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Thunderbolt and USB 4 and Their Development

As we enter 2021, Thunderbolt peripherals have become more popular, and more and more USB-C adapters are becoming available to support DP1.4 to HDMI 2.0b. At the same time, the USB-C interface itself is becoming more widely accepted, so the functional requirements of the adapters are also starting to change.


1, Type-C, full name USB Type-C, is a physical level interface type, equivalent to Type-A, Type-B, both introduced by the United States USB Association.

2, USB4, the latest data transfer protocol standard released by the U.S. USB Association, belongs to the software level, the protocol determines the transmission rate.

3, Thunderbolt 4, the full name Thunderbolt 4, the fourth generation of data transfer protocol standards released by Intel, also belongs to the software level.



Currently USB4 protocol devices are not yet available, AIKE Electronic first for you to tell how to distinguish between Thunderbolt 4 and full-featured Type-C interface.

1, full-featured Type-C and non-full-featured

Simply put, full-featured support video transmission, data transmission, network interface, power supply; non-full-featured support only data transmission and network interface.

Currently on the market full-featured Type-C interface, most of the use of USB3.1 data transfer protocol, and USB3.1 is divided into USB3.1 Gen 1 and USB3.1 Gen 2. Generally, Type-C interface support data transfer protocol can be viewed in the product description or motherboard information.


2、Thunderbolt 4 and full-featured Type-C

The difference is very simple, see if there is a "Thunderbolt" logo, Thunderbolt interface with "Thunderbolt" logo. Thunderbolt 4 interface in addition to speed than the USB3.1 Gen 2 protocol Type-C interface in the transfer rate, Thunderbolt 4 interface also supports external graphics cards.


3, Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3

To sum up, although the transfer rate remains the same, Thunderbolt 4 is based on the mature experience of Type-C interface in mobile devices, experience and optimization. To summarize, there are the following points.

Type-C interface marked with the "Thunderbolt" logo is Thunderbolt 4 or Thunderbolt 3.

marked "Full-featured Type-C" is the USB3.1 Gen 2 protocol interface, which supports up to 100w charging.


USB3.1 Type C (USB-C) Male to Male Data Sync Charging Cable

USB3.1 Type C (USB-C) Male to Male Data Sync Charging Cable




Several key design aspects of USB4 include.

Use of a single USB-C connector for display, data and load/store functions.

Universal compatibility with existing USB and Thunderbolt products.

Defining port functionality for a predictable and consistent user experience.

Increased host flexibility to configure bandwidth, power management, and other performance-related parameters based on system requirements.



USB has come a long way since it was first introduced and will continue to evolve in the future. The future will bring better improvements with the arrival of newer generations of USB standards and USB-C. Please send us a message here if you need to buy the connectors or cables, we offer Type-C and USB 3.1 and HDMI connectors.



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