Intel’s Thunderbolt pushes into mainstream as fast alternative to USB

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Thunderbolt, Intel’s super-speedy connection technology, isn’t widely used. But that may change in the coming year, as more computer makers incorporate the USB competitor into their new models.

Intel has hoped Thunderbolt, which debuted in 2011 on Apple’s 2011 MacBook Pro, would become commonplace for computer users. A year later, the chipmaker forecast that “most PCs” would have Thunderbolt by 2015 to 2017. Despite the hype, only premium PCs carry the fast connection.

To get a boost in adoption, Intel has built Thunderbolt into its newest Core processors, code-named Tiger Lake, which means laptop makers get Thunderbolt without having to pay extra for separate controller chips. Because Intel chips are so widely used, the company says Thunderbolt will now have its moment to shine.

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