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Thunderbolt apple logo

The official Apple version of the Thunderbolt logo.

Thunderbolt is an I/O technology developed by Intel in collaboration with Apple Inc. It first introduced by Apple in its 2011 line of MacBook Pros and became the official replacement for FireWire and was the standard above USB until USB4.


Thunderbolt 2 adapter port

Thunderbolt 1 / 2

  • Thunderbolt 1 can reach transfer rates of up to 10Gbps through an interface that looks like and is backwards compatible with Mini DisplayPort. Thunderbolt also can deliver Gigabit Ethernet through an adapter.
  • Thunderbolt 2 uses the same Mini DisplayPort connector as Thunderbolt 1, but can reach transfer rates of up to 20Gbps.
Thunderbolt 3 connector

Thunderbolt 3 / 4

  • Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C form factor and can reach transfer rates of up to 40Gbps. USB4 uses the same form factor and is basically the same as a USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3 signals.
  • Thunderbolt 4 uses the same USB-C form factor as Thunderbolt 3, but specifies a minimum bandwidth of 32Gbps for PCIe link, support for dual 4K displays, and protection against DMA attacks.[1][2]


Thunderbolt 1 and 2[]

Pin ID Description
01 GND Ground
02 HPD Hot plug detect
03 HS0TX(P) HighSpeed transmit 0 (positive)
04 HS0RX(P) HighSpeed receive 0 (positive)
05 HS0TX(N) HighSpeed transmit 0 (negative)
06 HS0RX(N) HighSpeed receive 0 (negative)
07 GND Ground
08 GND Ground
09 LSR2P TX LowSpeed transmit
10 GND Ground (reserved)
11 LSP2R RX LowSpeed receive
12 GND Ground (reserved)
13 GND Ground
14 GND Ground
15 HS1TX(P) HighSpeed transmit 1 (positive)
16 HS1RX(P) HighSpeed receive 1 (positive)
17 HS1TX(N) HighSpeed transmit 1 (negative)
18 HS1RX(N) HighSpeed receive 1 (negative)
19 GND Ground
20 DPPWR Power



External links[]

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