Thunderbolt is the brand name of a Protocol
interface developed by Intel
(in collaboration with Apple
) that allows the connection of external peripherals to a computer.
Thunderbolt 1 and 2 use the same connector as Mini DisplayPort (MDP), whereas Thunderbolt-3 re-uses the USB Type-C connector from USB.
Thunderbolt was initially developed and marketed under the name Light Peak, and first sold as part of a consumer product on 24 February 2011.
Thunderbolt-3 combines PCI Express (PCIe) and DisplayPort (DP) into two serial signals, and additionally provides DC power, all in one cable.
Thunderbolt can support up to six peripherals may be supported by one connector through various typologies.
Thunderbolt-3 uses a "Lighting Bolt" on the USB Type-C connector to indicate that the Thunderbolt-3 Protocol is supported.
Thunderbolt-3 cables may use an electronic circuit to boost the performance or for certain DRM-encrypted content.
Thunderbolt will be part of the USB 4 standard.
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