or data device like an external hard drive. Thunderbolt 3 uses a USB-C connector/port to connect to supported peripherals.
Thunderbolt is currently available in Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt 3, and Thunderbolt 4.
|Thunderbolt||Thunderbolt 2||Thunderbolt 3|
|Up to 10Gbps||Up to 20Gbps||Up to 40Gbps|
Different types of Thunderbolt capable devices available are external hard drives, audio/video capture devices, displays and I/O hubs.
Thunderbolt uses a connector that fits the miniDP (DisplayPort) port or connector.
Thunderbolt devices require Thunderbolt certified cables for optimal performance. Thunderbolt certified cables come in copper or optical cable variants. Look for the Thunderbolt logo on the connectors and ports.
Although the port's appearance is physically the same as miniDP (DisplayPort), using standard miniDP (DisplayPort) cables cannot be used to connect Thunderbolt devices.
The port's appearance is physically the same as miniDP (DisplayPort). To confirm you have a Thunderbolt port on your computer, display, or cable check for the Thunderbolt symbol next to or above the port or connector.
Yes, Thunderbolt 3 uses USB-C port and it is fully compatible with USB devices and cables. However, you may require compatible adapters to connect USB Type-A or other USB connectors.
Thunderbolt 3 is a superset solution which includes USB 3.1 (10Gbps), and adds 40Gbps Thunderbolt and DisplayPort 1.2 from a single USB-C port.
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