Intel has shared all the details about the upcoming Thunderbolt 4. The Thunderbolt 4 is expected to be launched later this year and offers a slew of new features. Thunderbolt is an interconnect technology jointly developed by Intel and Apple.
Thunderbolt 4 will not be any faster than the Thunderbolt 3, as the maximum speed remains 40Gb/s. However, the Thunderbolt 4 offers new features including universal cables for up to 2M long, support for docks with up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports (three downstream), and PC charging on one computer port. It also supports 32Gb/s for PCIe connections as opposed to 16Gb/s on Thunderbolt 3. Lastly, Thunderbolt 4 will support USB 4 as both make use of USB-C cable standards.
Thunderbolt 4 specifications include
- Double the minimum video and data requirements of Thunderbolt 3.
- Video: Support for two 4K displays or one 8K display.
- Data: PCIe at 32 Gbps for storage speeds up to 3,000 MBps.
- Support for docks with up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports.
- PC charging on at least one computer port2.
- Wake your computer from sleep by touching the keyboard or mouse when connected to a Thunderbolt dock.
- Required Intel VT-d-based direct memory access (DMA) protection that helps prevent physical DMA attacks. (Read more in the Thunderbolt Security Brief.)
Intel’s Tiger Lake processors will be the first ones to support Thunderbolt 4. Furthermore, Thunderbolt 4 Ports are backward compatible with USB 4, Thunderbolt 3, and a majority of other USB standards. Intel will open up orders for Thunderbolt 4 controllers for manufacturers later this year. Perhaps new Macs will start supporting Thunderbolt 4. That said, we are not sure how Apple will handle Thunderbolt compatibility once it transitions to Apple Silicon on Mac’s.