Intel open sources Thunderbolt 3 specs to boost adoption

The Intel/Apple Thunderbolt logo

Intel will be making its Thunderbolt 3 port technology more accessible in order to increase its adoption rate, the company has announced.

Thunderbolt 3, a port technology that uses the USB Type-C connection standard, is capable of a blistering data transfer rate of 40Gbps, and offers simultaneous power, data and video transfer capabilities, likely making it capable of fulfilling all your connection needs.

Including Thunderbolt 3 support in a device requires a special controller chip though, a chip that is currently manufactured exclusively by Intel.

However, in order to drive up adoption of the technology, Intel has announced that it will be building Thunderbolt 3 support directly into its processors, meaning that manufacturers will no longer need to worry about including a dedicated controller chip for Thunderbolt 3 support.

In addition to this, Intel is also announcing that it will be making the specifications for Thunderbolt 3 technology freely available, with no royalties. This means that third parties and other companies will be free to include Thunderbolt 3 support in their devices at no added cost, which could spur adoption significantly.

The Thunderbolt 3 specs will be published next year, but Intel did not release any information regarding which specific processor models would be receiving integrated Thunderbolt support, or when they will be released.

The move will hopefully lead to many more devices using the Thunderbolt 3 standard, which could have big benefits for many companies' agile working efforts. The ease of being able to do everything with one cable has proved exceptionally useful in many businesses' adoption of flexible and agile workplace practices.

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.