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Intel makes Thunderbolt 3 royalty free

by on05 March 2019

Will form the basis for USB 4

Chipzilla has done the decent thing and fulfilled its 2017 promise to make Thunderbolt 3 royalty-free.

Intel has given the specification for its high-speed interconnect to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the industry group that develops the USB specification. The USB-IF has taken the spec and will use it to form the basis of USB4, the next iteration of USB following USB 3.2.

For those who came in late, Thunderbolt 3 not only doubles the bandwidth of USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, going from 20Gb/s to 40Gb/s.

It enables multiple data and display protocols to run simultaneously.

This practically means the USB4 will be a hybrid of USB 3.2 and Thunderbird 3. All those traditional USB protocols and Thunderbird 3 will all live together in perfect harmony.

Intel’s Ice Lake platform which will ship later this year will integrate thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 gen 2.

Integration into the platform means that system builders no longer need to choose whether to include the extra chip; the capability will be built in, and as such, we'd expect to see it become nearly universal.


Last modified on 05 March 2019
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