Thunderbolt refers to the hardware interface used to connect devices with your computer or laptop at high speed and flexibility. This technology was developed by Intel and Apple. It has been a step ahead of USB since 2011.
In the early days of Thunderbolt 2 or 3, Apple was the only company that took advantage of Thunderbolt. Even today you easily buy thunderbolt products.
Thunderbolt is versatile and can be used to do many things. Thunderbolt can transmit data at an incredible rate, display two 4k screens, charge multiple devices, and daisy-chain multiple devices together.
Evolution of Thunderbolt 1, 2 and 3
Thunderbolt was initially marketed as Light Peak. Intel was able to stream two 1080p displays and store data using an optical cable. It used one 30-m optical cable. Thunderbolt began using optical. However, Intel made the decision to switch to copper because it was cheaper. This allowed the Thunderbolt to carry power.
Apple's new line was introduced in 2011 using the new technology. It was named Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt 1 and 2 started with a mini display port, before moving to USB-C for the new generation.
Advantages of Thunderbolt 3
Thunderbolt's main advantage is its speed. Thunderbolt 3 can transfer at speeds up to 40Gbps, compared to USB3.2's 20Gbps.
Thunderbolt can be charged at 100w and supports PCI-E, so you can connect graphics cards to it. You can also daisy-chain up to 6 devices from one port.
Thunderbolt ports let you know exactly what you're getting. Many USB-C ports found on laptops today don't explain what they can do. A Thunderbolt port on a laptop will allow you to charge it and provide video support.