USB-C and Thunderbolt
USB-C is an advancement on well know USB protocol and physical connections. Thunderbolt looks just like USB-C and provides additional features and capabilities.
USB-C has a flat slightly oval connector that is neutral to what side is up – a great relief to those of us who always guess wrong about which way the previous USB connectors should go. USB-C is capable of transferring data at 20Gbps. It also delivers nearly 100W of power for device operation and/or charging batteries. Its plug and play convenience make it a natural choice for many connections. USB-C is now available in several industrial rugged computers.
Thunderbolt is a protocol co-developed by Intel and Apple for transferring large amounts of video and data. Thunderbolt looks just like USB-C but has significant differences. It provides data transfer rates of twice USB-C up to 40 Gbps. Like USB-C, it supplies power over its cable. Added in is off-the-shelf support for DisplayPort, enabling you to connect two 4 K displays to a Thunderbolt interface. Unlike USB’s point-to-point architecture, up to six Thunderbolt devices can be daisy-chained together extending the reach and flexibility of a single port. For additional benefit, Thunderbolt is also backward compatible with USB — if you connect a USB device to a Thunderbolt port it will work just fine, albeit at USB data rates and performance. Thunderbolt has not been seen in industrial computers but is available in industrial grade rackmount computers.