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A bi-directional computer interface based on the PCI Express protocol, used for both data transfers and to connect display monitors (it supports DVI, HDMI, and VGA monitors via adapters).

Introduced by Apple in 2011, Thunderbolt 1.0 supports bi-directional data transfers at 10Gbit/s, while Thunderbolt 2.0 (launched in 2013) operates at twice that speed. This means a Thunderbolt 2.0 interface (20Gbit/s) is five times faster than USB3.0 and 25 times faster than FireWire 800.

The physical Thunderbolt port is the same as Apple's mini-DisplayPort connector, and can be used to integrate FireWire, USB and Ethernet connections via appropriate adapters or hubs. Thunderbolt 3.0 uses the USB‑C connector to carry up to 40Gbit/s, and has a 100W power transfer capability with appropriate cables.

Thunderbolt cable.Thunderbolt cable.