Apple plans to continue using Thunderbolt, despite moving away from Intel to their own custom processors.
At WWDC 2020, Apple unveiled its plans to replace Intel with its own ARM-based silicon that it has been using in the iPhone and iPad for years. The iPad Pro, in particular, is a good example of the promise a Mac based on those chips would offer. Even though it is faster than the majority of PC laptops on the market, the iPad delivers that performance without a single fan and still provides a full day of battery life.
One big question has been whether Apple would continue supporting Thunderbolt on the new machines, which are slated to begin rolling out by the end of the year. The interface was originally developed by Intel, with the help of Apple. In fact, Intel just announced new details about the upcoming Thunderbolt 4.
It appears there is no cause for concern among Mac users heavily invested in Thunderbolt peripherals. In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple doubled down on its commitment to the interface:
“Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop Thunderbolt, and today our customers enjoy the speed and flexibility it brings to every Mac. We remain committed to the future of Thunderbolt and will support it in Macs with Apple silicon.”
This is good news for Mac users, as well as Intel. Ongoing support by Apple will help drive adoption, while Mac users will be able to continue using the devices they already own.