USB-C is the future in computer connectivity. However, there is still a lot of confusion around USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1. Also, what any cable equipped with USB-C connectors can do.
Apple introduced USB-C with its 12-inch MacBook retina. It was an expensive USB port that was limited to speeds of 5 Gbit/s USB 3.0 speed. Officially, it was called USB 3.1 Type C Generation 1.
Thunderbolt 3 allows 40 Gbits per second, provided that the cabling is correct. There are a lot of good-quality thunderbolt cables available in the market today.
The new MacBook Pro update uses the same physical port. This allows for a faster, more powerful Thunderbolt 3 port and the same physical USB C connector.
USB-C is not a term that refers to data speed or charging power, but it does describe the physical connector.
Thunderbolt 3 must be USB-C on both ends to achieve 40 Gbit/s. USB 3.1 is 5 Gbit/second or 10 Gbit/second. Both share the same physical USB C connector for the host device.
There are seven USB-C cables with seven different specifications. So which one is it? A Thunderbolt 3 cable with USB-C can double as a USB 3.0 cable. However, not all cables can.
Thunderbolt 3 cables are USB 3.1 cables with USB-C. Not all USB-C cables have the 100W maximum capacity, whether they are Thunderbolt 3 Type-C or USB 3.1 Type C. Many cables fall short of this requirement.