Intel recently revealed the brand new “truly universal” Thunderbolt 4, which offers increased minimum performance requirements, expanded capabilities, and USB4 specification compliance. Intel’s upcoming Tiger Lake mobile processors will have the first integration of Thunderbolt 4, and developer kits as well as certification testing are now available.
If you want to use Thunderbolt 4 on platforms or processors other than Tiger Lake, you can use the new Thunderbolt 4 controller 8000 series. Thunderbolt 4 also now offers docks with up to 4 Thunderbolt connections as well as 2m universal cables, with cable lengths between 5m and 50m releasing over the next year.
Intel put together a handy demo available below, which shows off the various new and exciting features coming with Thunderbolt 4:
Certified Thunderbolt 4 devices will provide support for up to two 4K display monitors, or one 8K display, PCIe at 32Gbps for storage speeds up to 3,000 MBps, support for docks with up to four Thunderbolt 4 connections, PC charging on at least one computer port, ability to wake your computer from sleep just by touching the keyboard or mouse when connected to a Thunderbolt dock, and finally will require Intel VT-d-based DMA (Direct Memory Access) protection which helps prevent physical DMA attacks.
A handy infographic provided by Intel details the key differences and similarities between the various Thunderbolt solutions:
“Thunderbolt provides consumers with a leading connectivity standard across a range of devices, helping to advance computing experiences and delivering on the promise of USB-C with simplicity, performance and reliability. The arrival of Thunderbolt 4 underscores how Intel is advancing the PC ecosystem toward truly universal connectivity solutions,” said Jason Ziller, the general manager of the Client Connectivity Division at Intel.
What do you think? Are you excited for Thunderbolt 4? Will this truly be a game-changer? And how will this affect certain hardware in the future? Let us know your thoughts!