Chipzilla says USB standard will be open to the world
Chipzilla announced on Wednesday that it will be throwing its weight behind an effort to make the next-gen port standard the biggest thing since USB. Possible applications include solid-state hard drives and 4K video cameras.
“Intel’s vision for Thunderbolt was not just to make a faster computer port, but a simpler and more versatile port available to everyone. We envision a future where high-performance single-cable docks, stunning photos and 4K video, lifelike VR, and faster-than-ever storage are commonplace,” wrote Intel Client Computing group VP Chris Walker.
“A world where one USB-C connector does it all – today, and for many years to come.”
To help spread the gospel of Thunderbolt, Intel says it will be opening up the standard as a royalty-free, non-exclusive license. This will allow motherboard makers to solder the ports into their boards without licensing worries, and as Intel hopes, make Thunderbolt ports a permanent feature on PC builds.
Thunderbolt is already a feature on Apple machines, but as past history shows, Cupertino doesn’t always set the trend for connectivity (see: FireWire). Instead, Intel is looking to employ the likes of Microsoft to help make Thunderbolt USB-3 ports a thing.
“Microsoft and Intel are working together to enable Thunderbolt 3 on Windows PCs to deliver on the ‘if it fits, it works’ potential of USB-C,” said Microsoft Windows and Devices strategy and ecosystem general manager Roanne Sones.
“The Windows 10 Creators Update enhanced plug-and-play support for Thunderbolt 3 devices, with additional enhancements planned for future OS releases.”
Intel has long pitched Thunderbolt as the plug of the future. Going back to 2015, Chipzilla floated the standard for high-speed data transfers.
With the platform now a royalty-free standard, Intel hopes peripheral makers will be more likely to build compatibility into their devices with the guarantee of support from Microsoft. ®