Advantages of Thunderbolt interface | disadvantages of Thunderbolt interface

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Thunderbolt interface. It mentions Thunderbolt interface advantages or benefits and Thunderbolt interface disadvantages or drawbacks.

What is Thunderbolt interface?

• It is hardware interface developed by Intel & Apple which allows connection of any external peripherals to computer/laptop.
• It supersedes Firewire interface.
• There are three types of thunderbolt interfaces viz. thunderbolt-1, thunderbolt-2 and thunderbolt-3.
• Based on these different versions it supports different data rates and cable lengths.

• It is hot pluggable and supports daisy chaining upto 6 devices.

Thunderbolt interface

• Thunderbolt-1 and Thunderbolt-2 support 20 Gbps where as Thunderbolt-3 supports 40 Gbps.
• It supports maximum distance of upto 100 meters (300 feet).

Benefits or advantages of Thunderbolt interface

Following are the benefits or advantages of Thunderbolt interface:
➨The thunderbolt interface muxes/de-muxes PCIe (PCI Express) lane and DP (Display Port) lane using thunderbolt controller over single cable.
➨Thunderbolt-3 supports data rate of two 20Gbps or 40Gbps over two lanes in each directions. This is higher than data rates supported by USB 3.1 type-C and USB 3.0 which is 10 Gbps and 5 Gbps respectively.
➨It supports higher pixel devices upto dual 4K displays with 60Hz.
➨It delivers more power and hence will be used for high rate of charging.
➨It can be used for various applications such as single cable docking, external GPU docks with hot-plug support, data transfer & display output, networking of various systems etc.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Thunderbolt interface

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Thunderbolt interface:
➨It is more expensive technology compare to well established USB and Firewire interfaces.
➨Fewer peripheral devices are available with thunderbolt interface compare to USB. Hence people need to buy new devices which supports thunderbolt in order to use this technology.
➨Thunderbolt interface supports lesser devices in daisy chaining compare to USB and Firewire. Thunderbolt supports 6 devices, USB supports 127 devices and Firewire supports upto 63 devices.

Refer difference between Thunderbolt-1 vs Thunderbolt-2 vs Thunderbolt-3 >> interface types or versions.

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