USB-C (Thunderbolt 3): there will be only one

In June 2015, Intel announced the end of the war between USB and Thunderbolt, which lasted four long years. Inside Intel. Between divisions of the company. While observers quoted the classics of Marxism (“Either one or the other will win” – do not guess for anything), Thunderbolt for 3 decided to use the USB connector-C. of Course, with support for USB 3.1 Gen 2, otherwise they would not understand. It turned out a universal solution, but the applause they will wait not soon.

The abundance of the various connectors on the computer chassis soothed and inspired confidence in the future. Is that to fulfil any whim can be easily and successfully. And what “strangers”, those who are not willing to spend hundreds of hours of her single life to the study of all of these standards, will not dare to touch, will not rush the crowds in a cozy world of the chosen ones who understand each other without words.

BeBox, rear view:

But manufacturers of computer hardware, dreamed of the opposite. About what computers will be sold in tens (or even hundreds) of millions of copies.

In the world today 2.5 billion mobile devices and 2 billion computers. Most of them are lightweight portable computers with a minimal number of connectors on the housings.

But even that number seemed excessive.

This is a continuation of a series about the Thunderbolt, the previous parts are here:

The first part of the thunder;
Second part: the thunder, color: the Apple Thunderbolt Display.

Voldemort marked by lightning Harry Potter

In the midst of the epic war Intel against Intel, against the background of talk about Gigabytes and other minor circumstances, so no one could come to a head.

Thunderbolt, from the beginning of his career in the real world, pretending to be something else, and in the first and second versions used a standard Mini DisplayPort connector. Despite the universality of this technology, its first application was the transfer of video signal from computer to external displays.

Thunderbolt was able to do everything using USB, but because of the unusual connector with the capture of this part of the market fared not too well. A typical computer of the era of the civil war offered multiple USB ports (usually USB-3 connector type A) and some Thunderbolt ports. The assortment of external drives and other peripherals to the USB was on the order of magnitude (if not two) richer range for Thunderbolt, both had the technology to transmit energy, both were fast enough for practical purposes.

Apple Thunderbolt Display was a landmark event. He was not just a display (for that time very advanced and good), for “Apple” laptops, he was something of a Duo Dock from the early 90s. Connect it via Thunderbolt connector, and added in a poor, in most cases, a set of connectors on the portable Macs, three USB 2.0 connectors, Ethernet connectors (10/100/1000Base-T), Thunderbolt and Firewire 800. Via USB, Thunderbolt and Firewire connected at the periphery of the transmitted energy.

But at the end of 2015, something that could never happen, happened.

USB 3 and Thunderbolt, C – not the same

First, in 2014, Intel has introduced a new compact connector (with a height of only 3 mm), in which the plug a compatible cable you can insert whatever you like: from the point of view of the consumer that had neither top nor bottom. But it was the result of “smart” electronics, podstraivalsya under the real situation. This is very simple.

The same can Lightning connector.

Initially the USB-C port had no relation to the Thunderbolt. It was the connector for the new version of USB, capable of transmitting up to 10 Gbit/S. the world’s First computer with this connector was the MacBook 2015.

Here that about it told PC Mag in the spring of 2015:

(Duration 2 minutes 9 seconds)

It was USB 3.1 Gen 1 (type “C”), with a data transfer speed of 5 Gbps. USB 3.0 is Actually in the new geometry. 10 Gbps is USB 3.1 Gen 2. But, oddly enough, it is the connector in the MacBook has been used for almost everything, including to connect external display. And like, there were no complaints.

And in 2015, someone at Intel thought to cross Harry Potter with Volan de mort, in which they appeared in the hands of a killer in its power cocktail.

MacBook 2016 used USB 3.1 Gen 2 (“C”), without the support of Thunderbolt, but with data transfer rate up to 10 Gbit/S. In April 2016, the cocktail has not yet become public.

Getting rid of bad habits is a pain

MacBook Pro 2016, with TouchBar’ohms instead of function keys, used only USB 3.1 Gen 2 (“C”), with the support of Thunderbolt 3. But in the model in the “retro” style, with function keys, 2 USB 3 Thunderbolt/USB-C was supplemented with two standard USB 3.1 Gen 2.

The USB-C port is now used to charge the batteries, connect the power supply, external displays (including two), drives and other devices. And each of them was marked with a small lightning bolt.

But if someone who has never read Harry Potter, accidentally connect to the port with the lightning a USB device, nothing bad will happen. USB is supported on all 150%. Now they are two parts of the same technology.

MagSafe connector died a heroic death, a portable Mac and lost a small but extremely attractive, feature. Combined with Intel’s efforts to develop Innovative C didn’t even try. And even it is clear why: making any specific changes in the design of the USB-C port (for Apple only) would be unwise.

It was obvious that this was only the beginning. That was before, suddenly obsolete. Other connectors and cables (DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet and even a regular USB 3.1 Gen 2) are still there, in the world they are still very much – but they are doomed.

To be continued

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