Technology is no longer a one-size-fits-all solution. Never before have there been so many types of devices, systems and features to customize your technology needs. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the most common questions we hear from customers is regarding the difference between USB-C and ThunderboltTM . What is the difference between USB-C and Thunderbolt? USB Type-C, or USB-C, is a specification for connectors and cables. Some of the key features include: Symmetrical and flip-able, or reversible. Both sides (top and bottom) can be inserted in the port in either direction, meaning that you no longer have to make sure a cable is inserted “right-side” up. Delivery of up to 100W of power. Supports alternate modes, such as DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, etc. Thunderbolt 3 defines a superset of capabilities that runs on USB-C connectors and cables. In brief, Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C. Here are the superset of features that Thunderbolt 3 provides: At 40 Gbps, Thunderbolt 3 is the fastest connection available. By comparison, native USB 3.1 operates at 10 Gbps. Thunderbolt 3 is bi-directional with four lanes of PCI Express Gen 3 and eight lanes of DisplayPort 1.2. Now with a Thunderbolt 3 port, you can connect to any dock, device or display, including billions of USB devices. Intel believes Thunderbolt can be the only external connector you need for your PC. Power? Data? Display? External graphics? All of the above simultaneously, with the most bandwidth, through a dynamically allocated link? Yes… The Vision of Thunderbolt Thunderbolt is the single connector that can deliver on all your connectivity needs, from the mundane to the complex. Connect to a dock and expand to your legacy peripherals, directly cable to a monitor or two, or connect to a single (or series of) high performance dedicated Thunderbolt devices. You can do all this through a single connector which can also charge your system at the same time.Importantly, Thunderbolt 3 builds on the new USB-C reversible connector and integrates the latest USB 3.1 technology to deliver high performance and high compatibility to the existing standard.One connector for everything; that is the Thunderbolt vision. A consumer doesn’t need to know anything other than if they plug their device into a Thunderbolt 3 port, everything will just work.
Since the announcement of the new MacBook, many questions invade the forums and our e-mail boxes, especially vis-à-vis this new connector called Apple "USB C" and incorporating some of the features of the lightning port.I propose a little FAQ on this new connection, which, I hope, answer most of your questions.Will USB C replace the Thunderbolt?If Apple has abandoned the Thunderbolt on the MacBook, it is not expected a priori that the connector disappears on the rest of the range. The firm's engineers have made a strategic and well-targeted choice here: the users of this machine are looking for the best compromise between weight and performance, and this connector responds to a large number of uses, limiting trade-offs. Clearly, there is no point in putting a Porsche engine on a Twigo chassis if it's for driving only in town.What are its advantages over the Thunderbolt?USB has always had an undeniable advantage over the FireWire or Thunderbolt: it is much simpler and much cheaper to integrate than its more efficient cousins. As a result, it is likely that compatible devices will democratize very quickly (as for the transition from ADB / SCSI to USB1) and that most of your mice, disks and other external cards take into account. charge this connection in 1 or 2 years.Another advantage, USB C can provide enough power to dispense with a dedicated power cord. It will not be enough for a big office machine, like a Mac Pro, but plenty of it for a laptop, even a MacBook Pro Retina that never consumes more than 100 Watts (the limit of USB C).Finally, it is reversible (both ends are identical) and has no key on the connector, you can connect without worrying about the meaning.But then ... what's left of the Thunderbolt?The Thunderbolt has been designed to encapsulate everything that goes through the PCI bus, which is directly connected to the CPU. It is actually more modular and allows to transit virtually all protocols: Ethernet, FireWire, USB, DisplayPort ... The Thunderbolt is a direct line with the processor and the possibility, ultimately, to use only one cable for all devices.Another advantage, and not least: its flow. It currently caps at 20Gbps, twice that of USB C (USB3.1 Gen 2). At the end of the year, with the release of the future Intel Skylake microarchitecture7, Apple is expected to integrate the third version of the standard, which will double the transfer rates up to 40 Gbit / s. It will be possible to connect a 5k screen, for example, something impossible on the USB. The Thunderbolt 3 will also pass a current of 100 Watts, like USB C!Finally, the Thunderbolt can also use optical cables, which allows long line lengths and potentially higher speeds.What bitrate does the USB C port offer?The USB C actually takes the characteristics of USB 3.1, a theoretical maximum rate of 10 Gbit / s. On its pages devoted to the new MacBook, Apple however only evokes 5Gbps on this single port, which surprised some readers. Apple uses the first generation of the specification, which does not exceed the bit rates of USB 3.0. Why this choice? Hard to say. The first generation has the advantage of being able to allow the use of 2m passive cables. It is also possible that Apple did not have access to the latest generation controllers (Gen 2) on time or in sufficient quantity.Can it pass video?Thanks to the "Alternate Mode" present in the USB 3.1 specifications, it is also possible to transmit on 4 pins, a DisplayPort 2.1 signal limited to 3840 x 2160 pixels, or two FullHD screens (which only do not mention Apple). However, it will be necessary to have the machine in the hands to check exactly what it is, especially since the converter USBC -> DisplayPort is not yet available or even announced by Apple! If you want to connect more varied devices with your MAC C port, buy one at our store https://iple.com.
More and more mobile phones are now using the data line of the Type-C (or USB-C) interface. Although all Type-C looks the same, in reality, it has many different types. At the most basic level, Type-C simply refers to this particular USB plug, plus some cable wiring specifications. So Type-C only tells you what the line looks like, it doesn't describe any specific speed, capabilities, or supported data protocols. It is basically designed as a more modern, future-proof plug. Type-C plugs have more pins, so it can do more "things" and the plugs are symmetrical, so don't be afraid to insert them. Let's take a look at the different possible speeds of the TYPE-C cable. Some people may already be familiar with USB 3.1 or "Super Speed" USB, which supports speeds up to 10Gb. Obviously, TYPE-C is not one of these things. Similarly, Type-C is just a connector, and USB 3.1 is a data transfer standard. Instead, Type-C cables can use one or more of these USB standards. This can be USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 Gen1 or 3.1 Gen2. Depending on the USB speed grade it uses, it will have a different maximum speed. This means that even though Type-C is the latest new connector, it may be as fast as a normal usb2.0 cable, only 480Mbps. Of course, it may also support USB 3.1. So pay attention to the parameters when buying the line. Look at the current and power. Some charging lines can reach 5 amps and 100 watts, which is much higher than the standard 3 amps and 60 watts. However, not all TYPE-C cables or devices can do this. Type-C also has some special features if the cable, charger and device support power. For example, to charge a device as large as a display, without plugging the wall to the wall, all data and power are transmitted through the TYPE-C cable. In addition, power transmission is more than just sending power, it also conveys information about connected devices. Because if the cable or device does not support power, the power will only send 3A by default, but if it sees it supports power, it needs to know more information, such as how much power to use. In addition, the power supply can take advantage of TYPE-C's "dual role" capability, so a port can be used as a power input or output, and can even switch between modes. That's why in the latest Mac computers, cables can be charged by plugging them into the TYPE-C port, and all of these ports can also be used to power the device itself.