Apple has confirmed that new Macs with ARM chips will support Thunderbolt.
Last month, the Cupertino firm ended months of speculation, revealing that it was planning to begin a new two-year transition away from Intel processors towards its own ARM chips.
Apple already teased that it planned to launch its first ARM-powered Mac this year, and as a result, some developers and manufacturers were concerned over whether the new Macs would support Thunderbolt devices, as this hardware was developed by Intel with Apple.
Speaking to The Verge, a spokesperson for Apple confirmed that the company was “committed” to maintaining Thunderbolt compatibility, revealing: “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.”
That’s good news for consumers who have accessories with Thunderbolt connections, such as external hard drives and third-party displays. Intel recently announced Thunderbolt 4, which will be based on the USB-C connector to increase compatibility for ease of use.
We don’t know exactly what role Thunderbolt will play in Apple’s new Silicon Macs – indeed, we don’t even know if there’ll be a physical Thunderbolt port, or whether Apple will instead offer users dongles and connectors to plug in their accessories when the Macs launch.
What we do know for certain, though, is that the first Mac with an ARM chip will launch before the year is out, and the transition to ARM-powered chips will be complete by 2022.
Are you pleased to hear that Thunderbolt still has a life post-Intel? Let us know your thoughts on social media and check back soon for more news and rumors, every week.