Thunderbolt™ 3 External Graphics (eGFX) Expands Beyond Gaming

Posted on October 27th, 2017

Ravi Gananathan, Thunderbolt™ 3 eGFX Marketing

With external graphics (eGFX) announcements from Apple*, HP* and Nvidia*, the Thunderbolt™ 3 external graphics ecosystem is rapidly evolving to offer consumers the opportunity to enjoy high performance graphics with thin and light laptops for gaming as well as professional/commercial applications.  These announcements evidence expanded capabilities and support around Thunderbolt 3 eGFX solutions and trigger new business opportunities for ecosystem companies as well as a broadened array of product options for consumer and enterprise users.

In August, Nvidia at SIGGRAPH 2017 announced their support for Interactive Rendering, VR, and AI Development using Quadro* GPUs with Thunderbolt 3 eGFX.  This announcement acknowledges the performance capabilities powered by Thunderbolt 3 via industry standard USB-C connectors.  In addition to their GTX* GPU line-up for gaming over Thunderbolt 3 eGFX, Nvidia’s Quadro* aims to enable graphically demanding professional/commercial applications such as high-end content-creation applications for animation, video/image editing, color grading and rendering as well as CAD and 3D simulation apps for engineering.

Reflecting on this announcement, Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, quoted on Nvidia’s Q2/2018 earnings call, “…we now have a new system called an external GPU system.  That’s a partnership between the work that we did with Intel® and all of our partners in the ecosystem by taking advantage of Thunderbolt 3 and the new external GPU-capable Windows system.  And so for some 25 million [users of notebooks] – 20 million users of thin and light notebooks – you can now have the ability to have a GPU [externally] as well and get a boost in your productivity like you've never seen before.“

Add in the announcements of HP’s OMEN* graphics accelerator and Apple’s Apple External Graphics Development Kit for MacOS Sierra, and it’s clear that Intel, together with our ecosystem, is making plug-and-play external graphics over Thunderbolt 3 a reality for gaming and graphics intensive professional/commercial applications.

Intel, the Intel logo, Thunderbolt, and the Thunderbolt logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

Tags: eGFX, eGPU, external graphics, Thunderbolt 3 Gaming Solution