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sbiewald349448dNo, they are not interchangeable, they just have the same form factor.
While every Thunderbolt port supports USB, not all USB(-C) ports have Thunderbolt.
gronostaj203948dThunderbolt is basically external PCI-E with extra steps.
USB is USB.
Wisecrack352748dgot a link to a good article on the details?
gronostaj203947dOh, and USB-C is just a connection standard, not a protocol. And it supports USB, power, analog audio, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, MHL and potentially proprietary protocols. And devices (and cables!) can support different sets of these features. It's awesome, but it's also a mess.