Developed by Intel (in Collaboration with Apple), and licenced by Apple so that it has been exclusively an Apple item, but now it has been opened up to all.
What is it?
What does it look like?
And what does it do?
It is, to dumb it down, a cable that transfers large amounts of data very quick. Mainly PCIe and Displayport type data. PCIe is the internal connectors on most modern motherboards. And Displayport is the new standard in monitor connections. This pretty much means that these cables can transmit any data or video at very high speeds.
Well this is where it gets confusing. The early versions used the same connector as Mini Displayport, but has recently changed to the same connector as USB-C. While this makes it easier for manufacturers, it can be a minefield for home users, as a connector that takes a plug, doesn’t always actually support that device.
Well, it allows us to connect many more devices external to our computers. Making our laptops and Tablets more portable. but able to do more things when we need them too. E.g. A slim laptop that you can take to University and carry around all day using very little battery power, but when you get home you can plug it in to an External Graphics card and monitor and play the latest games.
As this was licenced to Apple the uptake has been slow, but watch this space, as the standard becomes part of USB-4.0 you will see it take off and the available devices mount up.