Today, Intel announced that it contributed the Intel Thunderbolt protocol specification to the USB Promoter Group, enabling other chip makers to build Thunderbolt compatible silicon, royalty-free.
In addition, the USB Promoter Group announced the pending release of the USB4 specification, based on the Thunderbolt protocol. The convergence of the underlying Thunderbolt and USB protocols will increase compatibility among USB Type-C connector-based products, simplifying how people connect their devices.
Speculation appears to be that Apple’s move to ARM architecture would have frozen out Thunderbolt 3 on new Apple products as previously Thunderbolt was Intel silicon only.
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