The two connection standards share a connector. Patrick Lucas Austin explains the details:
We hate to break it to you, but the traditional USB ports you’ve been using to connect your cameras, controllers and other gizmos for the past 20 years aren’t long for this world. The whole squad’s getting replaced by a few great alternatives
Enter the combo of Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C.
- USB-C is a smaller, reversible iteration of the traditional USB port. Its connector is symmetrical, so you’ll no longer have to guess which end is up. Just stick it in.
- In addition to supporting USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 supports the protocols PCI Express for using external graphics cards, DisplayPort for driving multiple 4K monitors or a single 5K monitor, and Thunderbolt for daisy-chaining devices and providing transfer speeds reaching 20Gb/s, double the speed of USB-C.
There is little question that Apple’s famed Lightning cable and connector are on the way out. New iPad Pro models sport USB-C.