Intel announced some days ago that the Thunderbolt 3 protocol will be very soon open source and available royalty-free. Until now, manufacturers of Thunderbolt devices hat to pay a certain amount to Intel that they can use their technology. That was one of the reason because many of these devices are currently very high in price or doesn’t exist a lot.
For example, owners of Thunderbolt laptops (MacBook Pro…) can profit from this very fast technology without paying a lot for certain adapters, which are available in normal USB format for little money.
With the opening of the protocol, I’m very sure that many existing Thunderbolt 3 products will fall into the price and that a whole new momentum of new devices will bring with it. It will surely still take some time until new devices from the audio sector come on the market but I’m sure this opening will give an impulse to better and high-quality audio interfaces. Also non-audio products are expected like new affordable hard-disks with Thunderbold 3 connection. This allows faster working with these devices in the music production.
Really looking forward what this change will provoke in the audio accessory market. I’m pretty sure a new wave of TB3 audio interfaces, new external hard-drives and more.
Source: Thunderbolt 3 Open Source