Intel Announces Thunderbolt 4: Everything You Need to Know

Intel officially announced the Thunderbolt 4 protocol. But it is not going to make the protocol any faster than Thunderbolt 3. Then why Intel bother releasing naming and releasing a new protocol. Well, it is true that Thunderbolt 4 will not provide faster data speed than Thunderbolt 3’s 40Gbps but it comes with enhancement. 

Intel calls Thunderbolt 4, the “most complete version of USB-C”. It does share many similarities with the upcoming USB-4 because both based on the same base protocol. Even Intel is promising interoperability between USB-4 and Thunderbolt 4. 

Thunderbolt also changes the minimum video and data requirements. Thunderbolt 4 PCs will be able to connect to at least two 4K displays or one 8K display whereas Thunderbolt 3 is capable of only one 4K display at 60Hz. Additionally, the new connection supports PCIe data speeds up to 32 Gbps which makes it twice faster than the Thunderbolt 3. Intel also said at least one port will provide 100W power for laptop charging. 

Thunderbolt 4 comparison with other protocol
Image: Intel

Intel says Thunderbolt 4 will first be supported by its upcoming Tiger Lake mobile processors, slated to launch later this year. Intel says manufacturers will be able to order Thunderbolt 4 controllers later this year. This means we will see Thunderbolt 4-powered PCs start shipping either towards the end of the year or early next year.

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