Intel introduces Thunderbolt 4

The Thunderbolt cable connectivity technology has revolutionized the tech market ever since its introduction. Many devices today make use of the Thunderbolt connectivity option to enable charging and data transfer. One of the best examples is Apple devices. The popular iPhone and the iPad devices use Thunderbolt connectors to charge and transfer data between them and a PC. Today, Intel, the company responsible for the Thunderbolt technology, has introduced the new Thunderbolt 4 connectivity solution.

For the first time, Thunderbolt 4 will offer docks with up to four Thunderbolt ports and universal cables up to 2 meters in length. Intel’s upcoming mobile PC processors, code-named “Tiger Lake,” will be the first to integrate Thunderbolt 4.

Intel also announced the Thunderbolt 4 controller 8000 series, compatible with the hundreds of millions of Thunderbolt 3 PCs and accessories already available. Thunderbolt 4 developer kits and certification testing are now available.

Thunderbolt products deliver a consistent, industry-leading set of capabilities for connecting computers to data, video, and power with the simplicity of just one USB Type-C port. Connect to powerful Thunderbolt docks, displays, fast storage, or any USB accessory for a clutter-free workspace. To ensure a consistent best-in-class1 experience and ease of use across a wide range of product types and manufacturers, Intel works closely with its ecosystem of computer, accessory and cable partners to employ mandatory certification for all Thunderbolt products.

“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.” –Jason Ziller, Intel general manager of the Client Connectivity Division.

Thunderbolt 4 builds on the innovation of Thunderbolt 3 for a truly universal cable connectivity experience. It is the most comprehensive Thunderbolt specification yet with compliance across the broadest set of industry-standard specifications – including USB4, DisplayPort and PCI Express (PCIe) – and is fully compatible with prior generations of Thunderbolt and USB products. Thunderbolt 4 certification requirements include:

Number 1. 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 MB/s.

Number 2. Support for docks with up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Number 3. PC charging on at least one computer port.

Number 4. Wake your computer from sleep by touching the keyboard or mouse when connected to a Thunderbolt dock.

Number 5. Required Intel VT-d based direct memory access (DMA) protection that helps prevent physical DMA attacks.

The first computers and accessories with Thunderbolt 4 ports are also expected to be available later this year, including laptops based on Intel’s innovation program code-named “Project Athena.”

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