The Difference between USB-C and Thunderbolt 3



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 Thunderbolt TM 3.


What is the difference between USB-C and Thunderbolt 3?

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.


This article originally appeared at: https://thunderbolttechnology.net/blog/difference-between-usb-c-and-thunderbolt-3?fbclid=IwAR0tXFszyjOo9IGxtMv2Gi8HAZ9MGCtt_wdNMEVvGGhRpCZM2h7ORP2lzPo

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