Apple announced last month the transition from Intel processors to its own ARM chips, which the company calls “Apple Silicon.” Today Apple has confirmed another important aspect of this transition regarding the future of the Thunderbolt connection, which will continue to be present in Apple Silicon Macs.
With the big change to the Mac lineup coming later this year, users were concerned whether these new Mac models will be compatible with Thunderbolt devices — which is a hardware interface developed by Intel in collaboration with Apple.
The company has now told The Verge that it’s committed to maintaining Thunderbolt compatibility in the future on its new ARM Macs.
“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,” commented an Apple spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.
That means users will be able to continue using Thunderbolt accessories such as external drives and displays with Apple Silicon Macs. The news comes the same day Intel announced the Thunderbolt 4 standard, which is based on the USB-C connector that will certainly remain present on upcoming ARM Macs.
More details on Thunderbolt support in Apple Silicon Macs are still unclear, but we’ll probably learn more about it in the coming months. According to Apple, the first Mac with an ARM chip will be launched later this year, while the transition of the entire Mac lineup is expected to be completed by 2022.
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